Put a little vacation into your everyday PermalinkWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Tips to relax and rejuvenate in the midst of life 

The feasting is done, the kids are back in school and hopefully the in-laws have flown the coop. Life should be back to normal, right? If you’re anything like us perhaps you feel like you need a vacation to recover from the recent holiday break. Unfortunately, spring break is still months away, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer until then. Here are a few of our favorite tips for relaxing amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Studies show controlled breathing exercises can not only help relieve stress but also lower blood pressure and promote feelings of calm. In the morning, before you begin the day, sit on the edge of your bed or on the floor and spend a few minutes watching your inhale and exhale. As thoughts enter your mind, label them as “thoughts,” and gently direct your mind back to your breath. Start with 5 minutes and gradually increase as you feel comfortable.

Eat lunch away from your desk
Where you eat is nearly as important as what you eat. Research shows that stepping away, even if just for a few minutes, increasing feelings of relaxation and reduces cognitive control making it easier to read facial expression, connect with others and be creative. Leaving your desk is more than a way to break up the day however, take a break can also help you be more productive down the road, Fast Company reported. “You don’t have time to skip your lunch break,” Tom Rath, author of “Eat, Move, Sleep”, told Fast Company. “What you do at lunch can either make or break the rest of the day.”

Take a mid-day walk
You really do need to get out more. When you spend more time in nature, it’s hard not to feel more alive. Be it a walk around the block or a quick jaunt of a nearby trail, breathing air and moving your body is a great way to release endorphins and gain perspective. When you stand under a giant willow or gaze at the twinkling night sky, suddenly those big problems don’t seem so big anymore.  

Schedule a nap
Sure, it can be hard to find time for a nap midweek, but during the weekend don’t get locked into the trap of scheduling every second of your free time. Put a nap on the calendar and don’t look back. Naps increase alertness and are in easy way to relax and rejuvenate. A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34 percent and alertness by 100 percent. Consider it an investment in the rest of your day.

Put a massage on the calendar
Don’t relegate massages to birthdays and vacations. Due to massages multiple benefits on overall well being this is an indulgence that should be enjoyed often. Regular massage can be helpful for managing a myriad of ailments including: anxiety, digestive disorders, fibromyalgia and headaches. Look for Groupons to find massage deals in your area.

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