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5 Simple and Easy Relaxation Tips

5 Simple and Easy Relaxation Tips

Everyone experiences times throughout the day where you just wish you could relax for even a few minutes.  Sometimes I feel that I could really spend the day relaxing. We already know that relaxation helps your body re-energize, but sometimes you’re so busy and caught up in the moment that you just don’t have the time to unwind.  Well, fortunately there are simple ways to relax, even during your busiest days, that don’t require a lot of time or equipment.

So often, we think that we can’t afford to take an hour or two out of our busy day, we feel as if we would get further behind.  But relaxation doesn’t need to take that long, 5-10 minutes can be enough to get us going again and help us make it to the end of the day.

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 5 Simple Relaxation Tips:

 Lined up: Instead of stressing out because there aren’t enough cashiers and every line has 5 people with heaping carts of groceries, or when traffic is so bad that it is taking you 30 minutes to move 1 mile, use that time to relax your body by taking some deep breaths.

  • Deep breathing helps increase the oxygen in your blood. Your blood then circulates that extra oxygen throughout your body, helping your inner systems recharge.
  • Taking five slow deep breaths will do the trick. The proper technique is to inhale and exhale deeply through your nose and out your mouth.  I like to use a 5 count, count to 5 as you breath in, hold count to 5 and then breath out count to 5.
  • Not only will deep breathing help you relax, it’ll help to clear your mind, reduce brain fog, and you’ll feel much more alert and ready to tackle the next project on your plate.
  • Deep breathing can be done anywhere when you’re feeling stressed or just want to clear your mind.

Workplace Relaxing: It’s often hard to find time to relax at work. You might even get in trouble if you’re caught “relaxing.” Oh the horror! However, there are some techniques you can do while you’re at work to help create a sense of calm that aren’t so obvious to others.

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  • If your job requires you to sit at a computer all day, make sure you get up and move around for a few minutes every hour. This helps circulate the blood throughout your body. Just moving the blood flow will make you feel more alert and focused.  Take the stairs up to the next floor to use the washroom, a break and get your bold pumping at the same time.
  • While sitting at your desk, roll your head around, from side to side and from front to back with your eyes closed. This technique helps to relieve neck tension, increasing blood flow to your brain, which is a natural and easy way to relax. My chiropractor has recommended specific neck stretches for me, check with your doctor for some techniques specific to you.
  • During a break or lunchtime, go for a walk. Walking is a great way to clear your mind and your body will benefit from the extra exercise as well. If you take a look around your city, you might even be able to find a yoga class during the lunch period, this would be a great way to come back to work ready and productive.

Feeling the Rush: Take just a few moments to daydream and escape the busyness of reality.

  • Daydreaming lets your imagination flow, causing instant relief from the stress of the real world.
  • Think of a place or experience that makes you feel happy or calm. Imagine how it smells, how the air feels, and who’s around.  A past vacation or a future vacation a great way to vision your next year.
  • After five minutes of a calming daydream you’ll feel relaxed, reenergized and ready to face the real world again.

Smile: Smiling is proven to help relax and rejuvenate your body.

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  • When you’re out and about, smile at others around you. Have you noticed when you are walking down the street or at the mall, when you smile at someone passing you by…. you can see their whole face lights up with a big smile as well.  So you are creating a great experience for you as well as for others.
  • When you’re at work, smile at your co-workers. Not only will it help you relax, it’ll help relax them as well.  

Laugh it up: Laughter’s proven to be an instant stress reliever. Now I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want to be seen as a nut case, so laughing out loud when you’re in line at the store or sitting at your desk may not be the best time. When you can, get someone involved in your laughter with you.

  • Tell a funny joke or story to a co-worker (at an appropriate time, of course).
  • Play a fun game or sing a silly song with your kids as you’re driving.
  • Watch funny videos on YouTube or TV.  I love watching cartoons… with or without my kids!  And my kids are hysterical, you just let them tell you a story and you will be rolling on the floor laughing.

Engaging in these simple, everyday relaxation techniques will help to sustain and strengthen you throughout your day. Most of these ideas really only take 5-10 minutes are most to make a huge impact.  Just think about what would happen if you spent 30-60 minutes, you would be changing your world for you and the people around you. Your friends, co-workers, and family will all appreciate the new, relaxed you!

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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