18 Ways To Relax And Unwind In 5 Minutes
Need to get out of that stressed, overwhelmed mindset but only have five minutes to spare? Try any one of these fantastic 18 tactics that provide you with instant rejuvenation and relaxation.
- Have a Spoonful of Honey
A spoonful of honey can reduce levels of bodily inflammation, which means it may help to combat anxiety and depression. Plus, it has natural antibiotic properties, enhancing your immune system function (which may be waning in times of stress).
- Eat a Square of Chocolate
Munching on just one and a half ounces of dark chocolate reduces levels of cortisol (the “stress hormone”) and calms you down.
- Make Some Green Tea
The next time you’re frustrated, boil the kettle. Green tea not only boosts your metabolism and provides potentially cancer-fighting compounds—it is also a source of a chemical called L-Theanine, which is proven to reduce anger levels.
- Get Some Sun
Even if it’s not a blazing hot day, spending some time in daylight will increase your body’s vitamin D levels and is proven to have a positive impact on mood. This is particularly important in the winter months, when the lack of light can induce depression.
- Spend Time Alone
Find a place where you can be alone for five minutes, and notice how quickly that can help to induce a greater sense of relaxation. While being with others is great, we sometimes need space to help quieten our thoughts.
- Organize Your Desk
A messy desk really does make life feel more stressful and confusion, so why not devote five minutes to neatening things up and making them look more like you would like them to? Adding a lovely new plant can also be a great choice, as it will purify the air and give your desk a Zen vibe.
And for everyone who's desk is tidy already, here is a list of 150+ things that you throw out to make your home a nicer place. You don't need to get rid of all of them at once, just pick a few, it will only take 5 minutes.
- Massage Your Hands
You don’t need the help of a professional for a lovely five-minute massage—just apply some soothing hand lotion and gently massage all over your fingers and palms. In particular, focus in on the muscle beneath your thumb, which is said to hold a lot of tension.
- Squeeze a Stress Ball
When intense irritation is getting the best of you, let it all out by squeezing the life out of a stress ball. This immediately cuts back anger levels, giving you a safe outlet for your rage.
- Rub Your Feet Over a Ball
A small, hard ball (e.g. a golf ball) can work wonders for your feet if you rub them over the top of the ball’s surface. You can do this at your desk, relaxing and getting some of your tasks done at the same time.
Ways to Pursue Inner Peace
Studies show that just five minutes is all it takes to get benefits from a daily meditation practice. Just find a quiet, calming place, concentrate on your breath for those few minutes, and feel your anger, anxiety or despair drift away.
- Progressive Relaxation
Squeeze each muscle in one body part at a time (e.g. start with your left foot, then your right foot, and gradually move up). This is a common technique endorsed by actors and other performers who need to relax before a stressful event. It can also help you fall asleep!
- Rest Your Head
When you don’t have time for a full nap, you can still improve your current state by resting your head on a pillow for 3-5 minutes. Visualize the pillow as a porous sponge draining away all of your worries.
- Talk to a Friend
It may sound obvious, but it’s so effective! Call a friend for five minutes, and let them know you need to relax. You’ll be laughing and feeling better in no time.
- Plan a Vacation
Spend five minutes brainstorming ideas for your next getaway, or even beginning the research required to get your plan up and running. This process gives you a concrete sense that you’re not trapped in your current stressful environment.
Vent some of your frustration online. Once you start blogging, you’re sure to find a supportive and fun community that reduces feelings of stress and loneliness—you can even stay anonymous if you prefer.
Yoga is famously relaxing for a reason, and you can do a couple of wonderfully calming stretches in a mere five minutes. You’ll feel loose-limbed and chilled out afterwards.
- Jog on the Spot
No time for a full workout, but looking for a way to get out some pent up anxiety or anger? Try running on the spot for five minutes to get the endorphins flowing.
- Go for a Walk
Finally, a short walk (especially in a green space) can give you much-needed perspective, and a sense of freedom. There’s also something meditative about just walking for its own sake, especially if you put some relaxing music on your headphones.
Want Even More Ideas? Have a look at this list of 64 Ideas For Self Care When Life Gets Hard.