9 Expert Tips to Destress Your Life
Relax: You got this.
Your train of thought this past weekend: Do I have enough bottled water? What about canned goods? Wait, were we supposed to tape the windows? OMG WHERE’S THE DOG?
It’s been a stressful couple of days. Our opinion? You could use some relaxation. Unfortunately, unclenching your uptight self after you’ve gone into crisis mode isn’t always easy. Thankfully, we tapped Tara Lavery, bona fide expert in the art of relaxation, for her tips on chilling out. Tara Lavery is a licensed massage therapist for on-demand massage service Soothe, aka the lazy girl’s dream. Soothe allows users to order a licensed and vetted massage therapist right to their home or hotel in as little as 60 mins—like a pizza! Yeah. You don’t even have to leave your bed.
Lavery herself has 16 years of experience under her belt as a massage therapist and yogi. She also believes that simple, effective life changes are the key pulling oneself out of that cycle of anxiety and significantly increasing their health and wellbeing. Sounds exactly what the doctor ordered, right?
Relax: You got this.
Visit soothe.com for more information.
1. Get out.
Taking five minutes in nature (it can even be a patch of grass) can significantly increase your mood and energy and decrease stress and anxiety. Sit with your bare toes in the grass or go for a mini walk outside, where you can take in the birds, sky and mountains, and get ready for your mood to rise.
2. Go slow mo’.
Are you constantly running around in a frantic, self-induced panic throughout the day? Rushing will not get you anywhere quicker—in fact, it more than likely will end up inhibiting your efficiency. Try focusing on one thing at a time and relaxing as you work to increase your productivity (and boost your mental well-being).
3. Take it in.
Breathing is the most basic function of survival, yet the majority of adults have decreased breathing function. Deep, conscious breathing is one of the simplest, cheapest and most effective ways to destress. The best thing about it is you can do it anywhere! So turn your phone on silent, sit back, relax, close your eyes and really notice your breath. Is it deep or shallow? Begin to breathe slowly through your nose and out through your mouth, consciously relaxing your body and mind as you do so. Try it for one minute and, if that's easy, go for five!
4. Wrap artist.
No, we’re serious. Really get out there and hug someone. And we mean a real hug, not some one-armed half-hug business. Find someone you care about, or someone who could really use a pick-me-up, and give them a squeeze. Studies have shown that hugging someone for 20 seconds or longer releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, which boost and improve your mood.
5. Get a leg up.
Yep, that old adage has wisdom in it. Sitting or lying with your legs higher than your heart actually decreases fatigue and energizes tired legs and a worn-out lower back.
6. Say it write.
Something on your mind? Set a timer for five minutes and free write. Don’t worry about punctuation or grammar, just go with the flow, let whatever you need to get out ooze onto the page and then … let it go.
7. There’s the rub.
Oh right—and get a massage! Think of it as more than a luxury: It’s preventive medicine.
8. That’s a stretch.
Try taking a restorative or gentle yoga class, one with calm, relaxing stretching and deep, healing breathing as its focus. (Save those sweaty, hard-rockin’ yoga classes for another day.)
9. ’Tis the season.
Take a salt bath. Affordable Epsom salts work great, or jump in the ocean, aka the all-natural salt bath at our fingertips. Salt water is extremely healing and cleansing for the mind, body and soul. Bonus? You’ll probably also get a dose of sunshine, turtles and rainbows while you’re there.