Holiday season can be a wonderful time, but stressful, too. Best to have on hand some simple relaxation strategies. Mini-relaxations are stress busters you can reach for any time, anywhere, whether it’s fear at the dentist’s office, panic before an important meeting, aggravation when stuck in a traffic jam, keeping cool when confronted with irritating people or an overloaded to-do list.
When you’ve got 1 minute:
Place your hand just beneath your navel so you can feel the gentle rise and fall of your belly as you breath. Breathe in. Pause for a count of 3. Breath out. Pause for a count of 3. Continue to breath deeply for 1 minute, pausing for a count of 3 after each inhalation and exhalation.
Or, alternatively, while sitting comfortable, take a few slow deep breaths and quietly repeat to yourself “I am” as you breath in, and “at peace” as you breathe out. Repeat slowly 2 or 3 times. Then feel your entire body relax into the support of your chair.
When you’ve got 2 minutes:
Count down slowly from 10 to 0. With each number, take one complete breath, inhaling and exhaling. For example, breathe in deeply, saying “10” to yourself. Breathe out slowly. On your next breath, say “nine”, and so on. If you feel lightheaded, count down more slowly to space your breaths further apart. When you reach zero, you should feel more relaxed. If not, go through the exercise again.
When you’ve got 3 minutes:
While sitting, take a break from whatever you’re doing and check your body for tension. Relax your facial muscles and allow your jaw to open slightly. Let your shoulders drop. Let your arms fall to your sides. Allow your hands to loosen so there are spaces between your fingers. Uncross your legs or ankles. Feel your thighs sink into your chair, letting your legs fall comfortably apart. Feel your shins and calves become heavier and your feet grow roots into the floor. Now breathe in slowly and breathe out slowly.