If you have been under a lot of stress lately, it can help to use some calming rituals and habits that help to reduce the stress without being too difficult or time-consuming. These are not meant to reverse the causes of your stress but give you a few minutes a day where you can relax a little.
Unplug and Sit in Silence
The first calming ritual is not something to help you meditate but instead to rule out outside influences on your stress levels. This includes unplugging from all social media, notifications, alerts, and technology. Even if you don’t realize it, the more of this information and news you take in, the higher your stress levels will be.
Have a routine every day where you unplug entirely for about 15-20 minutes minimum. You should not have any notifications on during this time, so turn off your phone and take off your watch. Just sit quietly and meditate, or use this time to read, go for a walk, or take a little nap. It will do wonders for your overall stress levels.
Simple Breathing Techniques
Focusing on your breathing is one of the most powerful ways to calm your mind and body and is very underrated. All you are doing is breathing, but by focusing on the breaths you inhale and exhale, you reduce your stress and anxiety.
A simple way to begin with breathing techniques is a short deep breathing session. Set a timer for 5 minutes, and inhale a deep breath through your nose. Focus on the breath, how it feels, and what is going through your mind. Watch your chest move and feel the sensation. Hold it for a few seconds, then exhale your mouth, and go through the same mindful process. Continue this for 5 minutes and see how you feel.
Read or Write
When you feel that stress rising and aren’t quite sure what to do about it, turn to a quiet activity that you enjoy and can be calming for you. If you are a creative person, this might mean writing a story or poem or working on an art project. Other people like to write in their journals, read a few chapters from a book, or spend time outdoors in nature.
Try a Gentle Workout
We aren’t talking about a strenuous workout here. Instead, find a gentle exercise that allows you to move your body freely and stretch for about 5-10 minutes. Think about yoga, but a more gentle version of it, meant to reduce stress without being physically tricky for you.