On most days I’m stressed. It’s actually pretty comical considering I spend a great deal of my time as a professional helping others find ways to decrease their stress. Whether you are juggling a career, school, home, kids, a combination of these or all; I’m sure you have days where you are stressed as well.

While I am able to recognize my own stress, I often struggle with finding time to de-stress. Sure, I would love to take a yoga class. I would absolutely benefit from having 15 minutes in the morning to meditate, if it didn’t require that I get up earlier to do so. Yes, I would love to create a chunk of time for myself outside of my “bathroom time” that is still frequently interrupted by my lovely daughter.

Faced with the dilemma of stress and a hectic schedule, I realized I needed a quick-fix. I began exploring ways to de-stress in three minutes or less. Here are some suggestions:

  • Change your surroundings. Sometimes walking outside or just walking into another room can give you a much needed break.
  • Slow down. If you find yourself running around like a chicken with your head cut off, simply stop. It’s okay to take a break, take a breath, and regain focus.
  • Do a quick “body check”. Take a moment to notice where you are feeling tense and take a few minutes to do some light stretching.
  • Focus on your breathing. Taking a moment to engage in deep breathing is a quick and simple technique. By focusing on your breathing for only a few minutes, you can instantly lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Find some music. Whether you choose to find some peaceful music to relax, or crank up your favorite tune and move; music is therapy. Play air guitar, do an old school dance, sing out loud, sing off key, or whatever works for you.
  • Start laughing. It really doesn’t matter how you start, just get started. Find someone to share a funny story with or watch a clip of something that makes you laugh. A good laugh lowers cortisol and boosts endorphins.
  • Stimulate your senses. I love aromatherapy. You can really get into with essential oils and their uses, or you can just find a smell you like. Find a picture that is relaxing and focus on that. Grab something soft, cuddly or a texture that you like and become mindful of how it feels.

Feel free to try all; I’m sure you will find one that works for you.