After busy or stressful times, we all need to unwind to regain some balance to start the next day, or even just our next task, off right. Here are a few ways to unwind and reset.
Start with a big deep breath–right now
We don’t always realize it, but when we’re stressed, we hold our breaths or often breathe shallowly which cuts off oxygen to the brain and increases anxiety levels. Just a few deep breaths can break the cycle–the trick is to remember to do it. One expert recommends putting a small colored dot on your phone and have it be your reminder. When you see it, take a deep breath. What will help you remember to breathe?
Take a quick walk
Remember, this is your “me time” and you need it for your sanity before you can begin to be there for others. It’s not being selfish to take care of yourself first. It’s the key to really being there for your family. Even if you only have the energy for a five minute walk, moving will get the blood pumping, forcing the stress to take a back seat and starting your unwind routine.
Disconnect from the world
If it has a button, turn it off! This means the TV, cell phone, computer, and the outside world. You can’t get away from stress if you surround yourself with it at home. The e-mails will still be there tomorrow, the Tivo will record your favorite shows and those trying to reach you will just have to wait. You have now entered a buzz-free zone.
Grab a power nap
A 20-25 minute nap (not more than 25) can refresh your mind, boost alertness and change your mood for the better. If you go over 30 minutes, your body goes into what’s called sleep inertia which can actually make you more tired. If you do go over 30, you should sleep for a full hour which has different benefits including the ability to make up for sleep deficits.
And there’s always sex!
Hey, there’s a lot of ways to “unwind” with or without a partner! No joke… sex is one of the best stress relievers because it releases endorphins into the brain, improving your mood and burning a few calories too. Hello lover (imaginary or otherwise :-).