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Relaxation is Serious Business
Relaxation Strategies for Dealing With Stress
- If you deal with stress from the people around you, consider distancing yourself from these people if possible.
- Schedule time for worrying. It might sound strange, but allowing yourself, for example, 10 minutes per day to worry, and then not allowing yourself to continue past that can actually reduce your overall stress and anxiety. This method works for many people.
- Stop trying to be perfect. Many areas of stress are self-induced. If it helps, tell yourself you are trying to be more “perfect” and a part of that is relaxing from time to time.
- Really take a break from work if you are going to take a break. Don’t do work on your cell phone or laptop when you take your kids to the park. Don’t return business calls while you are supposed to be watching a movie.
- Take care of the three pillars of good health – nutrition, exercise, and sleep. If one of these is out of whack or is lacking, you will not be able to deal with stress effectively.
- Practice doing nothing. We have been taught that multi-tasking is a skill everyone should master but that’s not true. This might be harder than you imagine, but once a day, for just 10 minutes, practice doing nothing. This means perhaps just drinking a cup of tea, staring out the window, or sitting on a park bench watching the birds or watching the kids play without feeling like you should be doing something or thinking about what you are going to do when you get back, for 10 minutes, practice doing nothing. Practice this every day until you are really, really good at it!
- Stop eating lunch at your desk! Get out of the office. Go anywhere; just don’t sit in the office. Read more about foods you can eat to relieve stress.
- Unplug. Although you don’t necessarily have to go all out and unplug everything, you can turn off the computer, and only answer your phone if it’s a true emergency. By the way, a co-worker texting you wondering why you didn’t answer her email about dinner plans within 5 minutes is NOT an emergency. She can wait 10 minutes longer.
- If you truly can’t seem to find time to relax, schedule the time. Seriously. Schedule time for YOU to relax. Learn to say NO and purge your schedule. Be brutal.
- Use your vacation time. Really use it! Go away and don’t answer work calls or work emails.
Everyone has their own idea about what is relaxing for them. Some people think slouching on the sofa in their PJ’s catching up on their favorite program is heaven. Others don’t want to spend a minute inside and find that gardening or hiking clears their minds. Other people like to read or write or do crafts. Whatever works for you, as long as it’s fun and you aren’t working, then that is the right thing for you.
Relaxing is some serious business, and it’s time you got busy!