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Destressing Without the Time

Updated on April 15, 2009

Stress is a part of our every day lives. The busier we are the more it seems to overwhelm us. It can lead to feeling poorly, feeling overloaded, and difficulty just dealing with it. However, there are lots of different ways to destress. Many of us find a variety of activities to be ones that lower our stress levels. However, if you just don't have the time...what do you do?

Destressing In a Few Minutes

Whether at home, work, or somewhere else you can find a destressing method that works for you. It doesn't have to take up huge portions of the day like your favorite games, activities, and other relaxing ventures. Learning a few good techniques can have feeling more relaxed and working toward a healthier you.

Work Toward a Healthy Lifestyle

The healthier you are the more stress your body can handle. Working toward a healthy lifestyle is a great way to destress. This isn't something you will be able to do in a pinch or when you are feeling stressed out, but the whole of it will make you feel better. Here are some good tips.

  • Eat well balanced meals that include your vegetables and your fruits. Yes, I know you have probably spent a lifetime avoiding the veggies, but they are your friend.
  • Drink lots of water. Water is key to a healthy life. You should be getting eight to ten tall glasses of water a day. This will keep you hydrated and feeling your best.
  • Exercise regularly. I know that your schedule is busy, but regular exercise will actually help you to be more productive and to have more energy to get everything done.


Exercise doesn't have to take up a lot of time either. You can find that exercise of all sorts in small time frames can make you feel lots better. You can take a walk or jog around the neighborhood in a matter of ten or fifteen minutes and still feel better. Doing yoga, pilates, or aerobics for ten to twenty minutes can also feel great.

Deep Breathing Exercises

One thing that you can do in the matter of one to five minutes is deep breathing exercises. They can also be done anywhere. For this exercise place your palm flat on your belly just below your belly button. Concentrate on your breathing. You want your breathing to be very deep and to push your palm outward. Take at least five to ten deep breaths.


Meditation can be done a huge number of ways and is a great way to relieve stress. You can count to ten slowly, close your eyes and quiet your thoughts, or just take a few minutes and give yourself a "time out". Either way concentrate on relaxing and letting go of the stress. Don't think about what needs to be done, should be done, or could be done. Instead concentrate on not thinking.

Another thing you can do is work on tightening up all the muscles in your body one by one. Start at your feet and tighten the muscles and then work on relaxing it as much as possible. Move to your calves and then thighs and so forth. By time you finish you will be much more relaxed. Plus it doesn't have to take very long!

Mini Self Massage

We all know massage is a great way to relax. However, many of us don't know that we can use a few techniques on yourself for relaxing right in the office, at home, or anywhere (probably not while driving though!). Here are a few great relaxing mini self massages!

  • Neck- Most of us are great at carrying a lot of stress in our necks and shoulders. These areas seem to tense up and can make you horribly uncomfortable. To give yourself a neck massage sit up straight and place your hands on the back of your neck up near where the neck meets your head. Gently rub in small circular motions. Work your way down. Continue along the top of your shoulders. Breathe deeply and freely as you do it and think about the stress leaving your body. If you have the space and it is appropriate you might even find it more relaxing to lay down on the floor (but don't use a pillow).
  • Head- Massaging the head can feel wonderful and is a great way to relax. It isn't usually the best one to do at work because it can really make a mess of a well done hair do, but at home it can work wonders. To massage your head start at the top of your neck. Slowly work your way toward your forehead rubbing in circular motions. Be gentle and continue deep breathing while doing your massage. Closing your eyes is also a helpful way to relax. Concentrate on how the massage feels to your head.
  • Hand- I know it sounds a little odd...but massaging your hands can be very relaxing. To do this place your hand so that the fingers of one hand are on your palm and your thumb is on the top. Rub the top of the hand in a circular motion. Carefully rub down each finger and pay special attention to the "web" between the forefinger and the thumb. Using lotion can help make the movements smoother and even more relaxing. Repeat to the other hand. Two notes here. First, guys you can use lotion too. Second if you are a pregnant woman then avoid rubbing the "web" between your forefinger and your thumb since this can cause labor.
  • Foot- The foot massage is one you probably won't want to do in the office or at work, but can also be another very relaxing option. Lotion is a good option here too. You have two main strokes that feel good on the foot. First place your foot so that your thumbs can massage the underside. Use circular motions to kneed out tension and long strokes from your heal to your toes to relax the whole foot.

Imagine Yourself Somewhere Else

There is a lot to be said to a good imagination. In just a few minutes you can relax away the day in your favorite vacation spot, even if you have never been there. There is a country song where he imagines "some beach, somewhere" as the day progresses in a stressful fashion. This can actually help you relax. Pick somewhere where it is relaxing. Try to envision the sights, smell the smells, and hear the sounds. You don't have to spend long there, but take deep breaths and relax as you do.


While some would put stretching into the exercise category it doesn't have to be. It can be done anywhere, including at work. Get up, walk around a bit, and stretch. You can do standard stretches or just move your body around a bit to get rid of kinks and knots. If you are working standing up or walking around all day you might want to stretch out on break. Take a seat and stretch your legs and arms about. This can reduce all sorts of tension and make you feel lots better.

Play Soothing Music

Music can be soothing to the soul. Pick something without words so it just flows around you. Depending on where you work you may even be able to have soft soothing music in the back ground. If not, then stick to it at home or in the car. It doesn't have to be classical either. There are several types of music out there that can be purchased (or found online) that don't have words. Pick something you like and go with it. If you are one who can't find a type of wordless music then you might want to choose one of those nature sounds. Many of them are also very relaxing such as the sound of the ocean, the birds, or a brook.

Have a Snack

Many of use associate eating with relaxing. There is usually a reason for it since we enjoy food. Your snack should be a healthy one (even though the Snickers commercial makes it sound like their candy bar would be best). Choose fruits, veggies, or a yogurt as all good snacks for relaxing. A few crackers, nuts, or other healthy choice can work too. Don't think about your stress while doing it...just relax!

Hot Bath Time

While definitely something you won't be doing at work, a hot bath can do wonders for everyone. You can add bubbles, scents, or just relax in the soothing water. This doesn't have to be a long process either. Many people think of the relaxing hot bath taking hours...but even if you have only ten or fifteen minutes this can be a great way to relax.

Life is stressful, for most of us. It is also busy and full of things to do and places to go. You can find the time to destress in this life. It doesn't have to be hard or difficult. It only takes one minute for some of these exercises and five to ten for others. Some you might want to scrounge out 20 to 30 for, but you certainly don't have to! So, learn a few things and start relaxing today!


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  • Moon Daisy profile image

    Moon Daisy 9 years ago from London

    Thanks for this nice, useful hub. I think that most of us could learn to relax a bit more! Some great tips.