No matter your circumstances, this year has been turbulent and you may be hoping to slow down, relax and recharge as the year draws to a close.
Taking a break from your daily tasks and routine – even for a moment – is a great way to improve your mood. Here are three ways you can slow down and relieve stress anywhere, at any time.
1. Get moving
Moving our bodies triggers the brain to release feel-good hormones called endorphins, which can help reduce stress and increase your energy. Physical activity can be any active movement, such as dancing in your living room to your favourite song, playing your favourite sports in your backyard, or doing some ‘on the place marching’ (knees up as high as comfortable) while watching your favourite movie or TV show. If you prefer to stay seated, you could try toe taps, knee lifts or tummy twists. For inspiration, check out these free strength, mobility and balance, chair yoga and at home exercises with weights videos.
2. Connect with your breath
When we’re stressed, we can sometimes hold our breath, take shallow sips of air, or hyperventilate, all without even noticing – which can create even more stress. The good news is that by taking time to notice your breath and take slow, full breaths, it will help relieve stress. Take a moment to try some guided mindfulness activities, designed especially for children, teenagers and adults (below).
3. Step outside
When we feel overwhelmed, it can be helpful to step away from a task and seek natural light and fresh air. Sitting in the sun for 15 minutes (with sunscreen on) can provide a quick boost of Vitamin D, which is often referred to as 'the happy hormone'. If you have a backyard with some grass, take off your shoes, walk barefoot, and notice the feel of the earth under your feet. This can give us a sense of ‘grounding’ and spending these moments outside has been proven to have a positive effect on our mental wellbeing.
Want more information?
Looking after our physical, mental and social wellbeing can help us face life’s challenges and lead happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.
If you're interested in learning more about looking after your wellbeing and coping with stress, visit our page on building resilience.