10 quick ways to relieve stress

Do you need to relieve stress but don't have a lot of time? Try one of these ideas.

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  • Life can be full of stressful moments. Sometimes it may seem that we are tense and stressed all day long. If you find yourself in this situation you may need to take a 30 minute de-stress break. Don't think you have the time? Think again. Here are 10 ideas that take less than 30 minutes to do, but can give you a much-needed break from your stress:

  • Take a bath

  • Nothing beats a nice, warm, relaxing bubble bath. Take a minute to soak in the tub with no distractions, just you and your Epsom salts.

  • Do a puzzle

  • A puzzle is a great way to slow down and take a moment away from your worries. It is very relaxing to do a monotonous activity such as a puzzle, especially when your life gets chaotic and loud. If you have the space you can leave it up for a few days and just do a little at a time. If you don't like doing actual puzzles, try a crossword puzzle, Sudoku, solitaire or something similar.

  • Take a walk

  • Nothing beats a calm walk outside. Whether there's sunshine or rain, a walk can help you relax, take your mind off your troubles and de-stress. Take a minute to observe the leaves, birds and beauty that nature provides.

  • Cook

  • Baking, cooking and making food is a great (and not to mention yummy) way to relieve stress. Focusing on an activity where you follow directions and get a result is very satisfying. You don't have to cook a gourmet meal, just something simple is enough to take your mind off your situation.

  • Listen to music

  • Music has a very calming effect. It can ease your stress very quickly, depending on the type of music. Whether you want something loud to distract you or something quiet to help you calm down, take a minute to listen, relax and get lost in the music.

  • Meditate

  • Meditation can be a quick yoga session or just lighting some candles and sitting quietly as you take a moment to clear your mind. Stay still, free from electronics and other distractions, and focus your thoughts on nothing. You don't have to do it for very long, even 10 minutes of focused meditation can really rejuvenate and renew your spirit.

  • Do your favorite hobby

  • Do you have a hobby that you really love but don't have a lot of time to do it? Mine is playing the piano. I love to sit and play the piano, but it is not usually on my list of things to do for the day. When I take 20 minutes out of my day to play for fun, it really relaxes me. Do you like to knit or dance or play an instrument? Even if you haven't done it for years, take a minute to enjoy your hobby and relax at the same time.

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  • Read a book

  • Reading a book, whether a physical book or an electronic book, is a wonderful way to relax. Getting lost in someone else's life and problems can make your own life seem much simpler than you thought. The only problem with reading is it's hard to stop after just 30 minutes!

  • Clean

  • Cleaning is a surprising way to relieve stress. There is just something satisfying about scrubbing a tub until it shines or going through your closet and getting rid of things you don't need. You don't have to deep clean the whole house, but one small project can really help you relax.

  • Exercise

  • Exercise may not be that relaxing, but it can definitely help get some stress out. Punch a punching bag, take a spin class, or dance away your worries in your living room. Getting up and moving can clear your head, make you feel like you're doing something productive and get your endorphins flowing. 30 minutes is enough time to break a sweat, but doesn't let you get too overwhelmed.

  • All these ideas can be done in 30 minutes or less, or you can extend them according to your schedule. At times, life is full of stress so it's important that we take a moment to calm down, clear our head and get focused so we can jump back into our lives, completely ready to take on whatever is waiting for us.

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Megan Shauri graduated with a bachelors in anthropology and a masters in psychology. She is a mother of twins.

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