Life can be a bit stressful at times. Balancing work and family, navigating a health condition like COVID-19 or the coronavirus pandemic, or even just trying to stay healthy can cause a lot of mental and emotional strain. The good news is that there are simple ways to relax and de-stress.
Breathing exercises are the easiest and most effective way to reduce tension. Try taking deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, and notice how this helps you to slow down. Alternatively, try placing a few drops of a soothing scent on your wrist or temples to help you focus on relaxing. Lavender, chamomile, and sage are common scents that can help ease stress.
Visualization techniques can also be helpful for reducing anxiety, as well as other symptoms of depression and stress, such as muscle tension and fatigue. You can use a technique like progressive muscle relaxation, which involves slowly tensing and then relaxing each group of muscles, or a guided meditation where you visualize a peaceful scene. Yoga, tai chi, and qigong are other physical relaxation techniques that combine breath focus with flowing movements, which can be especially helpful for people with chronic pain or physical limitations.
These relaxation techniques can take time to learn, and it’s best to practice them regularly so they become a natural part of your routine. If you find that one relaxation strategy doesn’t work for you, don’t give up – try another technique or ask your doctor about alternatives if you have any concerns.