On this relaxation day, let’s all try to reduce our stress levels as much as we can by keeping calm and taking a break. And on a break, do these 10 things!
August 15th means different things to different people. To those living in India and Congo, it’s Independence Day, while in many other places it is the observance of Assumption of Mary. In Costa Rica, it’s Mother’s Day, while in Egypt it is the Flooding of the Nile. For most of our Google addicts, it’s Relaxation Day, or rather #RelaxationDay. So basically, this is the day to chill, kick off those shoes, and just breathe.
Keep Calm & Take A Break
When we get stressed about anything and keep trying to complete the task at hand, it’s akin to banging our head against the wall. When stress rises, emotions go haywire and thoughts race about uncontrolled; it’s time to take a break. Forcing your stress-addled brain to work only makes it all worse. If you really want to get the stress out—and the happiness and productivity in—you need to take a break. Life will pass us by in a haze of work and chores and sighs; it is up to us to find meaning and happiness. We can do that by relaxing every now and then and nurturing the inner happy child in us. And this can only be done by being free of stress. So when in the face of unending stress, all you have to do is any of these things for 10 minutes and we promise relaxation goals will be yours to own.
1. Get Up & Get Moving
Sometimes when everything gets to be too much—be it work, or chores, or just plain emotions—the best thing to do is quit. And by quitting we mean a temporary break from the work. Then you do something to get the blood running again. A brisk walk, a quick run, a 10-minute jog—all this can take your mind off the stressor and release the happy hormones into your brain, calming you down. Basically, even five minutes of exercise can help reduce stress in a big way—so if nothing else works, do some jumping jacks.
2. Reach Out For Human Touch
You know that feeling, right? When you come back completely stressed after a long day at work, and a warm hug from a loved one can set you right instantly. The power of human touch is amazing—it can deflate the stress and calm you down. So the next time you are stressed, take out ten minutes and go hug someone, or hold hands. And if you see someone stressed, take out some time and give them a reassuring pat or a hug. Pass it on…
3. Listen To Some Tunes
Music doesn’t just get your rocks off—it really calms you down and makes you a happier person on the whole. The effect of music on stress is proven—which is why when you are rattled, a long drive with some tunes can calm you down. And this is the reason why owning a pair of headphones is a good thing.
4. Smell Something Calming
Smells can really alter your perception—which is why olfactory memories are the best. When you are able to create associations of a thing with a smell, it leaves you with lingering memories and an instant stress-relief solution. The next time you go for a relaxing vacation, create an olfactory association by using a particular scent only. It could be lavender-scented lotion or even a rose-based body mist. Figure out the smell that floods you with feelings of goodwill and happiness. The next time you need something uplifting, try one of these scents—they will end up boosting productivity as well.
5. Switch Off The Tech
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram; social media has become more of a stressor than a stress buster. The Internet is not good for your mental health. And if your popularity dips in the virtual world, your stress levels will go up. Choose to go tech-free every now and then—if your virtual avatar is making you unhappy, it may be time to make it go away!
6. Spend Some Time With Kids
Kids are awesome stress busters and know how to combat their issues minus any adult help. Spending a little time off your chores and being a child, with children, is another way to make you feel better. So spend time with your kids or volunteer at the local gym or kiddie hospital ward. You may go there to teach, but trust me: kids are great teachers in themselves. Especially when it comes to busting stress.
7. Sun Yourself A Little
Our sedentary jobs not only keep us glued to our seats, which is bad enough, but also keep us out of the sun. And yes, that’s worse! Being indoors minus natural light exposure turns our circadian rhythm haywire, and this, in turn, can trigger stress. And if you are already stressed, well, getting no sun will rocket up stress levels. So what to do? Apparently, you need to make hay while the sun shines, literally. Being out in the sun resets your body’s circadian rhythm, which in turn lowers stress levels, makes you happier, and raises those vitamin D levels as well!
8. Cry Yourself A River
We have all been there—gone to the bathroom and had a good cry when things get too tough. And there’s good reason for that response: Tears are cathartic and therapeutic. They are not borne of weakness, but of strength. They do not mean despair or depression; they highlight your inner struggle and your will to fight back. So having a good cry and letting off those pent up emotions and thoughts is actually good for you and your mental balance. If a bathroom doesn’t work, try watching a tearjerker movie—and cry yourself a river for your own good.
9. Pet Something Furry
Ideally, go play with a dog or a cat or any four-legged friend you have around. Our pet pooch just died so we haven’t quite gotten over the passing enough to get a new pup, but I have taken to feeding one stray pup with a bum leg. And when she sidles up to me in gratitude and a doggie smile on her lopsided face, it warms my heart. If you don’t have a pet around, do something nice for the creatures that are around. Get a bird bath and watch the finches prance in the water. Leave some nuts out for squirrels, or hey, feed the ants. Being with nature and nature’s beautiful creatures will take down those stress levels.
10. Write It All Out
Finally, there is a reason we call it a “dear diary.” The diary does not judge, seems rather empathetic, and can keep all your secrets in. Writing down thoughts and writing down your troubles for some reason seems to lighten them a lot. It is cathartic for sure. So go ahead and write—be it a journal, or be it a blog. Share if you want and keep it a secret if you like. Just putting down your feelings into actual words can take down your stress levels, make you feel relaxed, and simply make you happier.
So here’s hoping that this relaxation day, you too can just sit back and do nothing for a while. And if you'd like to share your de-stressing hacks with us, do write to us in the comments section...