I got a great e-mail today from Oprah’s website (I signed up for a few of her newsletters about a week ago). I figured I’d share this one because it’s so common. We are so busy living our lives from day-to-day that we rarely have time to take a deep breath. To me, summertime is the couple months out of the year that people should have to relax, but that doesn’t exactly happen. I know most people have jobs/careers and work 9-5 or whatever, but when you get off work or hell even at work you should try these “secrets” from around the world year-round. Here’s the link to the original article http://www.oprah.com/world/Global-Relaxation-Secrets-De-Stressing-Advice-from-Around-the-World
How to de-frazzle yourself:
1. Sweden– the Swedes enjoy what is called a fika which involves leaving your desk or workplace altogether for a coffee break. The Swedes suggest not doing this solo and if you do then it loses that cool name and simply becomes just a coffee break. This takes place twice a day and usually at 10 a.m. and another at 3 p.m. This isn’t a fancy expensive stress reliever, but simply getting a strong cup of coffee with a sweet snack (they suggest a cinnamon roll or pastry). This doesn’t have to be an every day ritual, but from what I read it seems to help keep stress at lower levels while you’re at work. The best part is…you won’t slack on your work. A “2009 MIT study showed that those who got up to socialize with colleagues during the day showed a 10 to 15 percent increase in productivity…” Pretty cool, huh?
2. India– ” ‘champissage’ involves traditional frictional moves on the head combined with Western de-tensing techniques for the shoulders and neck.” Who wouldn’t want to massage themselves every day while your stressing about a big project coming up or having to work a longer shift? Sounds good to me. They say massaging your head and neck can heighten senses such as alertness and make you better able to concentrate. The best part about this? It’s free. Only your hands are needed! I would think getting a full body massage at least once a month would help with the toll stress takes on our bodies also.
3. Japan– not only do the Japanese take off their outdoor shoes before entering their houses, but they also do it at work! I know this is probably a no-no for most professionals, but try it one day and see what happens. Take off your stilettos and slip on a pair of comfortable slippers. Not only is this WAY more comfortable, but also helps eliminate cramps women can get in their calves and feet during the day. Since America is known for its workaholic tendencies, this secret could make a world of difference (if it’s allowed at your workplace). Being comfortable at work can go a long way. Among other things, it helps you stay focused and get more work done. Sounds like an awesome plan to me!
4. Finland– everyone’s heard of a sauna, right? Finns take a break from their stressful lives at least once a week and escape to a retreat of 170-230 degree heat to sweat it off. This sounds absurd when you live in Louisiana like me, but sweating in saunas is actually good for you. It can lower blood pressure. I thought it was cool that in Finland businessmen and women will even host meetings in saunas. If being in the nude among people/friends of the same sex scares you then this is probably not for you, but it’s worth a try. You only live once.
5. West Africa– people in this country take drumming classes to “beat” out their stresses. It has been proven to decrease stress and even strengthen your immune system. If you’re not musically inclined (like me) you could try a drumming class in a private place instead of out in the open like some do. While drumming with others, you will feel a sense of unity and one with yourself. Or your id as they call it. Imagine after having a terrible week at work then going beat on drums (while possibly fantasizing about it being your boss’ face). I know quite a few people who wouldn’t mind that! Dancing is also a great way to relieve stress. Both of these are rooted in West African history and still practiced today.
Another great stress reliever that’s not on this list is yoga. I have done it and loved it. Be prepared to get limber though!
Even though I am a college student without a 9-5 job, I still know how demanding they are (after watching my hardworking parents my entire life). Everyone should partake in at least one of these and enjoy it. Who knows what a little stress relief will do for you. It’s worth a look see.
Now get off your tush and go de-frazzle yourselves!