Five minutes—how long is it really? When you’re late to work or rushing out the door, five minutes is a hectic and fleeting block of time. But when you’re waiting for water to boil or anticipating someone’s arrival, five minutes can feel like an eternity. Due to technology and this “go-go” mentality most of us have either chosen to live or been forced into, life is at times…chaotic. Finding a break in the day to take care of you is a challenge nowadays for most of us. And what happens when we stop taking care of ourselves? We all become increasingly more stressed out, unhealthy, not only physically but also mentally, and also quite irritable.
But guess what you can do in five minutes? Yes, you can check your email, make a “to do” list, order a latte, play on Facebook, like a handful of photos on Instagram, and even send a tweet to your good friends here at Industrie. OR…you can decompress. Check out, take a breather, center yourself – call it whatever you want to. All that matters is that you do it and do it on a routine basis. Here are just a few of our favorite ways to feel better in five minutes:
- Meditate: You don’t need to don a pair of yoga pants (unless you’re always living in your activewear) and be sitting in a zen temple to meditate. You just need a quiet space and a place to relax. Maybe it’s a closet at work you can place a chair in and sit in solitude for a moment, or even in the comforts of your own car (or a friend’s car if you are one who uses public transportation). Once you find your place, close your eyes (if you can lie down it’s even better but it may not be all that easy if you’re doing this at work), and start taking some long, deep breathes. Inhale through your nose, hold that breath for a four-second count, and exhale while counting to eight. Do this for five straight minutes. If your mind is wandering and you can’t concentrate, really focus on your counting and imagine the breath you inhale is the color blue and as you exhale it is the color green—two colors that are calm and close to nature.
- White Noise: If you can’t completely concentrate on your breathing while meditating, then download a white noise app (one Industrie staffer swears by is an app called Binaural Beats) and listen to the sounds of a babbling brook, a roaring fire or clothes dryer. It gives you the opportunity to close off the outside work and travel to an imaginary place or scenario for a solid five minutes.
- Stretch It Out: Stress takes a toll on your body, and one of the reactions to stress is your muscles get tight and tense. By engaging in some quick stretching exercises, you can loosen up the tension and get the blood circulating. If you give yourself a mini head, hand, neck, arm and/or leg massage, then do it. Who cares if anyone is watching! Pamper yourself, even if it is for only five minutes.
- Eat A Snack: We don’t mean go eat your feelings or binge on a bowl of ice cream. We mean go make a healthy snack or take five minutes to eat one that you may have packed and taken with you before you left the house. When your blood sugar drops and hunger sets in, you become cranky, and when you get cranky you get stressed. Some quick mood boosting snacks to consider is a piece of dark chocolate (it is known to reduce the stress hormone cortisol), some carrots and hummus, celery with peanut butter or an apple with some honey. Instead of grabbing a cup of coffee, switch to drinking a cup of hot tea like black, green or oolong—these three contain theanine which is known to increase attention and focus.
- Call A Loved One: Let’s all agree that we’ve become a texting society. It’s convenient, gets right to the point and a good way to avoid having to talk to someone who just drags on a conversation longer than they should. When you’re feeling stressed, call someone who loves and cares for you. Sometimes we all need someone to “talk us off the ledge” and give us a different perspective on a situation. Just make sure the person you’re calling is one who always lends the most sound, sage advice.
- A Quick Touch Up: You know what makes us feel good? When we love the way we look. It goes hand in hand. So when you’re feeling down, a bit blue, and completely frazzled, give your hair and/or makeup a quick touch up. Maybe all it takes is throwing your hair up in a cute bun or applying a bold lip color that can get you out of a funk and feeling better.
- Read A Chapter: Get lost in a good book, even if it is for only five minutes. If you can keep a good ol’ fashioned paperback or hardcover on hand then great, but if you can’t, then download an app or invest in something like a Kindle.
These suggestions are just a handful of what you can do to feel better in five minutes and we encourage you to create your own and share them with us in the comments area below!