Get Inspired: Get Relief From Stress

If you're anything like me, now's probably not the easiest time of year. The cheery holidays and days of Christmas shopping and caroling and holiday parties are long gone, replaced by 17 hours of classes, your job, a million activities, endless assignments, homework, papers, and quizzes, and trying to stay in touch with all your friends on top of that while not falling behind in school or work; and to top it off, a bottomless email inbox that never seems to get conquered.

Yep, where DID the holidays go? When I was grabbing coffee and dashing to a meeting (15 minutes late as usual) yesterday, I noticed the coffee cup proclaimed: "If you're drinking caffeine to relax, it's time for a break." Well, if you can barely find a minute to sit down and read this brief little article, it's time to take a break of your own – minus the caffeine addiction! Check out these top stress reducers:

Breaths. Breathing exercises are actually a surprisingly quick and easy way to take a few minutes to relax and regain your composure. Try Karate Breathing Meditation.

Meditation. Ok, I didn't take this one seriously either – do people really meditate? I tried it and I'll admit it didn't work for me – I still couldn't get my nagging to-do list out of my head and fully enjoy the meditative moment. But maybe it'll work for you! Here's a good article on different types of meditation.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation. According to, "By tensing and relaxing all the muscle groups in your body, you can relieve tension and feel much more relaxed in minutes, with no special training or equipment. Start by tensing all the muscles in your face, holding a tight grimace ten seconds, then completely relaxing for ten seconds. Repeat this with your neck, followed by your shoulders, etc. You can do this anywhere, and as you practice, you will find you can relax more quickly and easily, reducing tension as quickly as it starts!"

Need more? Check out this list for starters of the top ten tension reducing activities.

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