We all know the feeling. When you’ve got a full slate of appointments, meetings, practices, and deadlines to deal with, it can be hard to come down from that high state of stress, even if it’s the productive kind. We all need time to unwind and step away from stressors, and not just at the end of the day. Here are a few simple ways to relieve stress throughout your busy schedule.
Give Your Pet Some Love
It’s true– studies have shown that petting your dog actually decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Yup, there’s a scientific reason for why you feel happy when spending time with your pet! You might even notice your dog making its way over to you when you’re feeling particularly tense. Humankind’s best friends know when we need a break, so give those floppy ears a rub and oblige them!
Build in time in your day or week to work out, even just for twenty minutes at a time. It’ll give your brain a break from cerebral problems and pull focus to the exercise instead. Working out is known to decrease stress, but it also releases endorphins, giving you a “high” as you work off that extra energy and channel it into something positive. When it seems like nothing’s going your way, get a quick workout in for a sense of accomplishment.
Take a Breather
If you only have a moment and need to center yourself, try a breathing exercise. One of the most popular routines is breathing in through the nose for five full seconds, holding for five seconds, breathing out for five, and repeating the cycle. If your heart is beating too fast for five seconds, take it down to three and work your way up to eight. This forces your body to slow down and gives you a few minutes to focus on nothing but breathing in and out.
If you need to get the extra energy out of your body, try tensing all your muscles and gradually relaxing them one by one. There are some great one-minute meditation videos as well if you don’t have a ton of time.
Finding a green space, however small, and feeling the fresh air and sunshine is instinctively calming. We’re naturally inclined towards spending time with nature, despite the non-nature types some of us may be! This is a great time to try that breathing exercise, too. Take in the change of scenery and give your eyes a rest from all the screens.
Change the Temperature
By far the most effective way to lower your heart rate is this trick. Fill a large bowl or sink with ice water, and, making sure the basin is lower than your chest, carefully place your face in the water for thirty seconds. The drop in temperature triggers the diving reflex, slowing your heart rate in record time. Know your limit, though– it’s perfectly fine if you only submerge your face for ten or fifteen seconds at a time because you need to breathe. A less demanding option is pressing a bag of ice to your face; the area just below your eyes is the target and will have the greatest effect. Taking a cold shower, splashing your face with cool water, or stepping into a cooler area is also effective.
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to make sure you’re prepared– and insurance is often a part of that bigger picture. If you’re in need of coverage, we’ve got your back. At Liberty Preferred Insurance Group, we strive to provide a true, concierge client experience which is unique in the insurance industry. We give clients the power of choice from top-rated national and regional insurance carriers– there’s no need to worry with us on your side. For valuable insurance help in Maryland, District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and Virginia, call 410-552-0403 or fill out our quick online form here. We can’t wait to work with you!