During the holidays, many jobs get crazier than ever. Whether you work in retail, manufacturing, transportation, hospitality, marketing, health care, nonprofit or other industries that do most of their business in Q4, your physical and mental stress hit their highest levels of the year. It's also the season when obligations to friends and family are peaking, so the last thing you need is to be burned out from work.
Studies have shown that even a 5-minute break from the madness can help refresh your mind and body. Here are some proven techniques for getting de-stressed:
Close your eyes and concentrate on taking slow, deep, regular breaths. Count to 4 while you breathe in, 4 while you breathe out. Breathing relaxes the body while counting frees your mind by blocking out all other thoughts.
Visualize your happy place.
Take a mental vacation to a beautiful peaceful scene, either a favorite memory of someplace you'd like to go in the future. If you have internet access, find some wonderful guided meditations here.
Tune in and tune out.
Put on your headphones and listen to some soothing music. Combine music with visualization for even more relaxing power.
Progressive muscle relaxation.
You may not even realize how tense your body is until you try this. Start by squinching up by your face muscles as hard as you can for a couple of seconds, then release them completely. Repeat with each muscle group, working down to your feet.
Stress eating done right.
There's a reason why so many of us eat to relieve stress: it works! But don't run to the vending machine. Instead, have something satisfying (i.e. protein dense) but reasonably healthy on hand. Maximize your enjoyment by focusing your whole mind on every bite.
Have a laugh.
A good chuckle instantly breaks the tension. Tell jokes with colleagues, or check out the latest updates on your favorite lol website.
Press it out.
A number of acupressure points on your body are said to help ease tension and anxiety, relieve fatigue and unblock energy flow. They include:
On your hand: In the webbing between thumb and forefinger.
On your shoulder: Half way between the end of the shoulder and the base of the neck
On your head: The base of the skull on either side of the spine.
Press and massage each point for 5 to 10 seconds.