Whether you’re away from home, on the job or on your days off, there are small actions you can take to destress and have fun.
Why it matters.
Consciously setting aside a few minutes each day to let your body and mind relax is non-negotiable for maintaining your health, focus and productivity.
- Your body copes well with physical and mental stress in short bursts but is not designed to cope with sustained stress over a long time.
- Constant stress can lead to weight gain, disrupted sleep, problems with your stomach, head and muscle pain, and less protection against getting sick.
- Purposefully breaking up sustained stress by using just a few minutes to relax and having fun across your day can help switch off your body’s harmful overactive stress response.
- Purposefully planning fun and “relaxation snacks” is as important for your wellness, focus and productivity as good quality sleep, exercise, nutrition, hydration and breathing.
What should I do?
- Prioritise 15 minutes per day for “relaxation snacks” – schedule them.
- Take 3 deep breaths hourly – schedule them.
- Take regular breaks from your device – plan it.
- Just be still – practice it.
- Write your small wins – schedule it before sleep.
How should I do it?
Prioritise 15 minutes per day for “relaxation snacks”– schedule them.
- 15 minutes can be broken into several relaxation snacks across the course of your day
TIP: If you team your relaxation snacks in a combination like “exercise snacks”, sips of water, 3 deep breaths and your affirmation, you will get maximum benefit from your 15 minutes across your day (whatever you choose to do there must be no devices involved and you must not allow yourself to feel guilty).
- Make a conscious choice to do something you enjoy.
- It must be for you and you alone. It could be listening to music or just one song you like, reading a book or magazine, or watching the sun rise or set.
Take 3 deep breaths hourly – schedule them and set reminders on your phone.
- Breathe in deeply for 4, hold for 4, and then breathe out for 4, hold for 4. Repeat. Read more here
Take regular breaks from your device – plan it.
- Put your device out of reach before you sit down to eat. Focus on enjoying your meal.
- On one of your days off each week, have 2 one-hour periods during the day where you are device-free.
- Have one screen-free day per week and live your entire day offline.
Listen to a podcast about addictive technology here
Just be still – practice it. Read more here
- Try not to fill your brain with more and more things whenever you get a moment of downtime. Regular moments of stillness increase your ability to think and focus. They also help you sleep.
- When you have a few moments waiting on something, try to do nothing. Don’t jump on to your device to check emails or social media. Be a by-stander and watch what is going on around you without getting involved. Use the time as a moment of calm. Just be.
- Use an APP such as Calm.
Write your small wins – schedule it before sleep. Read more here
- Every time before sleep, write a list of things that have gone well for you during the day and things you are grateful for.
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