Reduce Stress – 12 Quick Ways to Slow Down

© 2013 Christy King
© 2013 Christy King

“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves.”

– Jack Kornfield

No matter how careful you are to simplify your schedule, odds are good you’ll still have an occasional ridiculously busy day or week.

Maybe you’ve decided the busyness is worth it so you can take a class or visit with a friend. Perhaps you’re overloaded because a friend needed help with a home repair or a relative is in the hospital.

Whatever the reason for your full plate, remember, being busy doesn’t mean you have to be stressed. You can significantly reduce stress by taking only a few minutes out of your day.

12 easy ways to reduce stress

Below are a dozen ideas for quick ways to slow down. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s not.

You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference just stopping for a few seconds can make. None of these suggestions takes more than 5 minutes, and many take less than a minute at a time.

1. Meditate, pray or just sit in silence for 5 minutes.

2. Put stickers on several areas you’ll see occasionally throughout the day. Each time you see one, take a couple of deep breaths. Use removable stickers so you don’t create more stress trying to get them off later!

3. If you normally listen to the news on your commute, turn it off for enough time to listen to a song or two instead. Sing if you’re alone (or if you won’t disturb others).

4. Don’t sit at your desk for long stretches. Walk around a minute or two at least once an hour.

5. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth 10 times.

6. Drink a cup of relaxing herbal tea, such as chamomile.

7. Every time you get up to go to the restroom or head to the kitchen for a coffee refill, stretch for 30 seconds. If you’ve been hunched over your computer or paperwork, focus on your neck and shoulder muscles.

8. If you’re apart, call or text your child or significant other just to say “I love you.” If you’re together, hug them.

9. Give yourself a head massage.

10. Sniff a relaxing scent. I like lavender, but you may prefer sandalwood, vanilla, rose, or another relaxing scent. Light a scented candle or use an essential oil in a diffuser or on a cotton ball.

11. Take a 5 minute walk, outside if you can. Even a few minutes of fresh air is refreshing.

12. Savor a small piece of chocolate or other tiny treat.

Try to fit in more than one of these tips during the day if you can. I find using a few of these tips on my busiest days makes a big difference in my stress level.

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

Thank you, Carol and Michelle of Ahh the Simple Life, for giving me the Blog of the Year Award 2013. I appreciate both the award and your kind words about my blog.

The Blog of the Year Award is an award one blogger gives another. The way it works is, once you receive the award, you pay it forward, choosing one or more blogs to award.

While I read many wonderful blogs and it’s a difficult decision, my choices are Find a Simpler Life, Minimalist on Purpose and Joyfully Green, all of which focus on simplicity.

I’ll use the bloggers’ own words to describe their blogs.

  • Find a Simpler Life shares the author’s experiences relating to “the emergence of a simpler, happier life.”
  • Minimalist on Purpose is “about focusing and simplifying life to discover our life purpose and affect lasting impact.”
  • Joyfully Green is “for anyone who is looking to live a simpler, greener life, while enjoying a richer relationship with the natural world,” and has gorgeous photographs.

Please take a few moments to check out each of these blogs. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

4 thoughts on “Reduce Stress – 12 Quick Ways to Slow Down

  1. Congratulations on the award,and thanks for the nomination!

    This post has great timing, since we are all so busy this time of year. I have a restroom near my office, but I try to use the one at the other end of the building so I can take a little walk during the day. The peppermint hand lotion on the desk always lifts my spirits, too.

    • Thanks and you’re welcome. Peppermint is another of my favorite scents. I think I find the lavender the most relaxing just because when I’ve gone for a massage they use lavender scented oil, so my brain has extra reason to associate lavender with relaxation.

  2. Hello Christy,

    All of your suggestions are very good ones. My two favorites are: #3 and #12. For #3, I like to play some Linda Ronsdat and sing along. For #12, any good chocolate works wonders.

    Congratulations on your award. It’s very well-deserved. I like your three choices for passing the award along.

    Christmas blessings to you, your family, friends, and loved ones.

I'd love for you to share your ideas and experiences.