Let’s face it: work gets stressful. We all know this. And while many of us would like to take the time to get a massage or take a day off, we can’t always do that. Sometimes we need something in the moment as well. So, give yourself five minutes a few times during the day to take small breaks, letting yourself destress in the moment.
- Self-massage. Who needs a table and a masseuse when you can do it yourself? The most well-known: Give your neck and shoulders a good rub, using your fingertips to work into any knots you might have. But don’t stop there. Try giving yourself a hand massage. Use lotion to make it easier, and then work one hand with the other. Or even try an ear massage — it’s a practice from traditional Chinese medicine that lowers stress and ups your energy. You might also try a little acupuncture: Using the thumb and first finger of one hand, massage the soft area between the thumb and first finger of the other, gently pinching and moving in small circles.
- Just breathe. We all know about taking deep breaths. But it works even more effectively when you take that breath and let your stomach (not your chest) fill with air like a balloon. When you exhale, pull your stomach in to release as much air out of your lungs as possible. Do it for three breaths and you’ll find yourself more relaxed. Another yoga trick is to close one nostril, inhale, hold, and then exhale out the other nostril; then switch.
- Take your eyes away from the screen. First and easiest, close your eyes. It’s that simple. Clear your mind for a minute or two of your current worries and just breath in and out (possibly using some of the techniques mentioned above). Look out a window at the nature outside. Doing this for five minutes can lower your stress by literally changing your perspective. And taking a quick walk down the hall can get you out of your screen rut as well.
- Stretch. Stand up and give yourself a good arm raise as if you’ve just woken up. If you feel like you can’t quite do that, do a few shoulder rolls. Or reach over the top of your head with your right hand and put it just above your ear, gently pulling to the right, and then switch. You can also do neck rolls (again, gently!). Start by dropping your head to your chin and then roll your neck back and forth like a pendulum, then drop it back and do the same. For more stretching ideas, try some of these.
Make sure to give yourself some relaxation during your workday, every day. If you need more than just relaxation techniques, work with the experts at Medical Professionals.