7 Quick Stress-Reducing Strategies
Being a parent is a never-ending, tough role. You're constantly being pulled in a million directions — house cleaning, soccer practices, science fairs, meal prep. You're the provider for your precious little ones, and it's an overwhelming job. We're here to help!
Here are seven tips you can apply to your everyday life to help you unwind, if only for a moment!
Fold your hands, as if in prayer, behind your back. When we get stressed, we tend to tense up and cave our chest in. This opens up our chest so we can breathe more freely. Pull the shoulders back, tilt the head back, and breathe deeply.
Rub the circumference of each ear with your hands — right hand rubbing the right ear and left hand rubbing the left ear. According to Ayurveda, India's 5,000-year-old method of natural healing, there are marma points (like acupuncture points) in the ears that correspond to the various parts of the body. Rubbing the ears in this way is like giving yourself a mini massage!
Stop and smell the flowers. Keep some lavender essential oil in your desk or purse. When you feel stressed, bring it out. Close your eyes and breathe in the fragrance. Count to five. Then exhale through your mouth to the count of five. According to aromatherapeutic practices, lavender is very calming, and when we close our eyes, it isolates the sense of smell so that we feel it more intensely.
Practice present-moment awareness. Most of the time when we're stressed, it is because we are living in either the future or the past. Bring yourself into present-moment awareness by focusing on the now. Use what connects us to our environment — the senses.
Hug yourself to be more “in your body” instead of in your mind where the stress is. Look at something beautiful — a flower, a bird, the sky — and just be with that for a moment.
Take a sip of sweet tea — really taste it — and enjoy it. Being grateful in that moment washes the stress away. Gratitude and stress cannot be present at the same time!
Sit in your desk chair or kitchen table chair and put your left foot on the floor, your right ankle on your left knee, and lean forward with a stretch. Hold it as far as you can go, then bend forward a little more. This opens up your hips and balances that tensed-up muscle feeling. Do each side equally.
What stress-reducing strategies do you use?Read More