Can You Afford NOT to De-Stress?
Psssst… you’re no fun when you are stressed out!
Face it, we’re all kind of a PITA (pain :-)) when we are stressed. We push people around; we aren’t ourselves; the more stressed we are the more frazzled we become. It’s not good for us and it really messes with our friendships and relationships at work and at home. Not to mention that our productivity takes a dive.
And for what? Sure, it’s great to have a mission and purpose. Not so great if you leave us prematurely due to stress!
So – here are Six Life Hacks to help you De-Stress
- Stretch… a LOT:
- Before you get out of bed in the morning, do a few quick stretches. Legs straight in the air and cross over from side to side; the bicycle routine; knees to chest; knees together then rock from side to side. This gets the blood flowing, works out kinks and is a shot of energy for the day.
- At your desk, clasp your hands together in the old “here’s the church and here’s the steeple” style. Press them straight out in front of you and then straight up over your head. Roll your shoulders to the front and back. Hold your arms out straight with your palms straight up then rotate them with palms towards the floor. Clap your hands behind you with arms as straight as possible.
- While seated, lift each leg up off the chair, first with knees bent and then with legs as straight as possible. If you do these two little rituals daily, you will feel less stressed, more energized and better able to tackle the day. (Hah! you just did all those! I know you did! See?!)
- Happy Feet Keep You Stable: When I worked at a Personnel Recruitment office in Hawaii, a very staid and proper man (or so I thought) was one of the Recruiters. One day I spotted bare, wet feet resting on a towel peeking out from under his desk. He was one of those lunch-time surfers. But on the days he couldn’t get to the beach, he’d pull a small pan of saltwater from the corner under his desk and quietly slip off his socks and shoes to soak his feet for half an hour. When I finally got up the nerve to ask him, he said it was a great stress reliever and felt like he was in the ocean. I started trying that during the day and it really works! If not at work, do it once you get home.
- Nature breaks the Stress:
- Take a walk outside… but if you can’t go outside, do a quick search on nature cams and watch it or play it in the background for a short break. I like the Eagle Cams, Owl cams and hummingbird cams. Ustream.tv is a great resource.
- Hummingbirds visit my patio in Arizona year round. So far I’ve had three nests and watched six babies fledge. The picture above was taken from my dining room window. They chose a tiny windchime for the base of the nest. That nest is smaller than a ping-pong ball cut in half!
- Get out of the office during your break or lunch. Bring a sandwich and sit in the park away from the noise and mayhem.
- Or bring nature to you – have a live plant, a fishbowl, or headphones with soothing sounds of the surf or a babbling brook.
- Whatever floats your boat – find something to do with nature that will soothe you.
- Rituals are soothing: Rituals and traditions can be very grounding.
- As teens and twenty-somethings, many of us rejected the traditions of our parents.
- As we age, we realize that traditions can anchor us and keep us stable
- Create healthy exercise and pre-sleep rituals
- Try a safety ritual before bed – checking all the doors, looking in on the kids, making sure the garage door is closed
- Short meditation rituals remind you to slow down and breathe, look around, be present
- Reminder Rituals: Each time the clock reads either 11:11 or 1:11, I stop for a full minute and remember all the things I’m grateful for.
- I do my Gratitudes: “10 things I’m grateful for” each morning before getting out of bed.
Each morning before getting out of bed, I list my Gratitudes
- Sleep Better: Turn off bright lights, video games, emails, news programs, TV… at least 90 minutes before bed. What you put in your brain before sleep impacts your dream state, even if you don’t remember. I watched an episode of Twinning on Hulu just before bed one night and woke up stressed and upset that my twin (I don’t have a twin) was living apart from me.
- Stop-Drop-Breathe: Right now consciously lower your shoulders, get that head directly over your spine, tuck in your butt so your spine is aligned. Even if you do this only occasionally, you’ll notice your back and legs don’t hurt so much, your stress levels drop almost immediately, and it’s easier to breathe.
Take care of yourself! We need you healthy!
Relax! Thanks for listening!