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Stress-busting techniques - Part 5

Take a Long, Hot Bath

Who doesn't like a hot bath after a tough day? A 10 to 20-minute soak in the tub is great for melting away stress and getting you and your body into a relaxed state. Whether you sit in a bubble bath reading a magazine, listening to music, or simply just “being,” a nightly bath can be a fabulous way to unwind and prepare for sleep.

MYTH BUSTING!

“My body is stronger when I work it out every day.”

While more is usually better when it comes to sleep, more is not better when it comes to working out. In fact, if you work out too much, your muscles can become weaker and your performance can suffer (not to mention it feels terrible and you become a cranky pants). Taking one to two days to recover every week — plus getting adequate sleep each night — is a must. Proper rest gives your body time to rebuild, rest, and get stronger!

YOGA FOR STRESS RELIEF

Stress-busting techniques

Yoga is a great way to unwind. So grab a yoga mat or a piece of carpet and try this stress-relief workout before you go to bed at night to stretch out and decompress. (Note: This workout also counts as flexibility training — bonus!)

MOUNTAIN POSE WITH DEEP BREATHING

How to do it: This yoga pose may look like you're just standing straight up, but it's much more than that. With your legs together, press your feet into the floor. Pull your belly button in as you bring your shoulder blades together in your back. Push your shoulders down away from your ears as you slightly lift your head up, bringing your chin down just slightly so that your spine is straight. Hold this position as you do ten deep breaths, consciously moving the breath throughout your entire body.

Stress-busting techniques

What it does: This pose helps you to have better posture and body alignment. The deep breathing also calms the mind and body.

Tip: If your mind begins to wander and starts thinking about all the things you need to do tomorrow, just redirect it back to focusing on your breath. The more you do this pose, the more your focus will improve.

DOWNWARD-FACING DOG

How to do it: This is the quintessential yoga pose. Starting with your hands and knees on the floor, push your hips up to the ceiling, straightening your legs as much as you can. Then, pushing your shoulders away from your ears, extend your arms so that they're straight, too. Try to drive your heels down as much as is comfortable. Hold for five deep breaths.

Stress-busting techniques

What it does: Downward-Facing Dog is a full-body stretch that is great for the hamstrings and calves. It also works your upper-body and core as you hold the position.

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