1) Take some deep breaths
You may just need to take a moment to breathe. Often times when we are anxious or stressed out we will tense up and take shallow breaths. This is a defense mechanism that comes naturally to us. One way to combat it is to take 10 long deep breath. You can do this anywhere (including in meetings) but to get the most out of the exercise you may want to find a quiet corner with no one moving around close your eyes and take the breaths.
2) Make a list
When you are ruminating over the “million” things that you have to get done, you can really get going in circle and get yourself pretty wound up. One of the best ways to fight this problem is just to get everything down on paper/ to-do list on your phone. When you get everything down you begin so see that your list may not be as insurmountable that you may have thought before. Taking it out of your head and making it a concrete list removes it from the abstract and gives your mind something concrete to focus on. It also relives the stress of thinking that you’re forgetting to do something. It is a good practice to start your day at work by making a list of what you plan to achieve that day in bite sized chunks and tackling those things one at a time.
3) Take a page out of Buddha’s book: Meditate
Add meditation into your morning routine. Ideally use the first 10 minutes of your day for it. Don’t worry about clearing your mind or trying to repeat a mantra over and over. Just take some time to be with yourself. Just try to be completely in the moment and check in with yourself. You can do this by taking a mental inventory of all of the physical sensations you are feeling. You can even pray. Just anything to start your day thinking about yourself and not what the day will hold. Self-care is of paramount importance.
4) Get outside
I know that it is really difficult to pull away from Instagram, Facebook, and your emails, but it is really important to just get outside and take in some fresh air. Go out without your phone, so that it won’t distract you and reacquaint yourself with nature. Watch the birds chase each other, or the squirrels packing acorns into a nook of a tree. If you’re fortunate enough to be close to a body of water, watch and listen to it. Observe each moment. Being outdoors is healing to both the mind and body.
I feel in credible after a workout thanks to the endorphins that are coursing through my body. Nothing like a good old workout high. When you work out you aren’t able to focus on much more that the next rep or getting through the next high intensity interval on the elliptical. Working out allows you to get out any pent-up frustration of anxiety that you have with the effort that you are putting out. Movement is one of the best ways to reduce stress.
These are just 5 ways that have helped me to destress. There are numerous other ways to relax. All that matters is that you do them.