Friday Five: 5 Ways to Destress

1. Take a deep breath.

Don’t move. Feel the breath go in your mouth, through your throat, into the chest, into the belly. Out the belly, the chest, the throat, the mouth. Breath it into your fingers and your toes. Close your eyes. Listen. Breathe.

2. Meditate for 5 minutes.

If this is hard, try repeating a mantra as you sit, cross-legged, in a comfortable seat. Perhaps sit on a blanket. Back and neck are long. On the inhale, think, LET, on the exhale, GO. Inhale, LET, exhale, GO. Set a timer, or just stop when you’re ready.

3. Accept yourself today. (Or at least try.)

Don’t wait for when you are thinner, are in better shape, get a promotion, accomplish some goal. Accept yourself today, because it’s wasting time if you can only think about the future or the past. Be present, and be okay with you as you are. (This is not to say don’t have goals – just don’t beat yourself up if you’re not where you want to be.)

4. Drink a cup of tea. Savor it.

Be present as you sip your hot drink from the mug. Feel the warmth in your hands. Feel the tea in your belly. Watch when and where your mind starts to wander.

5. Try a sun salutation.

The simplest sun salutation variation I know is this:

Inhale, sweep your arms up overhead, press the palms, look up.

Exhale, swan dive forward, fold over your legs.

Inhale, look forward, flat back.

Exhale, fold.

Inhale, reverse the swan dive, sweep arms up, press the palms, look up.

Exhale, bring hands to prayer at your heart.

Repeat.

5 Friday 5 Links:

Five random Q’s.

  1. What was your first wristwatch like?
    –I don’t remember.
  2. What lately seems to have been a thief of time?
    –My “chitta vritti” – the whirlings and turnings of the mind. I’ve been distracted and unable to focus. Need to reign it in and start being present.
  3. What were yesterday’s quietest five minutes like?
    –Savasana after an Ashtanga practice.
  4. In what way have you lately been saving time?
    –More home yoga practice instead of going to the studio. Good in that it saves time; bad in that I probably am not doing all the poses I should be doing. I don’t feel like I am really making a conscious effort to save time though. Home practice was just accidental.
  5. We are often charged hourly rates for labor, but we never get to reciprocate in kind when promised completion times don’t match actual completion. If you could bill people for the time you spend waiting, what would be a reasonable amount?
    –This could be like some deadlines in school – for every day it’s late, it’s a letter grade off. I suppose a reasonable “letter grade” charge would that any additional work past the original estimate would be at least 10% off. So you are basically charging them 10% of the wage.

7 Comments on Friday Five: 5 Ways to Destress

  1. kim
    20 January, 2012 at 10:25 pm (2 years ago)

    Happy New Year, Maggie! Can’t believe it’s going to snow in NYC! Brrr…

    I always have trouble maintaining a balance and I believe all your five points are valid, just got to execute them myself. :)

    • Maggie
      20 January, 2012 at 10:27 pm (2 years ago)

      @kim: Happy new year to you too! I am not looking forward to the snow but it had to come sometime, right?!

  2. sophia
    21 January, 2012 at 12:26 am (2 years ago)

    How coincidental. I just finished writing an article on afternoon tea, and the lede was about the need of a break from the fast-paced modern life with a traditional cup of tea. :-)

    I tend to gulp down mine.

  3. Jenn
    22 January, 2012 at 7:39 am (2 years ago)

    love this post! My biggest go-to to cut down on stress is exercise. Even a 15 minute walks helps a ton.

  4. Gena
    22 January, 2012 at 8:26 am (2 years ago)

    Like many people, I consider stress my nemesis, so this post is of course a great help. Thanks Maggie!!

  5. Biz
    22 January, 2012 at 4:06 pm (2 years ago)

    I could have used some of those stress techniques this week Maggie! I actually go to Good Will stores in high end neighborhoods for work out clothes – no problem getting name brand stuff that look brand new.

    Enjoy your Sunday!

  6. glidingcalm
    24 January, 2012 at 8:38 am (2 years ago)

    I like this post!!! :D