Many stress-filled days have gone by where I forgot to take some time to relax and wind down. I would wake up reaching for my phone and keep it glued to my hand all day. And then I come home and respond to messages late at night until I fall asleep with the phone in my hand. I realized I needed a break. And what better way to take a break than to celebrate National Relaxation Day!

Numerous studies have shown that the stress hormone cortisol has damaging effects on our skin and body. From weight gain and heart disease, to premature wrinkles and acne, stress can make you feel and look less than your best. So in honor of National Relaxation Day, check out these 9 activities you can do to relax your mind, body, and soul.

Happy National Relaxation Day!

10-Minute Yoga Sequence for Relaxation

Ditch the complicated yoga poses that only seem to stress me out even more, and try this simple yoga sequence, created to relieve tension in only 10 minutes. Get the sequence, plus an easy-to-follow infographic via HealthCentral.

Take time to color in an Adult Coloring Book

Adult coloring books became popular in the past few years for a reason. Coloring helps focus your mind on a simple task, while also exploring your creative side, which releases endorphins- natural stress fighters. Check out this hilarious coloring book called #MomLife: A Snarky Adult Coloring Book  for a funny and real life way to take some time for yourself. Plus, you know you were looking for a reason to dip into the school supplies you just bought. Go ahead and break in that new pack of crayons.

Take quick breaks to recharge

Sometimes, I find myself in a situation where I need to calm down and relax in a short period of time. I have to get it done quickly, and move on to something else. If you are short on time today, here are some awesome quick tricks to relax in less than five minutes from Manigazer.

Engage in a Digital Detox

My electronics are my lifeline. They have become both my escape from reality and my stress-inducer. I will admit, I have found myself distracted from my work and disconnected from my family when I am engrossed in my phone or tablet. We can give our brains (and our eyes) some relaxation by stepping away from the digital products for a bit. Get the details on how and why we should detox (and read the story of one blogger’s teenage daughter as she goes through electronic withdrawal) via WiseBread.

Read an Enjoyable Book

Since you have some extra time without your electronics glued to your hand, take a few moments to catch up on some of the reading you have been neglecting. The University of Minnesota confirms that reading is great for stress relief, as long as you are reading something you enjoy. Check out some other great tips from the University of Minnesota on Reading for Stress Relief.

Write in your Journal

I love writing my thoughts and ideas down in my journal. It’s a great way to get everything out of my head and onto paper so I can organize my thoughts and quiet my mind. Today, try taking a pen to a blank piece of paper, and just see what happens. And if you like it, take your journal time beyond just today with Simply Stepping’s 30 Days of Journal Prompts.

Work on your skincare regimen

I love using a face mask as a relaxation technique because I force myself to sit still while the mask dries on my face. And even if you don’t want to do an entire mask, taking a few minutes to focus on your skincare can relax you and help combat the signs of stress on your skin. Check out my skincare routine video for some ideas on how to solidify your own routine.

Try a Guided Meditation

I found out the benefits of meditation unexpectedly when a friend of mine took me to a theater class. During the last 10 minutes of the class, the professor took the students through a guided meditation. At first I scoffed at the idea, but by the end of the first few minutes, I was calm, relaxed, and fully focused on the exercise. Give a guided meditation a try with these six YouTube guided meditations compiled by Mia Goros. And they’re only 10 minutes!

Practice Structured Breathing to get to sleep

If you are still feeling overwhelmed and stressed before bedtime, try this trick from Alyssa Coleman for structured breathing to get to sleep faster. Then turn off the lights and get some rest!

Whew! I hope these nine activities help you end your National Relaxation Day on a good note! What do you do to relax and relieve stress on a daily basis?

stephthorne

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