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10 Things to Do to Feel Centered in 10 Minutes or Less

Strategies to help you keep your stress in check.

stress relieving pose
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Need a little pick-me-up or a temporary mental escape? There are plenty of opportunities for fun and relaxation in your home and surrounding it. Here are 10 calming techniques to help you relieve stress in less than 10 minutes.

woman with headphones

1. Listen to a meditation

Try an online guided meditations app, like Insight Timer (free), or Headspace and Calm, which have free trials as well. A guided mindfulness meditation where a teacher will walk you through breathing exercises and relaxation techniques can do wonders for anxious thoughts and help you handle the next stressor that comes your way. Practice for at least 10 minutes daily to reap the benefits including easing depression and pain.

2. Take an aromatherapy break

If you're a working parent attempting to juggle video conference calls and kid meltdowns, a few minutes of peace can go a long way when patience is spread thin. Creating work from home balance is key. Break out that aromatherapy set you've been waiting to use and play around to discover the essential oil scent that suits you best. Sniffing lavender essential oils can have a calming effect and citrus scents may temporarily reduce anxiety. Release the breath. Inhale again. If you have a diffuser, this can be a very relaxing practice to take advantage of while your face mask is doing its job.

3. Try self massage or apply acupressure points

When getting to your local masseuse isn't possible—and a partner isn't around to lend a helping hand—learning self-massage techniques can so helpful when you need to ease tension. If you're holding tension in your neck and shoulders from working at a computer all day, massage the trigger point to work it out. You could also apply pressure with your thumb or forefinger between your eyebrows in a circular motion for 5 to 10 minutes to minimize stress.

4. Do a quick stretching routine

Not only will stretching your limbs you help release tension you're holding onto, but this practice can help when you're feeling overwhelmed. Start by standing tall and taking deep breaths, then stretching arms overhead and bending your upper half of your body to hang down while you reach for the floor. Shake out your arms and head. Then clasp elbows while you hang down. Hold for a few breaths. See more yoga poses for anxiety here.

woman stretching

5. Call your most comforting friend or family member

Take a work-from-home break to reach out and connect with friends and loved ones you normally don't set aside time to chat with—virtually of course. Schedule a quick check-in call with that friend who's always calm and collected to chat about your days and discuss future dreams and aspirations. Not only does connecting with a friend help you feel less lonely and help your long-term health as you age, but sharing your goals with a friend makes them more likely to come to fruition.

6. Create a new Pinterest board with spring styles

Taking breaks can do wonders for your productivity, so why not make it a fun, creative break on Pinterest? You may have previously felt guilty about spending time “pinning" your favorite looks when there was something else you thought you should be doing—but now that you have more time, it's wise to use it on things that make you happy. Start a Pinterest board of curated looks you want to try this season. Looking at beautiful clothing and picturing yourself in these outfits at a future event will be a welcome escape from daily stressors.

closet organization

7. Organize a drawer or closet

While 10 minutes might not seem like enough time for this, if you clean out each drawer of a dresser during a 10-minute break for the afternoon, you'll have a lot done by the end of the day! Apply the same organizing strategy to your closet, accessories and makeup stash. An organized closet, dressers and counter tops can help you feel centered and less stressed. 

8. Create playlists for different moods

Research finds that listening to music can have a beneficial impact on the body's stress response. Some days you'll need to blast music and dance around your home to shake off the doldrums—especially when you're over being stuck inside. Other times, you'll want to have a relaxing playlist to listen to while soaking in the tub. Build a few playlists you'll have ready when a particular mood strikes.

9. Apply a face mask

Nothing says refreshed and chilled out like healthy, glowing skin. Apply a sheet mask and recline on your couch for 10 minutes to feel restored. (Hint: Turn off the TV.) Or, try a DIY face mask with kitchen ingredients—like mashed banana, orange juice, and honey—that'll reveal vibrant skin.

10. Read a book

Sure, 10 minutes isn't a long time to spend reading—carve out more time if you can!—but a few minutes here and there will add up to a completed book over the course of a week or two. You could also listen to a book through a platform like Audible or Scribd. No enticing books around your house? Download one through a platform like Kindle or use your library's online loan resources if they have them.

woman reading peacefully

Nordstrom Trunk Club has great content to help you feel balanced while working from home. Explore our Women’s Style Inspiration for more tips and ideas.

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