With a lot of people having to work from home these days, there’s no doubt that stress levels are higher than usual. Balancing work, household matters and relationships in one space could easily wear down the best of us. Therefore, it is important to take a little bit of time every day to relax and rewind. Here are ten simple ways that can help you destress in five minutes.
1) Breathe deeply
Close your eyes and breathe deeply for five minutes. Breathe in and out slowly, with your hands on your stomach, and feel every movement. Doing breathing exercises will help to calm you down, so do this method in a quiet place when you’re feeling stressed out.
2) Release tension
Try tensing up one body part at a time, and then slowly release the tension in your muscles. You can start with the muscles in your face, followed by your arms, and go down your body. By letting go of physical tension, you will also release mental tension and stress.
3) Write it down
Writing down your feelings or a description of your day will be helpful in minimising stress levels. You don’t need a fancy notebook, the Notes app on your phone or a piece of paper will do! You can journal about what’s causing you stress, or even write about what you’re grateful for on that day. This can make you refocus and look at things in a different way.
4 ) Bust a move
Even if you only have five minutes, start moving and hopping! Physical exercise releases endorphins that relieve stress, and it’ll help you keep fit too. If you’re able to have a longer break, go out and take a walk around the block.
5) Massage your hands
Instead of cracking your fingers after a stressful day of work, give your hands a massage. Grab your favourite lotion and slowly massage each joint and the webbing between fingers. A five-minute massage could help reduce anxiety and has a calming effect, so try it out when you feel like wringing your hands next time.
6) Find a view
Take a five-minute respite to gaze out of the window and clear your thoughts. Looking at green trees, flowers, or plants can be relaxing and are certainly a better view than your laptop. Allow yourself -and your eyes- a break every now and then.
7) Do a puzzle
Trying to solve a brain teaser like Sudoku or a word puzzle will give you something else to focus on, and can help to lower your stress. Spending five minutes just concentrating on a puzzle of your choice can be relaxing, and you’ll reap the mental benefits of puzzle-solving, as well.
8) Be creative
If you’re not a fan of puzzles, then tap into your creative side. All you need is a piece of paper and a pen, and start doodling away. Taking a few minutes to focus on doing creative art can give you an outlet to express worry, and to focus your emotions in a unique way.
9) Light reading
Do take a time out to do some light reading. Whether it’s celebrity news or a comic book, looking at something amusing not only gives you a much-needed distraction, it can also lower your blood pressure and psychological distress.
10) Call a friend
Sometimes, all we need is someone to listen to us. When you feel as if you’re going to blow up or break down, grab your phone and tell a friend. You’ll feel much better after you’ve vented your feelings, plus a friend might offer different perspectives that can help you go through the day.