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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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