If you’re running around all day trying to fulfill a seemingly endless list of responsibilities, you could be on the verge of a stress-induced breakdown. Before that happens, take five minutes out of your busy schedule for one (or more) of these quick de-stressors, courtesy of CNN.com:
- Laugh a little. Studies suggest laughter lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Of course, it doesn’t take an understanding of biochemistry to appreciate that when you’re laughing, stress has to take a back seat, at least temporarily.
- Lighten up. When the body absorbs sunlight, it enhances the effect of mood-stabilizing chemicals such as serotonin. So enjoy lunch out in the sunshine or walk a few blocks during your afternoon break.
- Go on a (virtual) vacation. Picture yourself on a tropical island or a serene, majestic mountaintop – wherever you’d rather be instead of here, stressing out. It will give you a few minutes to unwind and relax instead of focusing on work.
- Get moving. Exercise, even something as simple as jumping rope for a few minutes, triggers your body to release mood-lifting endorphins. The repetitive motion required of most simple exercises also makes you relaxed and focused.
- Turn up the volume. Go ahead and rock out to the music from your teens. You might even be inspired to dance around the living room.
- Take a breath. Sometimes, just breathing deeply can help center and relax you. Try it the next time you’re stuck in traffic or your boss needs that report done “right away.”
- Find a friend. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, call or e-mail a friend and blow off a bit of steam. Isn’t that what friends are for?
- Stay cool. Find a nice, light scent (lavender is always a good choice) to lightly spritz on your face when the heat is on. It will not only cool you down, but also calm your nerves.