NiaMassage

Musings from the Massage Chair & Table

Relax, Chill, Take a Breath…

OK, it’s almost halfway to the middle of November, and I am trying to avoid that space…you know what I am talking about- Not having nearly ANYthing on your “To Do” list done, but feeling like I just want to chuck it all, and stay home for the rest of the year. Now, that is an extreme idea, even for me, but one wonders…20131113-115129.jpg

What usually works for me, not always mind you, is to sit and take a breath. A nice DEEP breath. When we are stressed, our hormone response tells the body to take quick, shallow breaths. When this happens, our mental and physical decision-making skills are overloaded with too much information, and sometimes renders us into a huddled mass, down in the trenches, waiting to strike out at the right moment.

With the holidays looming, one way to enjoy the upcoming hustle and bustle is to take care of YOURSELF first. Have a get together with your friends (who are also probably as stressed out as you are) and share ideas – find out who has the best babysitting resources, coupons, recipes, etc. and do a Swap of sorts. Have a Massage Therapist on hand (hint, hint) to give those ever so needed stress relieving Chair or Foot massages, to get everyone in the spirit!

Understanding your reality (all of us are NOT Martha Stewart), prioritizing your lists, collaboration, delegating tasks on the list(s) and asking for HELP will also help lower those stress levels, as well. If you are trying out a new dish or project, try it out ahead of time, so you can make the mistakes without the ‘pressure to be perfect’ at any holiday event. Ask others for help – I use Pinterest as a resource for all kinds of ideas, so I can enjoy and not just endure the holidays. We still have about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, so we can send the DEF-CON Level back to 4.

Before you go ahead and run off the cliff, stop, take a breath. A nice, deep breath.

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5 Tips for Stress Relief at Work

You’re at work, and you’re feeling sore & stressed – that knot between your shoulder blades is trying to give you a headache, and that one co-worker that gets on your nerves is headed in your direction. What are you to do? Here are 5 quick tips –

1- Use a tennis ball – A great tool to soothe sore feet & massage unreachable knots. Check earlier posts to show you how!

2- Your favorite tea – Teas with low levels of caffeine helps reduce stress levels.  Using honey instead of sugar helps regulate your blood sugar and won’t contribute to a sugar crash. It also causes you to get up & make the tea. (Get the blood moving!)

David Lister using Tension Sheets (bubble wrap, painted red) to de-stress on UK's 'Red Dwarf'.

David Lister using Tension Sheets (bubble wrap, painted red) to de-stress on UK’s ‘Red Dwarf’.

3- A sheet of bubble wrap – or what the TV show ‘Red Dwarf’ calls a Tension Sheet. Popping the little bubbles whether one at a time, or all at once reduces stress level. I’ve even put a sheet down on a tiled floor & run an office chair over it. Yes, it looked silly, but I really felt a lot better when I ran out of bubbles to pop!

4- Aromatherapy – studies show using essential oils such as lavender and lemongrass reduces stress & increases calm.

5- Soothing music playlist– music soothes the savage beast, it can also reduce stress levels. I have a Silly Song playlist, so I can de-stress at the office or on the road. I even go as far as to give really silly ringtones to calls that can be stressful. That way when I hear them, it makes me laugh a little, taking the stress out of answering the phone.  Music that tends to have a faster beat in stressful situations, tend to drive up stress levels. (Besides, who listens to ‘Bodies’ to de-stress?) You wouldn’t have to listen to it all day; just a few minutes when you’re stressed goes a long way!

Seated Stretches

2 Great Stretches to help you throughout the day.

BONUS – A good Stretching routine- you’ve been sitting at your desk for a while, and you hadn’t stretched in a few hours, admit it.  Get your blood moving & loosen up those tight muscles!

Here are a few good ideas – what are YOURS? I’d love to know!

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