5 ways to decompress after a long day, in 5 minutes or less
You know the drill….its been a long day and you are ready to grab a cold beverage or a glass of wine, a plate of cheese and crackers, and vent to you partner or best friend.
Or maybe you feel like you need to go for a run, scrub your bathtub, or start working on the piles of laundry or bills that are accumulating.
While all of these activities can surely provide some immediate satisfaction, often they don’t provide the actual result you are looking for:
What does it mean to decompress?
“to relieve or reduce the pressure on (something)”
Sometimes what we think is good for decompression, can actually be avoidance or “buffering” from our negative emotions-inadvertently causing more pressure.
True decompression will give you life and energy, not take it from you.
Here are 5 alternative ways to decompress in 5 minutes or less:
1. Nature Sit: Find a spot in nature, go there, and sit. Too cold outside? Find a window or a plant to sit next to. Just 5 minutes in observation, taking in the sounds, smells and sights of nature can begin to settle our nerves and bring us back to our own natural rhythms. If you have 10-15 minutes, even better.
2. Animal Connection: Have a dog, cat or some other critter living with you? Set your timer for 5 minutes and do nothing but observe, appreciate and hug on them. This is not a time to think about taking them for a walk, or any additional chore…just 5 minutes of pure appreciation of your connection to them. No animals in the house? Find a video of puppies and indulge for 5 minutes. I highly recommend German Shorthaired Pointer videos.
3. Drink a glass of water in a wine glass: Most of us walk around dehydrated most of the time. What if you spent 5 minutes just sipping water and thinking about all of the good it is doing for your body? Doesn’t that sound refreshing? Doesn’t it sound luxurious?
4. Kitchen Dance Party or Sing Off: Blast your favorite song and dance and sing at the top of your lungs. If you have kids and family around? Even better….get them to do it with you. No music system? Sing your favorite camp song.
6. Light a fire and let it go: One of the most primal desires is to sit by a fire and warm our bones and our hearts. Fire is also transformational and an opportunity to let things go. If you have an outdoor fire pit or indoor fireplace or even a candle, light it up. Write down 3 things you want to leave behind from the day or week and 3 things that you feel gratitude for- you can burn these or save them. The point is …let the fire help you transition.
Sound too simple or childish?
Good. It should be.
And notice how none of these strategies require anyone else’s input or permission. This is all you.
Because you don’t need more tasks, or to do’s on your list.
I have a hunch you need more space, more love, more acceptance, more fun…right?
And I'm not saying you shouldn't have that cheese, or that wine, or that awesome run....I'm just saying, perhaps one of these 5 minute miracles can kick off your weekend toward more decompression.