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Are you overstressed? Your life moves at lightning speed and your schedule is jam packed. You know your stress level is way too high (and so is your blood pressure) but you don’t have an extra hour to spend at the spa or lounging on a meditation mat. So how do you manage to keep up without burning out? Here are five stress relieving tips that even the busiest people can work into their day.

Breathe

We’re breathing all the time, right? But when is the last time you paid attention to your breath? Chances are, you spend a lot of time breathing quick, shallow breathes – particularly when you’re stressed. The next time you notice yourself needing a little stress relief, pause and take three deep breathes – long inhales and long exhales. This will do wonders to calm the nervous system, relieve tension in the body and bring a calmness to the mind. I like to do this when I’m waiting in line at the grocery store or while I’m on hold with customer service. The more regularly you do this, the more of a habit and natural reaction to stress it becomes.

Take a quick yoga break

A lack of time is no excuse here. All you need is seven minutes for this Yoga for Stress Relief – 7 minute practice. And if even that’s too long, try this five minute Quick Stress Fix video. They’re both free YouTube videos you can do any time, any place, and you don’t have to be a crazy flexible yogi to do it (or have any yoga experience at all). A short break to engage your body can be a total game changer. You can access these videos on your phone, a computer or tablet, making it a convenient way to sneak in a little stress relief no matter where you are.

Prioritize

Your to-do list can become massive and completely overwhelming when things really get busy. Everyone needs something from you and it seems like there are not enough hours in the day. Prioritizing helps you stay focused and on track. It can also help you make decisions quicker. Take a half hour in the morning to decide what’s most important and what can wait. Write out your schedule for the day and use your priority list as a guide as things come up during the day. The more you do this, the easier it becomes to identify which tasks take priority and what items can be delegated or put aside.

Eat Something

Nothing makes me crankier than a growling stomach, and nothing can ruin a day quite like a bad attitude. Not only that, but hunger can make it hard to focus and cause feelings of anxiousness and overall fatigue. Keep your mind and body sharp by packing healthy snacks when you’re on the go. Keep a bottle of water on hand and remember your physical health when setting your priorities for the day. How you feel affects the way you act, and how you act affects everything around you. Keep your day running smooth by keeping yourself running smooth.

Laugh

The quickest way to de-stress is to laugh. Find a funny video online or a stand-up comedy show to get your mind off things and loosen up.  You can even listen to a humorous podcast while you do paperwork or while you’re driving to your next meeting (hello, multi-tasking). Laughter truly is the best medicine. It relieves stress, reminds us not to take things too seriously and brings a bit of balance into our lives – and it’s fun!

You don’t need to escape on a three week long relaxation retreat to find stress relief. You can work it into your daily life if you’re intentional about it and make it a priority. Your mental and physical health will thank you – and so will everyone around you. So try a few (or all) of these tips and find something that works for you.

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