Relaxation, Stress Management

5 ways to de-stress in 5 minutes or less

Allison Choppick/

September might very well be the busiest month of the year. The kids go back to school, teachers go back to work and businesses get busy all around the world once more.

It’s hard enough to keep pace with our overly-hectic lifestyles, let alone get back up to speed after a relative “lull.” During these times we may only get a few moments of solitude, but it can be difficult to choose between another round of Candy Crush or truly investing in our own well-being.

Here are some quick tips to help stow the screens and give yourself some TLC in five minutes or less!

Jess Hall/
Jess Hall/

1. Light a candle and tune into nature: Picture a dim-lit bedroom, sealed off from the world outside, or maybe with a window cracked. Inside, there you are, doing nothing. Subtle water trickling and blending seamlessly with a pan flute melody. Sound like your kind of oasis? I’m channeling my hometown Hand & Stone spa for this one!

To completely stow your worries, use a battery-powered faux candle (I love these best) and try out this Pandora station. You’ll be transported to relaxation land in no time!

2. Read with your ears: Are your eyes strained and tired from staring at screens all day? Your bones worn out from being hunched in a chair? It’s time to whip out that audio book from your Audible free trial. (I’m not an affiliate, this is just a great deal!)

Dim the lights, close your eyes and lie down with your headphones. I believe the app also has a sleep timer, if you’re worried about nodding off before the good part.


3. Two minute spa treatment with essential oils: Lavender, rose, ylang ylang and chamomile are among the most relaxing scents for you weary bones and frazzled mind. Take a drop or two of therapeutic-grade essentials oils to your pulse points (wrists, behind the ear) and temples. Inhale deeply what is left on your fingers for quick-relaxing effect. Certain other scents may have a soothing psychological effect on you or me, but vary between people.

4. Self scalp massage: The scalp is a large piece of skin real estate which is gets sorely neglected. It’s covered with hair (usually) and isn’t often subjected to massages, scrubs or other kinds of pampering. Hair masks don’t count.

Reach both of your hands into you hair, palms against your scalp and grasp firmly, but gently at the hair in your palm. Grasping the hair, gently tug it away from your scalp, wiggling a bit as you tug. Your pulling your scalp away from its cramped up style, promoting blood flow and maybe even relieving that tension headache you’ve earned from your rough day. Repeat all of the surface of your scalp. Be sure to grab at the base of the hair to avoid breakage and pain!

Christy Thompson/

5. Get an audio massage with ASMR: ASMR– Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response– is a sensory phenomenon which has garnered a lot of support on the internet in recent years. Not everyone experiences the “tingles” in the scalp and throughout the body, but those who do often report feeling relaxed, soothed and calmed by the experience.

ASMR is way too complex for me to delve into on this short list (I promise I will get into more depth in the coming weeks), and the quickest way to see if it’s right for you is to check out this short YouTube video by my favorite ASMR artist, “Maria.” This short video is informational while also giving you (maybe) your first ASMR experience. Be sure to use over-the-ear headphones and the best videos are usually those made with a 3D microphone!

We hope these tips make you feel ahh-mazing this week! Which did you try?

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