RE.LAX!

Take a mental health day. RE.LAX! Stay a while in the moment. Here are my favorite ways to keep your mental health in check in the middle of a busy work day.

1. Take 5 and breathe deeply.

Even if you don’t have time to take a full blown mental health day, you can recover your mind and relax with 5 minutes of deep breathing. Try focusing on your breathing, and take a few deep breaths in and out. Follow it with a natural breath, and begin counting your inhalations and exhalations to the count of 10, then begin again. After 5 minutes, come back to the present, and feel refreshed and focused.

2. Go on a mental vacation with imagery.

When you need a vacation, but can’t drop everything to take one, use imagery to get away. Start by closing your eyes and picturing your favorite place to relax, or imagine a new one. Describe the sights and sounds — if your vacation is at a beach, do you hear seagulls and waves crashing? Really immerse yourself in your happy place. The more details that you imagine, the better you will feel after reaching your special spot.

3. Have a cup of tea.

If you have trouble counting breaths and just can’t imagine that vacation spot, don’t fret! Take a moment for yourself and make a cup of tea. Coffee seems like the go-to for an afternoon pick-me-up. But replacing your afternoon coffee with chamomile tea, or green tea if you need a small caffeine boost, can keep you relaxed and mentally sharp for the rest of your day. Try a new tea, and make a point of sipping it slowly and appreciating the warmth of the mug. Changing your temperature is a DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) skill, and it can help you RE.LAX!

These are a few of my favorite ways to take a mental health break. Try them out, and see if they soothe and relax you when you just don’t have time to take a full mental health day. Enjoy and RE.LAX!

For more relaxation techniques, check out this Harvard Health article.

If you do what you love, it is the best way to relax. — Christian Louboutin

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