If you’re anything like the rest of us, you can’t seem to find enough time in your days to get everything checked off of your to-do list. And you can forget about actually taking a break from your busy life to kick back, relax, and imbibe in some much-needed and restorative “me time,” are we right?
Stress can have a pretty
gnarly impact on your health, causing issues that include severe headaches, digestive upset, sleep disturbances, anxiety and depression, and even weight gain.
None of that sounds like a good time to us, but there is some good news, as relaxation is the antidote to all of those nasty stress symptoms. Just a few of the amazing health benefits of relaxation
include lower blood pressure, improved digestion, reduced anxiety and chronic pain, better sleep quality, and a seriously boosted mood.
Get Happy and Healthy with National Relaxation Day
And on August 15th
, you’ll actually have an excuse to take some time out of your hectic schedule, break away from the madness of your day-to-day routine, and partake in some serious relaxing – which happens to be our favorite activity!
It’s all thanks to National Relaxation Day
, which is celebrated throughout the country this Tuesday, giving you the perfect opportunity to cash in on the awesome benefits of imbibing in some time away from hustle and bustle of your normally busy life.
Our Top 27 Relaxation Tips
The name of the game on this restful holiday is to avoid stressors completely and we’re here to help you make the most of this restful holiday by sharing the top 27 relaxation tips
that we’ve rounded up just for you.
And the best part? Every single one of them takes no more than 5 minutes to calm you down and help you to relax, no matter how stressed you might normally be, thanks to running around like a crazy person during your waking hours.
Let’s take a look at the best ways to make the most of National Relaxation Day…
Carve Out Some Alone Time
1. Create your own peaceful place: Choose a room at home or work where you can be alone for a few minutes and make sure that you can be comfortable by setting a soft chair or dimming the lighting – you’ll be surprised by how relaxed you can become just by taking a few minutes out of your day for some quiet time away from it all.
2. Embrace natural lighting
: On sunny days, set aside some time outside for a short stroll around the block or your office building. Studies have proven that regular exposure to bright light
can be super helpful in boosting your mood.
3. Take some time to stare out the window
: Strange as it might sound, taking a 5-minute break to simply gaze out the window and zone out from the chaos around you is a great way to get some “me time” time without even getting out of your chair. Take in the beauty of the trees and other nature around you, which we promise is much
more relaxing than looking at your office mates or staring at the TV in the employee lounge.
4. Try a quick hand massage
: If you don’t have access to a professional massage therapist, you can make use of your own skills, which will help you release tension and lower a rapid heartbeat. Keep some lotion at your desk and pamper yourself by kneading the base of your thumb and each of your fingers to quickly relieve stress in your shoulders, neck, and scalp.
5. Pick up a stress ball
: The next time you’re in Walmart or the drugstore, grab one of those stress balls that seem to always be on offering in the checkout line. They’re cheap and portable, and they really work when you’re looking for a quick and easy way to relieve tension
6. Detangle your locks
: Repetitive motion can be a great way to relax and feel soothed, and who doesn’t enjoy having silky, well-brushed hair? The next time you feel stressed, grab your brush and head into the restroom to sooth tension in your scalp.
7. Give yourself a quick cooldown
: And while you’re at it, take the time to drip some cool water from the sink onto your wrists and behind your ears. There are some major arteries under the skin in those areas and the tap water will help to calm you down and cool you off instantly.
Create Some Inner Peace
8. Give meditation a shot: If you want to have a peaceful and quiet mind, there’s no need to sign up for a pricey retreat in the mountains – you can reap all the benefits of inner peace in under 5 minutes, wherever you happen to be in the world. Studies have shown that just a couple of quick sessions of sitting quietly with a clear mind per day can drastically reduce stress and depression.
9. Relax progressively
: If you’re feeling anxious or find yourself lying awake at night, you might want to give progressive relaxation a try, as it helps to reduce stress and ease insomnia
. And it's super easy to do! Starting at your toes, work your way up to the top of your head, squeezing and then releasing each part of your body to induce calm and relaxation.
10. Do some backward counting
: You’ve heard of counting sheep to fall asleep but what about when you need reduce stress while you’re still awake? Try counting slowly from 10 to 1 in your mind and watch as your blood pressure lowers and your serenity levels rise.
11. Just close your eyes
: If you need a quick break from the chaos of your day but can’t leave your desk, try simply closing your eyes and breathing deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth. This is a tried and true tactic for regaining calm and focus.
12. Channel your inner yogi: Millions of people the world over have discovered the benefits of yoga when it comes to their health and happiness. Try downloading a yoga app or two on your smartphone, shutting your office door, and dimming the lights before practicing a few of the more simplistic moves. You’ll soon find yourself calmer and once again ready to tackle your day.
13. Stretch it out
: Standing next to your desk chair and doing some quick stretches is also a great way to relax, even if you can’t get into full Downward Facing Dog. Try rolling your shoulders and opening your chest right where you are – without getting any strange looks from your coworkers.
14. Jog in place
: If you’re feeling stressed and drained of energy, kick off your shoes and jog in place for 2 or 3 minutes. Your endorphins (the “feel good” chemical in your brain) will kick in and you’ll feel more energized and content.
Have Some Fun!
15. Snuggle with a furry friend: After having a rough day, there’s nothing like coming home to some unconditional love that only a pet can give, are we right? And cuddling with your dog or cat has also been shown to lower blood pressure, help you sleep easier at night, and boost your self-esteem.
16. LOL (literally)
: It might sound silly, but simply laughing has been shown to be good for your health and lower your stress levels. Bouts of belly laughter have been scientifically proven to increase blood flow, boost immunity, and lower stress. Keep a book of jokes on hand or surf YouTube for funny videos to give yourself a quick pick-me-up during your hectic days.
17. Catch up with friends
: Just talking to a friend and catching up with what’s new in their life can be another great way to relax and forget about your worries. Vent about your stressors to a coworker or old school friend, and prepare to have your anxiety melt away.
18. Do some vacation planning
: Everyone needs some time away from it all! But did you know that simply planning
your dream vacation can help you to relax? Jump on some travel sites or explore areas that interest you around the world on the Internet and live vicariously until you can actually get away for your own trip. You’ll be surprised by how quickly you feel more relaxed when planning for some future fun.
Eat (and Sip) Your Way to Relaxation
19. Drink green tea: Herbal tea has long been shown to provide many health benefits, but if
its stress relief that you’re looking for, your best bet is to go with a cup of green tea – hot or iced. Green tea is full of L-Theanine (a naturally occurring chemical that reduces anger), making it the perfect beverage for a stressful day at the office.
20. Have a chocolatey snack
: Good news! Chocolate has actually been proven to help you relax, thanks to sweet stuff regulating levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and stabilizing your metabolism. Just keep in mind that when it comes to the health benefits of chocolate, the ground rule is the darker, the better
21. Just add honey
: Trade in stress for some sweetness with just a spoonful of honey. The yummy nectar has been proven to not only serve as a powerful moisturizer and antibiotic, it also has been shown to decrease inflammation in the brain
, which helps those that eat it fight off anxiety and depression.
22. Chew some gum
: No matter what flavor you prefer, chewing on bubble gum has been shown to be a quick and easy way to relieve stress. Just a couple of minutes of chewing the sweet treat can lower cortisol levels and reduce stress.
Try Some Simple Aromatherapy
23. Stop to smell the flowers (seriously!): Science has proven that smells are a major factor in changing our moods, and we have to admit that it’s hard to stay upset when you’re smelling some of the beautiful flowers provided by Mother Nature. Try keeping a vase of fresh flowers by your desk to help you combat stress whenever you give them a sniff throughout the day.
24. Invest in essential oils
: Other smells have also been shown to regulate our emotions and calm our nerves
, as well, and it takes only a few seconds to cash in on the soothing benefits of the aromatherapy provided by scents like tea tree, lavender, and lemon grass. Try setting up a cold essential oil diffuser in your home and office. They’re cheap, easy to use, and keep you surrounded by calming scents all day long.
Imbibe in Your Favorite Hobbies
25. Dance it out: Fans of “Gray’s Anatomy” will already know how beneficial an impromptu dance party can be – either solo or with friends. When you’re feeling stressed, crank up some of your favorite music and dance however you want to, as long as you’re allowing the music to move you. When you’re done, you’ll feel happier and have gotten in some cardio too. Bonus!
26. Do a puzzle (or two)
: You can take your mind off of your worries by engaging it with some games that require concentration, such as crossword or Sudoku puzzles. Not only will you be reducing your stress by clearing your mind, you’ll also be enjoying yourself, and who doesn’t wish they could do that more often?
27. Put your worries down on paper
: If you find yourself still feeling stressed at the end of the day and you’re worried that you won’t be able to sleep, try writing down all of your cares and concerns. Journaling has been proven to reduce stress
, clear your mind, and help you get to sleep faster and easier.