Keep calm and carry on.
By Lizzie Fuhr
It's been proven that exercise eases anxiety and depression, but some days require a little something extra. Here are some healthy habits that will help you keep calm and carry on during those super stressful days.
1. Reclaim your commute.
A crazy morning can change the way you look at your whole day. Whether you listen to relaxing music or let go of whatever happened at home, making the conscious effort to make your commute meditative can help you embrace the day — regardless of what pops up.
2. Meditate in the morning.
Setting a strong and powerful intention for the day during a morning meditation will kick your day off in a positive light. Before you start going through your laundry list of obligations, taking a few minutes for yourself can make a big difference in your stress levels.
3. Hang in the tub.
Relaxing on your own in the tub is one of the easiest ways to take a little time for yourself and let go. The next time you're at the market, be sure to buy some Epsom salts. Adding two cups to the tub will help you detox your system and get a better night's sleep.
In the words of Sylvia Plath, "There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them."
4. Try acupuncture.
If you've been dealing with chronic pain you just can't kick, acupuncture may be the help you've been searching for. The ancient Chinese medicine attempts to allow your body's qi, or vital life force, to flow freely without any obstructions. Many individuals leave acupuncture feeling relaxed and calm but still alert.
5. Fight stress with food.
Instead of reaching for junk that will leave you feeling unsatisfied and more likely to crash, reach for healthy foods that fight stress like oranges loaded with vitamin C.
6. Stretch at your desk.
When you're sitting at a desk for hours on end, the tightness or unnecessary tension that lives in your neck and shoulders can really rear its head. Taking a few moments to relieve your body with stretches you can do at your desk will give you a boost of energy and definite relief.
7. Go for a float.
It may seem a little extreme, but going to a float tank, also known as a sensory deprivation tank, truly forces you to relax. A soothing dark bath, sans any outside influences, brings your brain to the theta state — the frequency it experiences just before going to sleep.
8. Take teatime.
A warming, soothing cup of hot tea is one of the oldest tricks in the book for relaxation. But instead of just grabbing your tea on the go, take the time to sit and enjoy a few minutes of solitude. Turning this into a daily ritual will help you keep a relaxed outlook.
9. Get a massage.
Scheduling a luxurious massage for yourself gives your muscles some love and your head a break. Once you lie down on the table, do your best to stay present in the room instead of worrying about everything you have to do once you leave.
10. Listen to music.
If a massage isn't in your price range, turn on some relaxing tunes. Research has shown that lying down and listening to music is as effective as massage. For those finding themselves constantly listening to pump-up music, look to this before-bed mix for inspiration.
This article was originally published at PopSugar Fitness. Reprinted with permission from the author.