Got a lot to do and no time do it all? Welcome to the club. Unfortunately, the end of the year packs on the stress with holiday shopping, tight deadlines, heavy travel – you name it! What you really need is a week-long vacation, but that’s not in the cards right now. On the plus side, there are many ways to unwind with just a moment’s notice. These do-anywhere de-stressors allow your mind and body to take a short-but-restful break, so you feel re-energized and ready to tackle that to-do list.
Note: Being that I’m currently pregnant, some of the products mentioned below are specific to pregnancy. However, these tips are relevant to anyone with just a simple substitution here and there.
1. Pour a cup of warmth: Flannel blankets and fuzzy sweaters always offer comfort on a cold, hard day. But caffeine-free tea with chamomile may top the list. Sit down with a fresh mug of whatever warms your soul, and you’ll instantly feel your best.
2. Take note: Write in a journal, write up a recipe, write a song or just write out your to-do list to get organized. Whatever you do, write on an actual piece of paper with pen or pencil. Enjoy the craft of writing – and a few minutes without technology.
3. Shut down the brain: Sometimes, you need mindless entertainment, especially when your brain has been on overdrive for so many hours (or days or weeks!). Go ahead and indulge in TV time. Or, if you’re really exhausted, let yourself take a short nap. You’ll be amazed what 20-30 minutes of rest can do.
4. Lather up with lotion: Being eight-months pregnant right now, I’ve been using Motherlove Pregnant Belly Salve like it’s going out of style. But if stretch marks aren’t on your radar, any sweet-smelling lotion will do. The idea is to slowly give a self-massage to your hands, shoulders, feet or anywhere you feel tension.
5. Do some light reading: Distractions are not all bad. If you’re at work and need a break, shift your focus to some light-hearted reading, like a magazine or book that speaks to your hobbies. This may become a new learning experience or it may just be a nice distraction from your routine. Either way, you won’t regret it.
6. Soak in the tub: So you can’t do this one anywhere, but a warm bath is so worth it if you have the time (and access). I like to add a soothing lavender bath salt for achy muscles and a fragrant bubble bath that moisturizes skin.
7. Stretch it out: Set the mood with a yoga mist that refreshes the room – or your mat – so you can ease into a stretching sequence. Make it even easier on yourself by finding a yoga video online that guides you through a soothing sequence. Your body will thank you.
8. Drink to your health: Sip on a tasty magnesium supplement to relax your body.* If you’re concerned about being too relaxed in the middle of the day, cut the suggested serving in half or even a third. Sip slowly and let it go to work.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.