As a massage therapist, stress relief is kind of my thing. People pay me money to help get rid of their stress, even if only for the hour they are on my table. Wouldn’t we all love to have an hour to destress?
As much as I’d like to report that I live a stress free, zen life, let’s be real: I’m a mom. I’m a human. Stress is a part of my life as much as the next person’s. I find myself always running out of time for myself. I’m lucky if I can find an hour a day to focus on me. What I do have at my disposal is a bag of tricks to help me deal when stress gets to be too much.
Holidays always bring about stress, so as we head into that season, here are a few quick things you can do to tackle the stress. They each take less than five minutes!
Set a timer
I have these little magnetic timers from IKEA and I use them for everything. House a mess and feel overwhelmed? Set a Cleaning timer for 5 minutes and do nothing but clean during that time. Get the kids to help. Need a mom timeout? Set the timer for 5 minutes and tell everyone they can’t talk to you until the timer goes off. Need a quick workout? Set a timer for a minute and do jumping jacks, marches, etc for that time period.
Aromatherapy is so hot right now….you can’t meet up with a group of moms without someone selling you on essential oils and they are definitely useful. You don’t have to go crazy and buy a mega kit of all the oils (I’m not going to judge you if you do though). Sniff some lavender for an instance calming effect. Having some foggy moments? Sniff some lemon oil or just smell a real lemon. Don’t have a single E.O. in the house? Smell some vanilla extract. For bonus points put a few drops of the extract in water and simmer the pot on the stove, you’ll feel better in a jiffy.
Drink some water
In times of stress,self care is so important and as a mom it can be so hard to do (get enough sleep? yeah right). Being fully hydrated will make it much easier to deal with what life throws at you.
Stretch and move whenever possible
Movement is so important, find those times when you can be silly with your kids on the floor.
Filling up gas at the gas station? Bend your neck, touch your toes, do calf raises on the gas station island– your body will thank you later.
As a mom, we hardly ever really exist in the present moment, we usually have our heads full of the 4265375 things we have to do. Finding a sliver of time to clear your head and be present is a wonderful way to kick stress out. Find a chair, set a timer (see above) for 5 minutes and start to focus on three things: Back, seat, feet. Feel your back….is there any tension there? I bet there is, Breathe and relax. Feel the back of the chair against your back. Back,seat, feet. Next feel your seat….feel the chair against your seat, noticing any tension and breathing at out. Finally focus on your feet on the floor. Repeat again: back, seat, feet. keep going until the timer goes off and you feel refocused!
Hopefully these ideas get you thinking about stealing those tiny moments for yourself. With the holidays upon us it can seem like every hour of our day is schedule with something. Take five minutes out of that hour and do something for you.
What would you do with five minutes?