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Life is busy! There is no question that in today’s fast-paced world, we work more and relax less. It’s really easy to forget to apply the deep-breathing techniques our doctors tell us about at every check-up. The key is to find small relaxing rewards that fit your schedule and lifestyle. Here is a list of small things I do to relax, recharge and rejuvenate in a world that seems to move at light speed:

Take a walk

Getting up from your desk to take a walk can relax you instantly. Your blood begins to flow as you move around and giving your eyes a rest from focusing on a computer screen can reduce tension. Studies show that walking at least 10,000 steps a day can help to reduce the risk of heart disease. 

Take a break from your mobile devices

Not all day, just for 15 minutes! I would not know what to do without my cell phone, but taking a break from news alerts, social media and the constant thumb and wrist strain for a few short minutes a day can be refreshing. The latest viral video or meme will be there when you get back. Unplugging for a short time can help you refocus on your daily mission and give you the opportunity to disengage from the chatter that distracts and causes stress. 

Drive in silence

The work commute can be a real bummer. You are in stand-still traffic for 20 minutes because your GPS app says there is “fog up ahead.” Fog? There is bumper to bumper traffic because of that? Sigh. There are ways to find peace in a frustrating traffic jam. Turn off the radio for 20 minutes and collect your thoughts. Don’t worry about dinner or the work emails you have to reply to, you will get to that stuff – but in this silent moment in your car, you are listening to your thoughts. Ask yourself “Self, what do we want to accomplish today?” or “Self, did we do what we set out to do today?” Taking a moment to check-in with your deepest desires or wishes can center you. Don’t miss the chance to do something productive when stuck in traffic. 

Get a massage or pedicure

This is a service that men and women can fully enjoy together or individually. Schedule a couple’s massage or pedicure and spend time with your significant other. Household responsibilities cause tremendous stress and recharging can be as simple as getting a babysitter for two-hours and reconnecting with your life-partner. If you are single, grab a good book and indulge. Make it a “day about you” and grab lunch or dinner after your relaxing spa treatments. 

Call your best friend or mom 

It’s easy to get so busy that our relationships suffer. When you are in need of a short break, call your best friend and vent. If you are fortunate enough to have a parent or relative to call – do it. Tell them how your day went and that you love them. It’s amazingly relaxing to just say, “Hi – I was thinking about you, how was your day?” Listening to others and being there for them can help center you. It may also remind you that your troubles aren’t nearly as bad as you once thought. 

Smile

Smiling has been proven to impact your brain and improve your mood. It helps you appear more attractive to others and brings positive energy into your atmosphere.

Aolani Donegan

About Aolani Donegan

Aolani Donegan is a social media communications specialist at BCBSNC. She is passionate about family, food, sports, and media.

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