5 tried and tested strategies to deal with stress

Here are five tried and tested ways to beat stress, calm your nerves and just relax.

Taj Spa at Taj Exotica, Goa

Taj Spa at Taj Exotica, Goa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1) Make an appointment at your favorite spa for a relaxing head massage and wash, followed by a manicure and pedicure. There’s nothing as relaxing as just sitting back and giving yourself over to the magical fingers of your therapist as she massages the knots out of your shoulders. Bliss! Follow it up with a manicure and pedicure – apart from making you look like a million bucks, it will leave you feeling totally lucid. I promise.

2) Don’t have time for a leisurely spa treatment? Never mind. This next strategy takes just 5 minutes. Put on some soothing music (optional) and deep breathe. In and out. Watch your breath. Focus on it. If you start thinking of something else, gently bring your mind back to your breath. It will leave you feeling re-energized and filled with energy.

Central Park Bridges (view from Bridlepath loo...

Central Park Bridges (view from Bridlepath looking southwest), Gothic Arch, Spanning bridlepath south of tennis courts at nort, New York City, New York County, NY (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3) If action’s more to your liking, plug in your iPod and go for a walk – preferably in nature. There’s something calming about all that greenery.

4) If you find yourself unable to step out of the house try listening to some instrumental music. Classic overtures are excellent at taking us out of the humdrum of our daily lives and transporting us to a different state of being.

5) If all else fails, turn to the telly, more specifically, comedy. What’s your favorite funny movie of all time? Pop it into the DVD player and watch it. Mine is The Birdcage, by th way. No matter what my mood when i start watching that movie, 20 minutes in I’m laughing so hard my tummy hurts!

Now it’s your turn. What are your favorite stress busting strategies?

10 things in 10 mins

In our daily busy lives, as we go about meeting deadlines, keeping the house, looking after husbands, pets and children, it can be easy to forget the one person who needs the most care – you. If you’re bemoaning the lack of time, worry not.

Meditation Begins at Birth

premasagar via Flickr

Here are 10 things you can do for yourself in all of 10 minutes.

1. Meditate – The next time you’re online, download a few meditation podcasts, or check out my Spiritual Sunday posts and choose a piece of meditation music or guided meditation you like. Sync it to your music player (iPod) or phone. Next time you need a break, plug in your headphones and tune in to radio: you.

2. Collect images for an idea file/vision board – Dreaming of a relaxing spa treatment, a beach holiday, or something else? Set aside 10 minutes to scan through old magazines looking for pictures that speak to you. Clip them out and stick them into an envelope. Next time you need a mini break, get the envelope out, bring out a sheet of paper and a glue stick, and stick those images to make a collage of your very own vision board. Put it up where you can see it as you race through your busy day.

3. Breath yoga – Known as Pranayam in Yoga practice, are a set of simple breath exercises you can do in 10 minutes (or less, or more).

4. Listen to music – Music can change your mood – relax you, pep you up, make you dance or cry or fall in love all over again. Better still, if you’re at home faced with an unpleasant task (like cleaning up the house), put on some peppy music, turn up the volume, and dance as your clean!

A Sip of Turkish Coffee

Image by Kuzeytac via Flickr

5. Have a cuppa – A hot cup of tea or coffee, a slice of cake (if you want to be indulgent), quiet time for 10 minutes, and you’ll feel shiny and new. Promise!

6. Mini home facial – Put on some soft music – Chopin, Mozart, anything instrumental. Exfoliate your skin, apply a face mask, put a slice of cucumber over your eyes, and lay down for 5 minutes. Rinse. Apply a face cream. Fresh, smooth skin can make you feel absolutely wonderful!

7. A few quick photos – Take your mind off your to-do list. Grab your camera, yes, even your phone camera will do. Frame and fire off a few shots. Admire your mini creations.

Cover of

Cover of Messages from Your Angels

8. Quick 1-card reading – Get yourself an oracle deck – one of my favorites is Doreen Virtue’s Messages from your Angels. Next time you have 10 minutes, do a quick 1-card reading for yourself. The messages on the card deck are very uplifting, and might just help you shift your focus so you can approach your day from  a calmer place.

9. Read a poem/passage you love – I’ve found that reading a poem can help me shift my mood, no matter what kind of a mood I am in.

1o. Make a 5-min cup cake – click here for the recipe. Then snatch another few minutes to indulge in your guilty treat. If you’re feeling super generous, share it with your significant other! 😉

There you have it! A list of 10 things you can do in 10 minutes to recharge your batteries.

Do you have any favorites of your own? Do share in the comments!