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Simple stress relieving tips for 2015

Wash away stress with these simple tips

2015 for me started with the incredible experience of welcoming our new baby home. It was a wonderful time, but did also ring in the reality, that the resolutions I had were probably going to need a little re-thinking.

In fact, between changing nappies at home and changing springs in the studio, I figured this could be a great opportunity to share some quick and easy stress relieving tips.

It doesn’t have to be babies that impact on your time. The ever increasing pace of our modern lives is more than enough to add stress to the most zen like of characters.

Take time to take care of yourself, first.

For many of us, finding the time to make changes is always a tough part of any goal or resolution. With busy family and work schedules, its difficult to put ourselves first. If you’re finding yourself feeling over scheduled, taking time for you may be all too easily relegated to the bottom of your ever growing “to do” list. However, its an important part of avoiding burnout! After all, what use will you be if you get sick?

Licensed therapist, Jude Bijou, likens it to instructions for an airplane oxygen mask. “You must first take care of yourself. It does no one any good if you’re passed out.” This is definitely worth considering, after all, even in the Buddhist mediation of loving kindness, we have to begin with ourselves.

So here’s a couple of tips to hopefully help you to find some inner peace and make some daily time for just you.

Foot massage at Azul Retreats
Take time for the healing power of  touch.

1. Realise when the stress is rising
If you start to feel a little agitated, or you feel soreness and tension in your neck and shoulders, then it could be stress is on the rise. Because we carry a lot of stress in our muscles, booking a massage can be a great solution.
Its surprising how much more effective and efficient we are when we are relaxed, so look for possible stressful times ahead and book yourself in in advance. Exercise is also a great stress buster, so look for an activity that suits your personality, your needs and your time budget.

Getting off the bus or tube early to walk a few extra blocks can be a great solution for those with a time budget, or for those needing some time with a friend, why not combine your ‘vent’ session with a brisk walk. Of course, a yoga or Pilates class can be a perfect stress buster. If you time just does not allow for a whole class, then check out our latest Hatha Yoga warm up with Erika Franciosi on our YouTube channel which is full of quick and effective workouts, that you can do from home.

Just 3 deep breaths can transform a space or a situation.

2. Om’s the word
When you find yourself in a particularly crazy day, then perhaps slipping in a little meditation or breathing is the last thing on your mind, but it doesn’t take a monk like meditation to clear your head.
Scott Eblin, author of Overworked and overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative says “You don’t need an hour or even 20 minutes. Start by taking just three deep breaths when you’re feeling stressed throughout the day.” This brings you into the present and back into your body, and you have also given yourself some space between yourself and a stressful situation, which in turn reduces stress levels.

Try this technique seated or laying down to release stress

3. Let it all out!
Another great way that I recommend to relax, when time is short, is a super simple muscle relaxation technique. Starting from your head, one at a time, tense a group of muscles and hold for one long inhalation. As you exhale, relax and let the muscles fall away.
Work down through the body to the toes and then finish with one big whole body tense. Really tense up, clench your fists, your face, your stomach, everything. Hold your breath at the top of the inhalation and then sigh the air out as you relax all your muscles. As you do this just visualize the tension melting away. Feels great right?! This is best done lying down, but sitting in a chair, is a good alternative.

I hope that these short tips help you all enjoy a relaxed and focused 2015.
Let us know how your resolutions are going, or even email us or join our Facebook page for some healthy tips, recipes and inspiration. Remember, it doesn’t have to be New Year for a new you, our door is always open and we’d love to welcome you in. Here’s to a healthy 2015 for all, full of fun and happiness.

About the author

Jamie IsaacJamie is an International Pilates teacher and wellbeing specialist. Jamie teaches from his studio in Southern California, as well as workshops all over the world, including weeks in the USA, England and Fuerteventura. A former international trampolinist and a graduate in Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Jamie practices and teaches Pilates as more than just a set of physical exercises. By incorporating body and mind he finds the Pilates method benefits all aspects of life. Jamie is passionate about passing on his knowledge of Pilates, helping others to relax and progress, and teaching in specialist areas such as injury rehabilitation, specialist referral and coaching other sports professionals and enthusiasts. Join Jamie for his upcoming Pilates retreat in Fuerteventura. Jamie is the founder of Azul Yoga & Pilates Retreat and Fluid Art Pilates.