Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Calm Down - 10 Ways to Find a Few Minutes of Peace in Your Hectic Day

Life is busy. Whether you work 3 part-time jobs, own your own business, stay home with the kids or work full time clocking 60 hours a week, we're all busy and sometimes it seems the only time we can fully unwind is when we're on holiday, but it doesn't have to be that way. While nothing can quite replace a sun-soaked week away, it's not always possible to jet off whenever we feel tired, stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, but it's possible to find the blank spaces in our days, no matter how small they are and use them for a little bit of self care and refueling. Here are 10 ways to make room for a little calm in your day, no matter how busy you are. You know what they say... "A little goes a long way."

Cup of coffee
1. Cuppa tea?
Here in Europe, there are plenty of people who feel that there aren't too many problems that can't be solved with a cup of tea. It can be beneficial sometimes to step away from a problem and busy yourself with something else, even something as simple as walking to the kitchen, boiling a kettle and making a cup or a pot of your favourite tea, but there are also various teas that are known for their calming properties such as camomile or peppermint teas. The simple act of steeping a tea bag can be soothing and if you only have a few minutes to find some chill in your day, you can bring the tea with you when you get back to the madness.

2. Just push play.
Listening to music can calm you, improve your mood, relieve stress and depending on your song choice, wake you up a little. You may or may not be the kind of person who can focus with a play list blasting, but it doesn't mean that you can't take 3 minutes and play a song to lift your spirits and give yourself a much needed break. If you are the kind of person who can focus with a little music in the background, do yourself a favour and make a few play lists you can turn on when you need a little pick-me-up or something to calm you during high stress days. Here's a relaxing play list of some of my favourite tunes for a quick music break to get you started...

3. Indulge in a power nap.
Napping seems to be controversial. On one hand you hear stories all the time about various companies and tech giants installing nap pods in their offices to encourage employees to get 40 winks when they need it, but on the other hand we're constantly being bombarded with memes and Instagram posts reminding us to hustle. I'm a fan of naps and I take them regularly. Admittedly I probably nap more and for longer than I should, but I've recently discovered the beauty of a power nap. If you have 5 minutes, set an alarm, tilt your head back or lie down and shut your eyes. It's that simple. I personally find that 20 to 45 minutes is optimal for a power nap, but if all I have is 5 minutes, I'll take it and I usually feel a sense of calm when those few minutes are up. On the flip side, if I take a nap that's too long, I usually feel sluggish and unproductive afterwards, so it's all about finding the perfect balance at nap time.

4. Shake it off.
Nothing takes away the blues like a little dance break. Most songs are about 3 minutes long, so just push play on one you love and shake a little boogie. It will make you feel better, get you moving and take your mind of the craziness. Enjoy coming back to your desk with fresh eyes after a dance break.

5. Meditate.
I don't meditate myself, but I hear it does wonders for the soul and stress levels. There are a number of apps available to help you meditate if you're new to it such as Headspace and it's something you can do for just a few minutes a day to escape the hustle & bustle and clear your head.

leopard print top and jeans

6. Walk it off.
Taking a walk is great for getting a few minutes peace when you need it. Simply walk around the office or get outside if you can, but sometimes all you need is to just step away for a few minutes and stretch your legs. If you have the time, walking through a park or somewhere with some natural beauty can be even more calming, but if all you can do is walk to the office water cooler and back, that's better than nothing.

7. Stretch it out.
Just a few minutes to stand up and stretch is invaluable when you're busy, especially if you have a job where you sit at a desk all day. Just a few light stretches can bring a bit of calm to the day. Whether you want to try a few yoga poses you know or you prefer more simple options like stretching your arms to the sky and then touching your toes, you'll get your blood flowing and relax a little at the same time.

8. Give yourself a moisturising hand massage.
It would be great to nip out and have a massage every time we felt tired and stressed, but that's probably not possible for most of us. Massages are expensive, time-consuming and often require an appointment, but some of the wellness benefits of massage are available to you anytime because you can do it yourself. Keep a hand cream you like with you or in your desk drawer, perhaps even one with aromatherapy properties and use it. Moisturise your hands, but take a little time to actually massage them. You can do this anywhere, whether you're commuting on public transportation or sitting at your desk on a conference call.

9. Puppy love...
Dogs are often talked about for being calming influences and it's been suggested that having an office dog is a good way to relieve stress in workers. If you're super busy, overextended and tired, doggy cuddles can help you feel better, so if you have a dog, see a dog or know a dog you can visit for 5 minutes, give it a snuggle. It'll be good for you and the pooch will probably enjoy the attention too!

smelling pink roses

10. Stop and smell the roses.
It takes only 5 seconds to stop and smell some beautiful flowers, but it's a pleasant experience and can take your mind off whatever is stressing you out, even if only for a short period of time. Don't have any flowers nearby? Take 10 minutes to run out for a bouquet at a flower stand or grocery store and put them on your desk - they'll bring you joy.

Do you have any tips for finding calm in the hustle & bustle of everyday life? If so, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

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