Raise your hand if you wish you could go back to those carefree summer days of your youth where you thought of nothing but sunny afternoons by the pool and hours spent curled up reading your favourite books. Did you raise your hand? Yeah, we did too.
Unfortunately, that dream is not a reality for most of us. A more likely reality is days spent in the office, hunched at your desk, yearning for the tantalizing weather outside. While we all wish we could escape to an island paradise to calm our nerves, there just isn’t always the time in our busy schedules.
Even if a summer spent languishing in the Amsterdamse Bos or lolling about on a breezy terrace isn’t in the cards for you this year, we are pretty sure you have at least 5 minutes to spare. We’ve got a collection of our best tips for those frazzled moments to help you achieve a little bit of calm. Whether you’ve got five minutes or five hours (if you do, we’re terribly jealous), there is always time to relax, if only a little.
#1. Sip some green tea.
Though you’d probably prefer to sip on a fruity cocktail, a soothing mug of green tea may actually be just what you need. Green tea is a great source of L-Theanine, which helps relieve anger in the body. So boil a pot to keep your blood from boiling.
#2. Munch a mango.
Again, we know you’d rather be enjoying tropical fruit on a tropical island, but even taking the time to peel and indulge in a juicy mango can help you relax. Not only will taking a moment to pause and engage in the ritual of peeling calm you but the high levels of linalool, a compound that helps reduce stress levels, will bring instant stress relief. This trick truly works wonders on stress in the body, particularly if you make a habit of it. Find a comfortable, quiet spot and concentrate on your breath. If you need a little help, there are loads of wonderful apps, like Headspace, available to guide you through your perfect meditation.
#3. Increase the pressure.
No, we don’t mean the stressful pressure we put on ourselves to get sh*t done. We’re talking about acupressure. This touch therapy balances the circulation of fluids and energies in the body, helping to release tension. Use your thumb and forefinger to massage the area between those two fingers on your other hand. Ahhhh. Sweet relief.
#4. Seek the sun.
The warm glow of the sun is proven to be an effective treatment for depression, so it will surely help everyone cheer up a bit. Taking a peaceful stroll through the Westerpark whilst you soak up those healing rays will have you feeling better in no time.
#5. Get those legs moving.
In order to beat the cycle of anxiety, a quick 45-minute session in the studio is just what you need. Spinning for even just 45 minutes will get your endorphins flowing, helping to knock stress out of the park.
#6. Float on.
As Modest Mouse said, we’ll float on; good news is on the way. This may be easier said than done, but trying out a float tank will remove all external stimuli so that you can experience the deepest relaxation possible. The best bit? You don’t have to do anything at all. Just empty your mind and enjoy the ride.