Do you ever find yourself in the middle of chaos-- in your office, in your classroom, in the car, in your home-- and just feel like calling a big fat time out?
Please. Must I even ask this question!? We've all been there.
Summer is for chilling, man! (insert hippiest voice here.)
This week, I offer you 5 SUPER SHORT ways to decompress, hit the reset button, cool your jets, relax, and just chill-- all in 5 minutes or less.
They all work--but some are more realistic than others in certain situations. Pick and choose based on what's going on and where and see how much better you feel when you push pause for a minute.
1. Take 5 slow deep breaths, eyes closed, and center yourself.
This is straight out of meditation practice, but you don't have to fully get in a meditative state to reap the benefits of this. It's amazing how taking a deep, slow breath in for 6 seconds, and a slow breath out for 6 seconds, 5 times, can eradicate situational anxieties. Just pull over first if you need a moment to recenter while driving. :)
2. Play your favorite song and sing at the top of your lungs. (Bonus points if you dance.)
Obviously, this one doesn't work in every situation, but it's my favorite de-stress thing to do in the car. Think you can't dance in a car? Well, then you've never seen Dana and I do our car dance to Africa by Toto. And for this, I feel sorry for you. ;) Go ahead. Bust that Rhythm Nation CD out and groove.
3. Make a list.
When I'm feeling overwhelmed (which is often--but, I'm working on it), one of the best ways to make me feel centered again is to write down all of the things I need to tackle to get to the relaxing place I long to be. Therefore, to-do lists are my friends. It helps to have one place you keep these lists and that you actually cross things off. It also helps to write one or two things you've already completed for the day, just for the sake of crossing them off. Psych yourself out. It helps, I swear.
4. Write it out.
I can't say enough about writing as a way to clear space in your head. Maybe a list doesn't help with the kind of overwhelm you're feeling and you need to just purge all the yuck going on around you. Write it out. Set a timer on your phone for 5 minutes and put that pen to paper. Don't have a pen and paper handy? Type it out on your notepad function on your phone. Warning: This one can be sticky. Often when I'm overwhelmed I see what's wrong with everyone else and want to blame them for the chaos. This exercise is for you, though. Instead of writing out for 5 minutes why you're so upset at someone else, with the intention of giving it to them (for whatever reason--to stick it to 'em, to make them sorry, to get them to change) make your intention to just clear your head space. Throw the paper away when you're done. Delete the note on your phone. You don't need it anymore. If we physically hold on to the yuck we just purged from our heads by keeping all your let go, you're not really letting it go. Your spirit wants to be light. Let it.
5. Talk to yourself.
I've mentioned before the power of affirmations. They work. Repeat to yourself the outcome you want to manifest. For example, you can't find anything to wear. Men rarely have this problem? Why? I have no scientific proof, just years and years of being a woman, living with other women, and teaching adolescent girls: women feel like they have nothing to wear because they often don't like how they look. No matter how beautiful they are. You know there's some truth to this. So try talking to yourself. If you live with other people who will think you're crazy, mouth it to yourself in the mirror. "I am beautiful and I look great." "I'm beautiful and I look great." "I'm beautiful and I look great." This is sometimes called "acting as-if" or "faking it 'til you make it." And that's ok. Can't think of anything to say to yourself? Try a quote or a piece of scripture that inspires you. Repeat it over and over to yourself and see if it doesn't start taking some pressure off.
Do you have other ways of decompressing? What works for you?
Comment below, or come join the conversation on the Compliment Facebook Page. Share this with a friend who could use a little chill time for herself.
Can't wait to hear how it goes!
P.S. I WANT TO WISH MY DAD A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TODAY! I love you, Dad!
P.P.S. So many big things are happening these days at Compliment!
-In case you missed it, our first installment of the Compliment Soul Care Series was released a couple weeks ago. We interviewed the award-winning screenwriter, author, and activist Toni Ann Johnson, and talked with her about forgiveness, joy, and making time to do the things you love.