Does waking up on a Monday morning stress you since you are not exactly looking forward to another week of workload, deadlines, and projects? And just when you cringe at the thought, your bundle of joy comes jumping on your bed demanding for breakfast and about a hundred other sweet requests (meaning, screaming, crying, and refusing to bathe). Time to destress!
Immediate wish is to lock the door and go back to bed. And maybe wake up on Friday.
Sorry, not possible. But there are simple ways to get through the week, deal with stress, and still come out with the least of battle scars (figuratively, hopefully).
Here is a list of 8 ways to destress, all simply achievable and just within your reach. All these help your blood pressure get normal, your aura brighter, and lessen your wrinkles (isn’t that incentive enough?).
Breathing means consciously taking that inhale (through your nose, slowly), then exhale through your mouth, with your eyes closed, exhaling with you all the bad chi, juju, thoughts, images. This calms down your body as well as your spirit.
2. WALK in the park, in your garden, anywhere.
My 83-year old mother wakes up at 430 every morning, does ten back and forth walks by their hallway, then does stretches, before reads her prayer book. Later when the sun is up, she spends time in her small garden, breathing in the fresh air. Walking while taking those deep breaths will certainly put you in zen.
3. LAUGH TO DESTRESS.
Ok, so there are things that are just not funny, especially at the workplace when you have to deal with colleagues who seem clueless you have to repeat instructions at least five times and are just about ready to pull your hair or his hair. Or when you get home all tired and hungry, your third grader tells you he needs 200 popsicle sticks for school the next morning, which you don’t have. Not funny at all. Take a deep breath, a walk, then why not laugh and look at the silver lining? Surely it cannot be as bad as that. Looking at the brighter side and laughing about problems will be much better than sulking or blowing your top.
4. STRETCH YOUR MUSCLES.
Go ahead, wear those sneakers, go around the block a few times and sweat. Or, if you’re too lazy (to wear the sneakers), take out a mat and do some stretching exercise and even yoga, which are easy to follow (thanks, YouTube). Go bowling with friends. Whatever works for you, as long as you make an effort to exercise.
5. STRETCH YOUR BRAIN.
The process of stretching the brain is also a good way to challenge yourself, intellectually thereby relaxing you. Do something different than usual. Learn a foreign language – spoken and written. Take up a new sport. Or play digital games that are not mindless. There are digital games that challenge you further and in fact, builds your mental muscles and gives you a healthier mind. One such game app is Neeuro Memorie, which are neuroscience-designed games aimed at improving your cognitive skills. Achieve better focus, memory, multitasking, decision making, and even spatial skills. These games are paired with a sleek EEG headband, Neeuro SenzeBand, which reads your brainwaves during game play, giving feedback and eventually a better chosen skill. Now that beats Candy Crush and Bejewelled Blitz, right?
Stressed spelled backwards is desserts! That, for sure, made you smile and makes you grab a bar of decadent, dark chocolate. Science has already pointed out that chocolates are great stress busters. Because, of the presence of antioxidants which helps balance the body chemistry: a happy food. Of course there are those who prefer to stay away from sweets. What is your comfort food then, that once you munch away, relaxes you? Take that then, in moderation of course. Grabbing a bite to eat while in the middle of stressful situations is always a welcome break. It nourishes your body and the act of eating (whether chocolates, pasta, pizza, a whole slab of steak) is also a calming experience.
Listen to it and feel your body relax! Whatever suits you and soothes you: jazz, classical, modern, praise songs. Studies have shown that music calms the mind. Whether you listen to it alone (earphones please) or crank it up for everyone else to listen to, as long as it is music for the soul then everything will be fine.
8. SMELL THE ROSES or anything fragrant: mint, eucalyptus, lavender, your favorite scent, your baby’s clothes (which is actually the laundry soap), coffee beans, take your pick.
Just smell something good. It triggers your calming sensation in your system which makes you much calmer and in zen. Having fresh flowers on your desk or your kitchen table reminds you of how beautiful nature can be. And stops you from wringing the neck of your noisy co-worker.
While we all wish everyday is Saturday (or Friday night!), the reality is we have to deal with our daily lives and depending on how we face them, we can make it much easier. So do not sweat the small stuff, follow these easy steps and find your way to a calmer, stress-free, wrinkle-free, and brighter life.