5 Ways to De-stress in 5 Minutes or Less

Panic and worry can arise out of nowhere – especially in the world we are living in today. If you need to take a self-care break, it doesn’t have to take a chunk out of your day. Even just re-focusing for a quick 5 minutes can help your nervous system calm down and reset. 

Here are 5 ways to de-stress that don’t take longer than about 5 minutes, or you can do them while you are doing something else.

Use an essential oil in the shower. Aromatherapy is amazing, the scent of lavender or orange can destress, energize, and calm instantly. Keep a bottle of essential oils of your favorite calming or balancing scent in the shower (or gym bag) at the ready. When the steam is flowing, take the bottle and drop two to three drops near your feet or where the water will hit the shower floor. The scent will rise with the steam and instantly help you breathe deep and feel relief. Oils to try: lavender, vetiver, clary sage or other de-stressing scents for anxiety.

Go outside.

Take a few and go outside, preferably with your shoes off! If you are still working from home, this is ideal to do on a lunch break or with your afternoon coffee or tea. Stepping outside, even if it’s on a balcony or small patio, takes us out of our environment and allows our brains to take a break and refocus. Take a moment to notice nature, whatever form it is taking around you, and take a few deep breaths. Feel the earth beneath you and reconnect with your body and the world around you.

Have a snack, ideally one with a crunch.

Crunchy snacks are actually found to be de-stressing! This makes sense – most junk food is crunchy and when we stress eat this makes it all the more appealing. For a healthy way to harness the power of the crunch, try crunching on something like nuts and seeds, chopped raw veggies with a little hummus for protein, granola, or air-popped popcorn.

Move your body!

Go for a quick walk to get the mail, have a dance party, stretch or get up and do some jumping jacks. We hold stress in our bodies – particularly the neck and shoulders. By getting up out of our chairs or stretching back muscles when standing on our feet, we help improve circulation and shake negative energy loose.


Whatever you need to do to get some chuckles, do it. Youtube videos, funny gifs, a group text… a good laugh is shown to give you the short-term benefits of a relaxing feeling, stimulating organs, and relieving tension – but it has many important long term benefits too, such as improving your immune system and increasing your overall personal satisfaction.

Bonus! The universal de-stressor that takes 5 minutes or less? Breathing in out!

Just using our breath in a meditative way for 5 minutes (or even less) can help us increase blood flow and calm our nervous system. If you have additional time, do a body scan: go through each part of your body starting with your toes and ending with your face and head, breathing into that part of the body and noticing how it feels, where there is tension, and taking a breath or two to relax it. 

With these de-stressing techniques, you can feel better in an instant without extra money or effort. Be well!

Need to de-stress with a massage or facial?

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