Reducing Stress, Five Minutes at a Time

I planned on showing you my Ode to Denim outfits today, but two things changed my mind.

1. A friend tweeted about her need to take better care of herself. Stress from work is taking its toll.

2. Hubby, who has the girls during the day while he’s on leave from work, reached his limit. Lil Ma woke up too early, didn’t nap long enough and whined nonstop. I could tell he needed relief when he fussed at Mini Me because she didn’t want lettuce on her chicken sandwich.

After Lil Ma slapped a spoonful of peaches across the room, Hubby went into the basement. We finished dinner without him. I left a sandwich on the oven. A while later, I heard footsteps, and then the sandwich was gone.

Life throws a lot at us. On any given day, there are countless things that could change me from Bruce Banner into the Hulk.

Five minutes can make the difference. It may not seem like all that much, but I’ve learned to use the time to quiet my nerves and focus on solutions. Here are a few things I do to quiet my inner Hulk.

Get some distance. At work, a never-ending to do list and an overflowing inbox give me heartburn. Walking away from my computer for a few minutes allows me to gain perspective. When the girls are pushing my buttons at home, I’ll ask Mini Me to keep an eye on her sister while I handle some in-house errand like putting laundry into the washer.
Breathe. I hold my breath and hunch my shoulders when I’m stressed. The resulting neck cramp can last for days if I’m not careful. After the girls are asleep, I sit, enjoy the silence, and take some deep breaths. It helps my shoulders get back to where they belong.
Yoga. When the deep breaths don’t cut it, I pull out the yoga mat. By focusing on the poses, I’m able to clear my mind and let go of what’s bothering me, even if it’s just for a little while.
Online Window Shopping/Pinterest. When I’m developing a project at work or writing at home, I give myself five-minutes “breaks” after completing a portion of the task. Setting the timer on my phone helps me steer clear of rabbit holes.
Not everything is for everyone. Hubby, for example, needs about two hours in his man cave with a game controller or a remote in hand. Even if these ideas aren’t for you, I hope you are encouraged to find something that works.
What tips do you have for relieving stress?
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