In my early twenties I shared a small, intense, 60-hour-a-week-boiler-room office with my best friend Marion. Our desks faced each other so it was easy for her to see when I reached maximum overload. In the midst of a grimace, another cup of java and a coffin nail reach Marion would give me a big smile and say, “Relax Max.”
I could have used that smile last week, but never mind … I’m a bigger, smarter girl now and I have a toolbox full of chill out techniques. (Had to develop this because stress is a major contributor to Adrenal Fatigue.)
Hmmmm. What shall I do before I make waffles? How about something QUICK!
5 Minute Relaxation Opportunities:
Stress Magnet: Shoulders
Shoulder lift, circles and rub-a-dub. Lift: Close your eyes lift your shoulders to your ears and take five slow breaths. Circles: This is almost like dancing in your chair! Roll your right shoulder forward and around five times – your left will have to follow. Rub-a-dub: You don’t have to wait for an appointment with your masseuse or body worker to help your shoulders and neck relax. Rub an ample supply of yummy smelling lotion between your hands and work it into your shoulders and neck. Feel any knots? Join the club! Gently rub them out (this make take a couple sessions, be patient!)
Stress Magnet: Hands
Rub-A-Dub: Nothing get more use and abuse than our hands! Get some more of that yummy lotion (I have mango lotion!) and work your way around the palm and fingers of one hand, then move onto the other. When you’re done give them a good, energizing shake! (If you do heavy keyboarding shake out your hands every hour and give them a couple rubs a day. Minutes a day can save your from the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome and its ultimate solution – surgery.)
Stress Magnet: Back
S-t-r-e-t-c-h. It’s easy. Sit in your chair with both feel flat on the floor. Place your left hand on your right knee. Twist gently as far as you can to the right. You want to be looking over your right shoulder. Hold for five breaths then release and return to facing front. Now put your right hand on your left knee and twist your body to the left. Ummmmm. Feels good doesn’t it?
Stress Magnet: Monkey Mind
You know that feeling … too much to think about piling up on even more to think, worry and stress about. I have a couple techniques for this dozy!
See it – Name it Exercise:
Pick a single room and walk around it naming everything you see out loud. “I see my favorite blue parrot lamp. I see my nightstand. I see my joy dog Albert on my bed.” Continue until you feel your mind relax. Focusing on what is tangible pushes out the intangibles (fear/worry/anxiety.)
Make a Note of It and Give Thanks Exercise:
Try writing a Thank You Note to someone AND be stressing out about something. Again, the monkey mind can’t do both at the same time. As you write and thank and remember an act of kindness the stress just melts away …. A fringe benefit to this may be a friendly phone call or card back!
Gratitude A-B-C List Exercise: This is along the lines of the Thank You Note. Write down the letters of the alphabet on a piece of paper or in your journal. Spend five minutes listing out everyone, every pet, every possession for which you are grateful. Stop after five minutes and return to repeat the process tomorrow. As your list grows, so does your peace of mind.
For more relaxing, energy-boosting ideas, pick one of these topics: Come To Your Senses; Best Time of The Day; Watch Your Thinking; Quietest Place On Earth; Re-energizing Power of the Pup & Purr; Music to Soothe The Beast and Health Benefits of Friendship.
For more information about Adrenal Fatigue and for the results of our “When Are You Most Tired” Poll, click here.