If I had a dime for each time someone remarked that I look tired or stressed, I would have, well, a lot of dimes.
You may have the same experience. In that case, we should each take National Relaxation Day on August 15 to heart. Or perhaps to the couch. Or the beach, the backyard, maybe the front porch.
For the millions of working women in this country and globally for whom a full day of relaxation is not in the cards today, know that a little bit of chill also counts.We should each take #NationalRelaxationDay on August 15 to heart. Or perhaps to the couch. What's your go-to way to chill? Click To Tweet
New research shows that for women especially, working less and having less stress means better health.
“If women work fewer hours, it’ll lower their risk of diabetes, according to a study published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care. Researchers found that women who consistently worked 45 hours or more a week had a 63 percent greater risk of diabetes compared with those who worked between 35 and 40 hours a week,” according to CNN.
“Orfeu Buxton, a professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State, said another factor that may be driving this risk is that when women work a lot, in addition to the stress of long hours, there is less time for self-care. They might not eat a good diet, might put off exercising and might not get enough sleep if they’re solely focused on getting the job done. Other studies have found that to be true,” according to CNN.
All the more reason for women leaders especially to reduce stress and embrace relaxation and not just on National Relaxation Day.
“Relaxing, restoring and managing the different facets of your personal well-being is called self-care. There are all different kinds of self-care (like sensory self-care, for example) and there are endless ways to engage in self-care,” advises Katherine Schafler, a psychotherapist, in Thrive Global.Quick remedies to reach relaxation do not have to be extensive. They can be simple. Tell us your #NationalRelaxationDay tips! Click To Tweet
Your quick remedies to reach relaxation do not have to be extensive. They can be simple. Here are Take The Lead’s five best tips for relaxing on Relaxation Day.
Start Cool, Calm and Chill. “Waking up and immediately starting to stew about impending deadlines/ that meeting with the big wigs/ your never-ending to-do list is an all too common experience for many of us,” writes Lauren Williamson in Women’s Health. “A new study has found that spending the morning focusing on how much you have on your plate can reduce your brain function throughout the day. Researchers discovered that the more a participant anticipated stress in the morning, the worse their working memory was later in the day, whether or not their day was actually stressful.”
Simple works. “Wash your face — a refreshing way to reset,” Schafler writes. “Make some tea — how can you deny the Sleepytime brand with the little bear in its PJ’s?” Then, she adds, you can stretch. “It brings you back to your body and loosens your muscles, which sends immediate neurochemical signals to your brain that basically go, ‘Ok, you can relax for real now.’ (It’ll probably help that jaw clenching thing you don’t even notice you’re doing, too.)”
Breathe. “Take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth,” according to WebMD.
Say no to what causes you stress. Being over-committed on your time is stressful. “Another way to free up time is to think carefully before committing to tasks and appointments. Before saying yes, consider how much time it’s likely to take, what the benefit is and if you really want or need to do it. Saying “yes” out of obligation or because you underestimated how long it will take can consume many hours of your time. Nowadays, you have to be extra wary about online requests such as courses, webinars, training sessions and other time-consuming tasks that are supposedly necessary for your business but can divert you from more urgent tasks. Try not to commit to anything without carefully considering whether it serves a genuine need or is just another distraction,” writes Kalin Kassabov, founder and CEO of ProTexting.com, in Forbes.
Schedule free time. You can accomplish more in less time by scheduling in time off. I schedule my day with “rewards” for finishing a deadline, checking off a project on the list. Putting a day off or an afternoon off on the schedule regularly can also help you get more done in less time. “Having more hours in the day is the dream of just about every busy professional, but what if having more time for loved ones, hobbies, fitness, or relaxation was as simple as deciding you were going to give yourself the gift of more free time?” writes Jessica Stillman in Inc. “Study after study shows distractions at work eat up an insane amount of time. One report suggests most of us spend just three hours a day actually working. Another shows we waste a good four hours a day on email,” Stillman writes.@TakeLeadWomen's tips for #womenleaders on #NationalRelatationDay? Avoid stress first thing in the morning, simple self-care works, breathe, say no to what causes you stress, schedule free time. Click To Tweet
Bryan Robinson, PhD, a psychologist in Asheville, NC, and author of the forthcoming book #Chill, tells Web MD, “Workaholism is about ‘how it grips you and takes over your life and debilitates you.’ Employers are starting to say, ‘We don’t want workaholics,’ and workaholics don’t give employers a better bang for the buck.”
According to Robinson, “In the long run, workers who take and enjoy vacations and other down time — without being chained to their phones and other devices — are more productive and less prone to burnout and health issues. Employers, as well as workers, are beginning to believe this.”