It’s a fact of life that we all get really busy sometimes and forget about making time for our own well-being. Maybe it’s midterms or finals season and you’re spending all day in the library studying. Maybe your deadline for this huge project is coming up and you’re trying to make sure it’s absolutely perfect. Maybe you’re in the works of planning a school event or fundraiser or birthday party and your to-do list keeps piling up. And around the holiday season? Forget about calmness!
Being a busy and hurried person myself (in Spanish, siempre tengo prisa), I have developed a few mini relaxation activities that can fit into my crazy schedule to help me de-stress and take a moment to breathe. While these work for me and could also work for you, the key is to find whatever helps you disengage from the world around you for a brief moment.
Simple Standing Yoga
Did you know one of the foundational yoga poses is one that you probably do everyday? In mountain pose, or Tadasana, stand with your legs together, big toes touching. Lift from your abdomen and stand nice and tall, hands out with palms facing up. Widen your collarbones, push your shoulders back, and take a few deep breaths. You can also try a forward fold or ragdoll pose to open up your hamstrings. Feeling a little tight in your back? Try twisting gently from your hips and feel your spine loosen up.
Five Minute Quiz or Game Time
Take five minutes (or more, depending on how much time you have) to play with your device! BuzzFeed Quizzes are an excellent way to forget about your stress while figuring out what kind of fruit you are. If quizzes aren’t your thing, try playing a quick game of Candy Crush. For me, I enjoy puzzles like nonograms or crosswords.
Use a Lotion or an Essential Oil
You’ve heard of aromatherapy? Well if you haven’t, it’s basically using good smelling oils and compounds to improve psychological or physical well-being.Take a minute or two to put on your favorite lotion or essential oil (lavender is really great for this) on your hands or at a pulse point. Take a few deep inhales, imagine yourself somewhere else, and feel the calmness wash over you. A bonus is that once you’ve had some time to relax, the smell will continue follow you around!
Enjoy a Snack
Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness — Auguste Escoffier
My grandmother used to have a pillow that said “stressed spelled backwards is desserts” and sometimes, that dessert, or any other snack, can really relieve some tension. In fact, the best foods to nosh on when you’re feeling stressed are nuts, tea, dark chocolate, and yogurt.
Also published on Medium.