The 10 Quickest Ways to Give Yourself a Break

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With summer coming to an end, and everybody kissing relaxed beach weekends goodbye, we’re here to help you see the glass half full and give you a few ideas on how to unwind when the sea is not an option.

1. Take a break from technology
Make a decision to stay away from technology for a certain period of time. Whether it’s for an hour, a day, or a whole weekend, just promise yourself to stay tech-free and put your gadgets away.

2. Get some extra hours of sleep
Go to bed a couple of hours earlier than you’re used to. Sometimes, simply a lack of sleep is reason behind feeling stressed, and even an extra hour can make a big difference.

3. Meditate
Sit still for at least 5 minutes and listen to the sound of your breath. Even if meditation is completely new to you, give yourself a chance to do nothing but observe your breathing pattern while you sit quietly still. This is calming because it allows you to shut out outside stresses and re-connect with yourself.

4. Have a nice cup of tea
For some of you out there, sitting down for tea doesn’t sound the most appealing, and might seem like a complete waste of time. But, believe it or not, tea time really does work magic. Even if you take 5 minutes to enjoy a warm cup of flavored tea, this can be exactly what you need to get back to work stress-free. Caffeine free herbal teas, like chamomile or mint, are known to have calming effects.

5. Write
Get a piece of paper, a pen and free-write. That means no editing or crossing out, just writing whatever comes to your mind at that very moment. You can tear the paper, or keep it for the memory; it’s up to you. Saving them allows an interesting way to reflect and remember how you were feeling at the moment you wrote it.

6. Replace a strict workout with something less intense
Exercise is important, and I’m definitely pro working hard and giving it your all, but sometimes we need to be gentle with ourselves. Go for a walk instead of your usual 5K run, do some easy stretches instead of your daily sweaty yoga session, or just enjoy a dip in the pool. This can be really therapeutic when your body and mind need a break.

7. Stay away from alcohol, junk food and sugar
If a cleanse sounds like torture to you, you can opt for a simpler alternative and simply take a break from unnecessary toxins that are probably messing with your system. Stay clean for a few days, or longer if you can, and notice how this boosts your energy levels.

8. Take a long, hot bath
Add some sea salt or lavender oil to your bath and enjoy an hour of complete relaxation, giving your muscles and joints a nice treat.

9. Enjoy a guilty pleasure without feeling guilty
Whether it’s ice cream, movie marathons, shopping or any kind of splurge that makes you feel good, go for it. These simple guilty pleasures are pretty innocent when done in moderation.

10. Create your own mantra
Choose a word, quote or small phrase that speaks to you in a soothing or motivational way. You can start simply with ‘It’s okay’ or ‘Don’t worry’ when a situation feels stressful or out of your control. Taking time to focus your efforts inward for just a few moments helps reduce the negativity of outside stress factors.

Farida Abou El Dahab is a self-taught yogini based in Alexandria. She’s a Finance graduate that happened to find her passion elsewhere and decided to pursue her dream of becoming a yoga teacher. She was first introduced to yoga in 2013 after struggling with a back injury for almost a year, and it wasn’t long before she discovered the wonders of this physical, mental and spiritual practice. She strongly believes in grey areas and that life doesn't have to be black or white. She believes in finding your balance and staying true to who you are.

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