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Take a quick 5-10 minute break to relax.  Of course you can use the old faithful of taking in a few slow deep breaths to calm the mind and body.

Here are five additional ways to sneak in some quick relaxation to maintain your joy whether at home or at work.

1.  Stare out the window.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Whether you are at the office, at home or sitting in traffic, take a few minutes to stop and stare out the window.  Take the time to observe the beauty of God’s creation.  Look at the different colors in the sky.  The texture of the trees and the size of their trunks, the shape of the leaves they bear or the height and breadth of the tree. Observe how the flowers move and bend with a breeze or how the fall leaves tumble and fly in the wind.

2.  Savor a hot beverage.  You may wonder how that is relaxing.  We love our coffee, lattes, tea, chai but sometimes we drink it down too fast or we set it aside and it becomes too cold so we toss it.  Purchase or prepare your favorite hot beverage, then sit and just be still for a few minutes as you sip it.  Let the warmth roll around in your mouth and really take the time to taste and savor it.

3.  Massage your hands.  All that typing and texting takes a toll and can leave our hands and forearms tense and tight.  Take a few minutes to give yourself a quick hand massage.  I like to apply lotion and, using the thumb of my opposite hand, begin by working in a circular motion from the fleshy area below the thumb through the palm of my hand and up through each finger tip.  Repeat on the other hand.  After you’ve massaged both hands, shake it out.  Then I clasp my hands and twist them first to the left and then to the right, for about 5-10 seconds each, to help release any tension in my wrists and forearms.

4.  Smile.   Everyone knows the neck and shoulders are tension hot spots but I think many people would be quite surprised by how much tension we hold in our jaw, temples and face. Smile big and pretty then hold it for 20-30 seconds.  Did you feel the tension release?

5.  Seek the sun.  Sit outside for 5-10 minutes.  The warmth of the sun offers a wonderfully easy way to cheer our spirits and lift our mood while promoting vitamin D production.  Plus those rays absorbed during the day will also help you sleep better at night because they help regulate our circadian rhythm.

What quick and easy things do you do to relax?