5 ways to relax – even on your busiest days
You know taking time to relax is good for you, but with so many tasks and responsibilities, it might seem impossible. Nevertheless, relaxation can help fight heart disease, obesity and boost your resistance to colds.
Dr. Rian Rowles, a psychiatrist with Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., says even finding small ways to relax throughout the day can help keep you healthy. He recommends you incorporate these activities into your routine:
- Log off social media
According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America report, frequently checking social media puts you at a higher risk of experiencing stress. Instead of focusing on what everyone else is doing, stepping away from social media gives you time to focus on yourself. You don’t have to completely give up social media, but logging off a few minutes per day or turning notifications off on your phone can help.
- Commit to a relaxing activity
Committing to a weekly or daily activity gives you an excuse to get away from your to-do list and do something you enjoy. Dr. Rowles suggests activities such as taking a cooking class, exercising with friends or scheduling a game night. Regardless, make sure you pick an activity which will actually help you relax. It’s important not to add an activity that will make you feel over-extended.
- Take a quick walk
While going for a walk during work might seem inconvenient, it offers you time to clear your head, be alone for a few minutes and get in some exercise. Even talking a quick stroll through your office building or to the nearest water fountain can count.
- Listen to your favorite song
Music therapy is often used to help people heal and improve their quality of life. Listening to your favorite song, humming or singing is a great way to take a step back from your daily routine. To make things more interesting, Dr. Rowles recommends picking a new song to listen to each day or turning on the radio for a few minutes.
- Decompress during your commute
If you hit snooze too many times, it might seem like your morning is a blur of stress – from making sure your outfit is ironed to grabbing a quick breakfast and not forgetting your briefcase. No matter how late you’re running, you still have to commute to work. Instead of counting all the things you have to do or checking your email during your commute, take the time to call a friend, listen to music or just breathe. It’s the perfect time to relax.
About the Author
Jamie Bonnema, health enews contributor, is a specialist of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. She earned her BA in communications from DePaul University in Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, going to concerts, and cheering on the Chicago Cubs.