Your inbox is flooded with emails, you’re getting a phone call you don’t really want to answer, your cat is pissed because the store didn’t have their favourite kibble in stock anymore. The empty fridge tells you it’s really time to go on a grocery run if you want anything to eat today, but there are several deadlines looming over your head. And… shit, the appointment for getting vaxxed was today?! Having a full calendar is one thing, but once you feel overwhelmed by it that should be a red flag. And this is not just stressful on your mind, but also on your body. The last thing you want right now is people telling you to “take a day off, because you look like you need it” or “go to the sauna, because you’ll feel totally zen afterwards.” You don’t have time for that sort of stuff! However, it’s crucial to address that stress. Luckily there are ways to destress that don’t take up too much of your valuable time. Read on to learn how you can destress in 60 seconds flat!
How to destress with a somatic release exercise
This 60-second exercise was developed by Stephanie Rae, a Chicago-based somatic practitioner, to help release stress and tension that is stored in your body. Rae suggests doing it once a day, every day. “One minute of self-awareness can change your whole day/mood,” she writes. Why not give it a try?
#1. Unclench your jaw.
According to Rae, your jaw is usually one of the first places that tenses up when you feel stressed, so it makes sense to start there. Relax your jaw and breathe.
#2. Drop your shoulders.
Now, move down a little. Drop your shoulders down and backwards. Try some gentle neck rotations to release any tightness.
#3. Shake your hands.
Keep your arms relaxed while you open and close your firsts and stretch out your fingers. Then shake your hands out to release the tension out of your arms.
#4. Roll your eyes.
When focussing on tasks, we have a tendency to get ‘tunnel vision’ – sometimes quite literally! So roll those eyes from side to side as well as up and down. Regularly moving your eyes can help to prevent tension headaches and even migraines.
#5. Stick out your tongue.
Simply sticking out your tongue helps to unclench your jaw even more and will also contribute to the relaxation of the other muscles in your face.
#6. Take three deep breaths.
Finally, take three deep breaths! Ensure full inhales and slow exhales. Deep, conscious breathing is the quickest way to reconnect with yourself. Rae says you should notice a less tension and more clarity almost immediately.
You now know what you can do to destress in 60 seconds. While you shouldn’t expect magical results (especially not when you’ve been suffering from long-term or chronic stress) Rae’s somatic release exercise can definitely help to get rid of at least some of the tension and bring you back to the present.