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Quiz yourself

27 ways to ease up

With apologies to Paul Simon, there must be... 27 ways to ease your living.

Why 27? Why not? It's a start! That people have to go online and type the words "How to relax" into a search engine should be indication enough that modern life may be getting too stressful. Why, with all the innovations and timesavers, do we feel more and more rushed?

Time is a constant - it always remains the same. What changes are our expectations of how much we can accomplish in that same old time. It's scientifically proven that stress can lead to sickness and that relaxation is one of the things that can soothe the savage breast.

Hopefully everyone has at least one favourite way to wind down, because not every stress soother will suit every single person. Next time you feel tense and uptight, try out one of these ways to relax. Perhaps some will work for you, while others might inspire you to write your own list of ease-up ideas.

  1. Hug someone.
  2. Dance.
  3. Mono-task, as opposed to multitasking.
  4. Progressively tense each muscle, holding each for 5 seconds then releasing.
  5. Stretch.
  6. Go for a walk, run or swim or any other sport.
  7. Play a game. Sudoku, crosswords, hopscotch, whatever.
  8. Soak in a bath.
  9. Laugh.
  10. Turn off your electronics. Enjoy the quiet.
  11. Read.
  12. Take a bike ride.
  13. Take a 5-minute break to clear your mind and breathe.
  14. Cover your eyes with an eye pillow. Allow your anxious eyeballs to feel like they're floating rather than gripping.
  15. Play with your pet.
  16. Drink a cup of hot tea. Or iced if that makes you feel better!
  17. Take a whiff of a favourite soothing scent, maybe citrus or lavender.
  18. Clear off your desk or clean out the drawers of your dresser. De-cluttered can equal destressed.
  19. Indulge in a massage.
  20. Soak your feet in Epsom salts.
  21. Listen to your favourite music.
  22. Light a candle and watch the flame flicker.
  23. Write in a diary.
  24. Talk to a friend.
  25. Make everyday activities more meditative. Like walking, for instance. Rather than rush down the hallway, place one foot in front of the other and really feel your feet ground into the earth with each step.
  26. Unplug (or turn off) your phone.
  27. Strive to take deep breaths to reach the tight spaces of your body - try to feel your breathing in your lower back and your shoulders.

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Checking in with your breath
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