Whenever you feel really frazzled, it is helpful to take a 10-minute break in between stressful tasks in order to unwind.  During this short break, perform the following activities to de-stress:

  • Breathe:  Pay attention to your breathing.  Whether sitting or standing, focus on your breathing.  How full is your breath and are you breathing deep down in the bottom of your abdomen?
  • Tighten and Relax:  First with your hands and then your arms, feet, and legs, tighten each part of our body and hold it tightly for about 10 seconds.  Then release that area.  Do this with each quadrant of your body—tighten and release.
  • Visualize:  Think about a place or situation in which you remember feeling completely relaxed.  Close your eyes and take yourself back to the scene and take a deep breath, focusing on the relaxing feeling you had there.  Next, envision a stream of energy pouring through your body, washing away the stress, allowing it to leave your body with every out-breath.
  • Fresh Air:  If you are working inside and it is possible to go outside, take a moment to breathe deeply some fresh air.  If you are unable to do that or even in addition to fresh air, try smelling a few drops of naturally scented oil.  It can rejuvenate you, particularly scents like peppermint and citrus.

Taking a break, even though short, can provide just the shift that you need to release tension and move into a more balanced state.