1. Go for a walk or a jog
Nothing helps to jump-start your day like a morning jog or a brisk walk. Research shows that people who exercise in the morning are more likely to be active throughout the day and in general.1
Being physically active also helps prevent heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise.2
Inviting friends or starting a walk/jog club may help keep you motivated and make the exercise more fun. Just remember to wear a mask and/or maintain social distancing to stay safe. Nearby parks and trails can help you mix up the scenery.
2. Make time for breakfast
Studies have linked eating breakfast to good health, better memory, and concentration.3
Instead of breakfast on the go, or skipping it altogether, make time for a delicious and nutritious meal. Eggs, toast, oatmeal, and fruits are options that can give you the morning fuel you need.
If having enough time in the morning is a concern, try prepping your breakfast the night before. Many egg or oatmeal dishes can be refrigerated, and multi-grain waffles and smoothie ingredients can be frozen.
Daily meditation may build your body’s resiliency to stress, research suggests.3 Practicing meditation as few as 10 minutes a day could also help ease anxiety, improve heart health and help you relax.4 Check out one of the many meditation apps available for mobile phones, or find a comfortable spot and follow these simple steps:
- Take a deep breath in through you nose, letting your belly rise and fill with air
- Exhale slowly through your nose
- Repeat 3 times
- Focus on reciting positive thoughts either aloud or silently, and release distracting thoughts or negative energy from your mind.
By training your body on a daily basis to achieve this state of relaxation, it may enhance your mood, lower blood pressure, improve digestion and reduce everyday stress.
4. Nurture your body with massage
Massage can relieve stress, reduce anxiety, and aid in recovery from injury. It can help ease arthritis, lower-back pain, insomnia, headaches, and poor circulation.5 When you aren’t able to visit a massage therapist, try the following self-massage techniques:
- Massage your feet and hands in the morning or at night to increase blood flow into the areas and relieve stress.
- Gently press your thumbs in a circular motion around the outside of your eyebrows and along the bridge of your nose to relieve sinus pressure, eye strain, and headaches.
- Use your fingertips to massage your neck from your shoulders to the base of your skull in small deep circles to relieve neck tension.
5. Practice yoga
When you practice yoga, you relax both your body and mind. Yoga combines physical and mental disciplines to help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and lower your heart rate.6 There are many styles, forms, and intensities in yoga.
Hatha yoga, one of the most common styles, is recommended for stress management. It moves at a slower pace with easier movements, focusing on the following core components:
- Meditation or relaxation
Yoga is beneficial for all body types and ages. You don't have to be flexible to do yoga. You just need to find the right class or at-home instructions for you.
SeniorBridge professional caregivers have lots more tips and suggestions to help you find and incorporate the relaxation techniques that best fit your lifestyle. Call anytime to see how we can help.
- “10 Relaxation Techniques That Zap Stress Fast,” WebMD, last accessed September 15, 2017, http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/blissing-out-10-relaxation-techniques-reduce-stress-spot#1
- “31 Gratitude Exercises That Will Boost Your Happiness,” Positive Psychology Program, last accessed September 15, 2017, https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/gratitude-exercises/
- “10 Relaxation Techniques That Zap Stress Fast.”
- “Meditation, Stress, and Your Health,” WedMD, last accessed September 15, 2017, http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/meditation-natural-remedy-for-insomnia#1
- “Massage Therapy for Stress Relief and Much More,” WedMD, last accessed September 15, 2017, http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/features/massage-therapy-stress-relief-much-more#1
- “Yoga: Fight stress and find serenity,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed September 15, 2017, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/yoga/art-20044733