Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Calm down, baby!

We all know it -- women handle a lot. If you’re anything like me, your head sometimes spins from all the tasks and thoughts and plans in it. When I start jumping from one thing to another without accomplishing anything, I know it’s time to take a break and calm down!

I think we all have coping strategies that help us regain our focus. Here are my favorites -- and each can take less than half an hour. It’s time well spent because I’m much more productive afterwards.

Walk or run outside. On days that I feel particularly chained to my desk, nothing is more liberating than walking away from it. Exercise naturally relaxes the body, and sun and sky never fail to restore perspective.

Reach for a tea cup. A cup of tea works wonders for me! (You didn’t think I pass that up, did you?) In all seriousness, high quality tea contains theanine, an amino acid that has been found to promote physical and mental relaxation and to reduce anxiety.

Write it down. Whether I write in a cloth-bound journal or a chain of post-it notes, jotting down what’s troubling me always clarifies my thoughts. In fact, writing (and particularly, journaling) is a more powerful stress reliever than many people realize.

Laugh it out. Laughter is known to relax the body by lowering blood pressure and has been linked to the reduction of disease. Usually, I’ll reach for an old Dave Barry book or a Scrubs podcast – either way, I’m guaranteed a good belly laugh within minutes.

Meditate. Meditation is a practice that provides mental, physical and emotional balance. However, a year ago, it would not have been on my list. When I sit, my foot starts a-tapping, and I begin wondering what I should be doing instead. Then I found this lovely CD called (now, don’t laugh) Guided Meditations for Busy People, led by Bodipaksha. Available on, its nine extremely short meditations are perfect for the novice meditator (a.k.a., me).

Yoga. Yoga practice harmonizes the mind and body, helping to relax both. I am no expert (in fact, I may have the least flexible body on earth), but I continue to try. Concentrating so intensely on my body's movements definitely focuses and calms my mind.

And there you have it. You may find one or more of these methods helpful, or you may have a coping technique that works better for you. For example, some need to talk with or be around others to de-compress and relieve stress. Please share what works for you. It’s all about balance, baby!

Note that the above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The information and our products are not intended to be used for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease.

No comments: