By Samantha Kolkey
These “National Days” are frequent, and today is one that should be recognized and celebrated–National Stress Awareness Day! Now, most of us are very much aware of stress and our personal stress levels. Here are 5 things you can do right now to decrease your stress and honor this National Day:
- Stretch! It gives yourself a quick break from whatever you are doing, and helps you focus on your body and release tension. This can be done standing or sitting. Raise your arms over head (clasp the hands if you are able to), then bend your torso to the right and then left. Do this slowly, and make sure to breathe with the movement. For more, see @rachelbrathen and her five seated yoga poses: http://rachelbrathen.com/office-yoga/
- Take 5 deep breathes. Inhale through the nose for three to five slow counts, filling your lungs all the way. Pause for a moment with your full lungs. Then slowly exhale through the mouth for three to five counts. Repeat this four more times (or even more if you prefer!).
- Get moving or get outside! Based on your ability, move or walk around the office/the block. Taking a break from a task can refresh the mind and body. This time gives you a moment away from the stress of the day.
- Make some tea. Sipping on hot herbal tea allows you to take a moment to yourself, and the temperature of the beverage forces one to take it slow. The aroma can also be appealing to your sense.
- Eat an orange. Peeling an orange is typically a task done with two hands, encouraging one to not multitask. The citrus smell is refreshing and awakening. You can also practice intentional eating through consuming an orange. Here is a guide to the mindful eating of an orange, or other fruit: https://depts.washington.edu/abrc/stress/MindfulEatingExercise.pdf
Below is an additional stress reliever to try. Soft, calming music to listen to anywhere!
Have a beautiful and relaxed day!