Chances are if you are stressed, you are also strapped for time (funny how these two foes go hand-in-hand). But, breathe. We rounded up some of our favorite spa-approved, supereasy relaxation-inducers—all of which can be done in 10 minutes or less, so you don’t lose time, or your mind, in the quest for Zen.
Walk It Off
Go outside and take a stroll. “You can reduce stress and recharge your energy in nature,” says Livia Reddington, spa director at Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui. “Put your phone away and connect with your inner world, and take a short walk in the sunshine.”
Focus on drinking water, especially when you get on the verge of those boiling-over moments. “You can also drop cold water on your wrists; it cools down the major arteries and the nerves at the same time,” says Kate Santarsieri, spa director at San Diego’s Rancho Bernardo Inn.
Meditate In The Morning
“Claim at least the first few minutes of the morning to yourself to have quiet time or meditation,” suggests spa director Carolyn Doe from The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, NC.
Widen your outlook to what else is going on in the world. “Think about your blessings and the positive parts of your life,” says Catherine Powers, spa director of L’Apothecary Spa at L’Auberge de Sedona, AZ. “This will help take the charge out of the stress-causer.”
Do Some DIY Massages
Both facial and foot massages can help immensely—and you don’t need to go to a masseuse to do either one. According to Sheree Jackson, spa manager at Jamaica Inn, “The sole of the foot is a blue print of the entire body. When you’re feeling worn out and stressed, try giving yourself a boost with a massage on your feet. A 10-minute treatment can help you feel healthier, happier and more relaxed.”
Take A Bath
Baths are so simple, yet something that often seems to become an extra step at the end of a hectic day. But, don’t skip it on the nights you really need to de-stress—it can help you wind down, turn off your mind and help you fall (and stay) asleep. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to create a bath that has some major mind-body benefits. “Take a bath with magnesium and lavender while sipping on chamomile tea,” suggests Diane Scott, spa director at Mirbeau Inn & Spa at The Pinehills in Plymouth, MA.
Jump In The Shower
Not a bath person? Kristi Dickinson, spa director for Mayflower Grace in Washington, CT, suggests hopping in the shower. “There is no better way to take the mind away from your stresses and live in the present than a contrast shower,” she says. “Alternate between 30 seconds of cold water and 60 seconds of hot water for three rounds. The bonus is a boost in energy and circulation to flush then nourish your vital organs.”
When all else fails, just breathe. “Getting your breathing in sync is essential,” says Valérie Abreu, spa manager at Spa My Blend by Clarins at Le Royal Monceau - Raffles Paris, who offers these steps: “Get comfortable sitting or lying down in a quiet place. Concentrate on your breathing without changing anything; just be conscious of how you inhale and exhale. Without forcing it, at your own pace, gradually increase how long you exhale by breathing through your nose, slow and steady. Then inhale again naturally through your nose. I recommend doing this for three minutes, several times a day.”