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10 Ways To Sneak Relaxation Into Your Workday

how to relax during the workday

Your inbox is insane, your kids won’t stop texting asking where things are, your boss wants to chat “real quick,” Instacart dropped off the groceries and you haven’t had time to put them away. We’ve all been there. Life can quickly become overwhelming and cause our stress levels to spike up. Everyone deserves a few minutes in their workday to step back, chill out, and relax a bit. 

August 15 is National Relaxation Day, and in honor of this ever-so-important self-care holiday, here are 10 quick ways you can give yourself a moment of relaxation during the workday.

Give yourself a hand massage: Grab your favorite hand cream or lotion and rub it into your palms. Massage each finger from the palm, joint by joint, all the way to the top for 10 seconds each. Then clench your fists and release slowly in 10 second increments followed by wrist flexes. You’ll feel the tension in those typing fingers melt away.

Wash your face: Get up from your desk and head to the bathroom. Use cold water and splash it on your face. Cold water can energize you and also help lower your body temperature that’s likely rising due to your stress levels. Dab a little extra on the back of your neck and temples.

Make a cup of tea: Science has proven that a cup of tea can help lower your cortisol levels (the stress hormone). Be intentional when boiling your water and steeping your tea bag. This is a moment you’re taking for yourself. Opt for chamomile, peppermint, or lavender tea for the best stress reduction.

Dance it out: Take a break the length of your favorite song and get up and dance. As Taylor Swift would say, shake it off! Losing yourself in the beat can help you shake the stress and helps get your blood flowing, too.

Take a quick mental vacation: Got a trip coming up? Pause what you’re doing and imagine how happy you’ll be when you arrive at your destination. Think of all the relaxing and calm things you’ll be doing. Mark it on your calendar to remind yourself how soon you’ll be there.

Treat yourself to a piece of chocolate: A square of dark chocolate is more than just delicious, it can boost your brain health and help to reduce stress. It can also help with memory improvement.

Soak in a few minutes of natural light: Vitamin D is so important, we often take the sunlight for granted. When you’re feeling stressed, step outside for a few minutes and take in the sunshine. It’s proven to reduce depression and help with anxiety.

Legs up on the wall: While this one might not be as easy if you’ve returned to the office, the “legs up on the wall” yoga pose is great to rejuvenate your feet and get the blood flowing. It can also settle both your body and mind in just five minutes.

Lighten up with lavender: You know that instant relaxation you feel when you step into a spa? Re-create that at home with some relaxing music and aromatherapy or incense. It takes just a minute to drip some lavender, frankincense, or another essential oil into a diffuser. These soothing smells can quickly help to release stress and anxiety by stimulating receptors in the nose that connect to the part of the brain that regulates emotions.

Laughter is the best medicine: It’s a saying for a reason — and that’s because laughing releases endorphins in the brain and puts you in a better mood. Even a few minutes of laughter each day can reduce stress hormone levels, so head over to YouTube or pull up a favorite video from your camera and give yourself a couple minutes to chuckle.

No matter what your day entails, you’ll be more productive and less tense at the end of it if you take a few self-care breaks throughout the day. 


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