Hana Al Jazzar
Overeating, irritability, headaches and lack of sleep or concentration are all signs of stress. Depriving your body of the rest it needs to restore itself can take a toll on your overall health and happiness.
But not to worry, we have 7 easy tips to help you de-stress and find your Zen whether you are feeling exhausted as early as noon or completely wiped out at the end of a long day.
Take a deep breath
As simple as it sounds, it really works. Once you start feeling stressed or agitated, close your eyes and take 3-5 deep breaths. Filling your lungs with fresh air has a powerful affect on calming both the mind and body, and as you exhale, relax your muscles and visualize the stress and tensions exiting your body.
Yoga or stretching
Yoga’s gentle yet controlled movements and postures help improve strength, balance, blood circulation and mental clarity and focus. And since your muscles are interconnected, the more you stretch, the more you help your whole body release and relax. So if you don’t have time to catch a class during the day, take a break mid-day or right before bed and go through a series of stretches and poses; try apps like Yoga Pro, Office Yoga, iYoga and Pocket Yoga for expert exercises and sequences.
Taking a quick lap around the office building, a 10 minute break playing with the kids or even bringing out the kid in you by swirling a hoola hoop, all these activities can increase your heart rate and blood flow, which in turn help your body release ‘feel good’ endorphin and give you a boost of energy to help you get through the day.
A cup of tea
Who knew a tiny little tea bag could do wonders for your health?
Green tea is very soothing since it contains an amino acid called L-theanine which helps de-stress, promotes relaxation, fights off infections and strengthen your immune system. Additionally, It’s packed with antioxidants and has been shown to actually increase metabolic rate. Red tea has been proven to reduce levels of the stress hormones and lower systolic blood pressure.
Acupressure is a technique used to relax muscles, alleviate stress and help circulate blood flow by targeting specific pressure points in your body located in your neck, shoulders and back to name a few. As the pressure point is held, the muscle tension yields to the finger pressure, enabling the fibers to relax and allows blood to flow freely. You can also feel instant relief just by applying gentle but firm pressure and rubbing your temples, forehead and the palm of your hands, relaxing your facial muscles and jaw.
Spa night at home
Water has a calming effect in general, but soaking in a warm bath at the end of the day can release sore muscles, reduce stress and helps you unwind and get a good night’s sleep. Give yourself a scrub and slather on hair and face mask, add some music, scented candles and essential oils and Vioala! You’ve treated yourself to an inexpensive spa night in the convenience of your own home.
Take a detour out of your boring daily routine and do something that gives you pleasure or makes you happy. If talking to your BFF on the phone perks you up, go ahead and give her a call! If music changes your mood, then put on your favorite playlist and tune in for 10 minutes. Passing by for some frozen yogurt on your way home is a nice treat. Any change in your typical routine can make a difference.