25 ways to relax when you've only got 5 minutes


By: Heart of Chic

Time to slow your roll, folks. I feel like I haven't had a chance to catch my breath! You, too? Hashtag: blogger problems (but, seriously, do we ever stop?) Between learning a new job and moving in with my boyfriend, things have been a tad crazy. When things get stressful, it's important to take a minute (or five) to reconnect with yourself -- your body and mind will thank you! I pronounce, 25 ways to relax when you only have 5 minutes or less! Drum roll, please...

1. Just breathe: Sometimes, we just need to take a deep breath! Did you know that slow, deep breaths can actually help lower your blood pressure and heart rate? Try yogic breathing. It helps center the body and mind, and just takes a few minutes!

2. Keep a dream journal: My boyfriend just started doing this last week, and has already noticed a difference! Every morning, write down your dreams, and read them before bed. The idea is to have more control over your dreams, and use them as guidance during the day. Some more information here.

3. Massage your hands: Hands in general carry a lot of tension (especially if you're on a computer all day like me). Put some lotion on, and massage the base of the thumb. This will also soothe other muscles, including your shoulders, neck, and scalp!

4. Stretch: Make sure you're stretching every morning, and waking up those muscles! You'll feel more energized throughout the day.

5. Buy flowers: There's no better feeling than purchasing fresh flowers! Put them on your desk while you work.

6. Get outside: Okay, desk eaters -- Get your buns outdoors! Go take a much needed walk, and get some fresh air! Circulated office air is gross.

7. Drink hot tea: Drinking hot herbal tea is relaxing. It also contains L-Theanine, which is a chemical that relieves anger. Who knew?

8. Talk to yourself: Yup, take a bathroom break and give yourself some words of encouragement. "You go, girl, and great job!" are some of the (cheesy) lines I tell myself. Gives me confidence throughout the day.

9. Listen to music: Music is therapeutic -- there's a song for every emotion/feeling. I always have it on during the day, my days wouldn't be productive without it!

10. Write: Keep a journal -- Having a tough moment at work? Write it down. You'll notice the biggest difference.

11. Meditate: I started meditating 5 years ago, and absolutely love it. The best part? You don't have to be in a 'quiet' room to do so. I generally meditate during my morning commute. The purpose is to block out excess noise and thoughts, and simply be. This takes a lot of practice, and I still have yet to master it! Just learn to be in the moment. Deepak Chopra is the master of this! I also love the (free!) Headspace app.

12. Chew gum: I don't know the science behind this one, I just know it helps with anxiety!

13. Smell lavender: Put a lavender candle or scent near your desk. Lavender is known to help soothe and calm the mind and body.

14. Be alone: Always surrounded by people? Yeah, me too. Try to get away for a few minutes, and collect those thoughts. I do this on my walk to and from work everyday.

15. Stay clutter-free: Papers on your desk? Dishes in the sink? Clear them out -- The clutter takes a toll on the brain.

16. Make a call: Whenever I talk to my mom and boyfriend, my worries seem smaller. Just hearing the sound of their voice makes me smile. Who's your lifeline?

17. Laugh: Take a moment, and head to this Vine channel on Facebook. Laugh the stress away! I sure do!

18. Retail therapy: OK, I said it! Buy yourself a little treat -- a new pair of earrings, a cake pop from Starbucks, etc. The little things are truly the best!

19. Read a blog: I absolutely love reading DesignLoveFest -- She's such a real blogger. We also have a lot in common.

20. Look out the window: Take a moment, and gaze outside -- isn't this world uhhh-mazing? Especially from my view on the 73rd floor! But for real, how did we make buildings this tall?

21. Book a (pretend) trip: Get lost, and plan your dream vacation -- or, if you have the finances, book a real vacay! Now, that's a fun few minutes.

22. Write a love note: Send a loved one a surprise card! It's a win-win, dolls!

23. Close your eyes: Sometimes, you just gotta close your eyes and daydream.

24. Plan a date: Organize a fun date with friends to get you through the week! I'm about to do this one right now....be right back!

25. Hydrate: Drinking water makes such a positive impact on our overall mood. When I don't drink enough water, I get irritable, tired, and hungry. Drink up!