When undergoing a lot of stress, it’s important to get plenty of rest, exercise, and eat a healthy diet. It’s also helpful to practice active relaxation techniques – especially when having a difficult day. Here are five delightful and sometimes surprising ways to relax, relieve stress and improve your mood.
- Adopt a pet – Our furry friends give us unconditional love, and are always there when we need them. Just snuggling up with my cat in my lap relaxes me. Did you know that pets are good for your health? During times of stress, relating to a pet can even lower your blood pressure.
- Listen to your favorite music – At the end of a stressful workday, listening to your favorite music elicits feelings of joy. Music not only reduces anxiety and boosts our mood, but also helps us sleep better (which is another stress-reducer).
- Take a nap – According to Weill Cornell Medical Center, a mid-afternoon nap can help improve mood, memory, and learning – and it won’t interfere with night-time sleep. If you have the flexibility in your day to take a cat nap, do it. Snoozing for just 20 minutes improves alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy.
- Take a nature walk – Spend time outdoors in natural settings to relieve anxiety. Surprisingly, as little as five minutes a day of walking in a city park, cycling, gardening, or other outdoor activity can boost your mood and sense of well-being (according to a study from the University of Essex, England). When I worked at HP, I would take a walk outside along the par-course during my lunch hour. I’d come back to work refreshed and ready to tackle my work again.
- Have sex – If you feel like you’re too tired to have sex after a long, hard day, think again. Sex has many benefits. Sex causes the brain to release endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that act as painkillers and reduce anxiety. What’s more, sexual activity is associated with lower levels of depression, according to a study in the journal Society and Mental Health.
Pick your favorite idea and try it out the next time you need to relax and unwind after a tough day. You’ll be delighted with the difference it makes.
For ideas on managing your stress during the work day, listen to Managing Workplace Stress CD.
Are you not as productive as you’d like to be? Maybe your beliefs and attitudes towards time are holding you back. Here are five myths related to time management. Review these to determine if old, out-dated beliefs are hampering your productivity.
Myth #1: There isn’t enough time.
How many times have you said, “There isn’t enough time.” The truth is that you and the most accomplished people have the same amount of time. We all have just 24 hours in the day, and 168 hours in the week – no more and no less. It’s how you choose to prioritize your time that makes a difference.
Myth #2: I’ve got to figure out ways to save time.
There is no such thing as saving time; however we can certainly utilize our time better to become more efficient.
Myth #3: The more I work the more I’ll get done.
Just because you work more hours, doesn’t mean you’ll accomplish more. Activity isn’t the same as accomplishment. In fact, if we work ourselves to the point of becoming fatigued, we are actually less productive. Research shows it take five-times longer to solve a problem when we’re fatigued.
Myth #4: If you want a job well done, then you have to do it yourself.
Many people think they have to perform a task themselves in order to do it right. However, that’s not necessarily true. Top achievers orchestrate the work flow and trust the talents of others. They’ve learned to delegate effectively, and therefore get more accomplished.
Myth #5: High achievers work harder than others.
High achievers don’t necessarily work harder than others, they work smarter than others. They know their priorities and focus on the right things. They also make more efficient use of their time.
For tips on how to better utilize your time, listen to Take Control of Your Time audio CD.