Sure, we all know that exercising regularly is a great way to reduce stress. Unfortunately, this holiday season leaves many of us without enough time, (or energy), to make it to the gym as often as we should. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Feeling guilty about not working out is liable to leave you even more stressed.
If you have just 5-15 minutes, you can reduce your stress levels with these 3 simple tips. And don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you about, “Quick and easy exercises you can do on your lunch break,” or anything remotely exercise related.
Easy Ways to Reduce Stress without Exercise
1. Laughter Really is the Best Medicine! The busy holiday season may not seem innately funny, but if you look hard enough, you’re sure to find reasons to laugh each and every day.
Pushy people in line at the store ruining your holiday shopping experience? Rather than letting them stress you out, try laughing at how silly they are for getting all worked up over shopping. Laughter is totally contagious and by laughing in public, you may even help people around you relax.
Having a hard time finding things funny? Watch your favorite comedy movie or check out some standup comedians online. Late night talk shows always crack me up. Especially The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. Can’t wait until late night for some laughter therapy? You can watch Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on the Comedy Central website. As an added bonus, they have lots of great standup comedian videos too.
2. Get More Vitamin D – Sunny days may be limited a bit more during winter, but they do still exist. Take advantage of each and every sunny day you can by spending at least 10-20 minutes outside. Natural sunlight is a great source of Vitamin D and studies show that spending time outside also helps to lower blood pressure and reduce stress.
Shorter winter days may seem against you getting your time in the sun, especially if you have to work late. If you head into work before sunrise and don’t get home until after dark, try to run outside for a quick dose of the sun’s rays at lunch. Someone at work need an errand done? Volunteer to do it for them if it means you’ll get to spend some time outside. As an added bonus, your coworkers will think you’re awesome for volunteering.
3. Take a Bath. I don’t know about you but more often than not, I shower rather than taking a bath. I enjoy baths and I’ve always found them relaxing but at some point I’ve convinced myself that showering is faster. As a busy working woman, I obviously don’t have time to take a bath!
Studies confirm that spending just 15 minutes in a hot bath, (or a hot tub should you be so lucky to have one), can be more effective at reducing stress and anxiety than prescription medications. Just 15 minutes! I sometimes spend longer in the shower! I love baths and with the added benefits of stress and anxiety reduction, I’ve started taking a lot more of them.
Don’t let the stress of the holidays overwhelm you. Give yourself permission to take 5-15 minutes to relax and reduce stress naturally with these all-natural, super simple, and totally free stress reduction tips. Enjoy!