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  • Kim Uskokovic, LMFT

Take a break

It only takes 30 minutes or less to decrease tension and feel better. Here are some ideas of how you can relax:


  1. Simply take a breath. Slowly inhale and exhale, try to do this four times.

  2. Listen to music that lifts your spirits. Whether it be pop, jazz, alternative or today's hits.

  3. Dance like nobody is watching.

  4. Take a mindful walk, notice the trees swaying in the wind, the birds chirping, the sound of the waves or whatever pleasant sights and sounds you experience.

  5. Take a nap. This can really help reset your brain.

  6. Play a game on your phone or video game console that distracts you.

  7. Draw or color in a coloring book.

  8. Drink some water or calming tea.

  9. Pray.

10. Cuddle with your pet.

"Deep Relaxation refers to the distinct physiological state that is the exact opposite of the way your body reacts under stress or a panic attack. This state was originally described by Herbert Benson in 1975 as the relaxation response...a series of physiological changes including decreased heart rate...decreased skeletal muscle tension...and decrease in analytical thinking." -The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, 2005

It is suggested that 20-30 minutes of relaxation can lead to deep relaxation. I say, if you only have a minute or even 5 minutes take it. See how your body responds. Be kind to yourself, it's not so important how long you relax. You need to just be. You are a human being, not a human doing.

The more frequently you take breaks the easier it will be for you. Silence that critical voice inside your head that says, "I don't have time," or "This is selfish." Let your kind voice say, "I need to relax, my mind and body will feel better." Your kind voice may not speak too loud in the beginning, but after time you will hear your kind voice more when your give yourself sometime to just be.

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