beauty

5 Easy Ways to Instantly Reduce Tension While You’re Waiting for Election Results

5 Easy Ways to Instantly Reduce Tension While You’re Waiting for Election Results

It’s no exaggeration: This is the most important election of our lifetime. And as the results remain uncertain, many of us are feeling excruciating stress and tension in our minds and bodies alike. What to do in a state of nerves amid a chorus of “too close to calls” and President Donald Trump’s mind-numbing tweets? From a sanity-preserving stroll to a quick and easy head massage, here are five ways to calm your anxiety and reduce tension while weathering the final stretch of the election.

Go for a Sanity Walk

In lockdown, sanity walks became a lifeline for many, offering fresh air, an excuse to get moving, and most importantly, a break from internal chaos. During this tumultuous time, do not underestimate the benefits a quick stroll outside can offer, including improving mental clarity, boosting your mood, and helping release tension—particularity if you have proximity to nature. According to a recent study, walking in nature was found to reduce ruminating over negative experiences.

Do a Breathwork Exercise

Of course, at a time like this, being told to “just breathe” can feel insultingly simple. But to gather your thoughts and cleanse your mind, breathwork, an active meditation that involves guided breath, pulled in and out of the mouth for extended intervals, has been shown to reduce levels of stress hormones and soothe the nervous system. According to Los Angeles–based meditation coach Light Watkins, if you’re anxious or overwhelmed, sitting down and taking 10 deep breaths over a period of two to three minutes will create a noticeable shift in your state of consciousness.

Get Up and Stretch

Whether it’s a special yoga sequence or a mode of dynamic stretching such as foam rolling, elongating muscles in a slow, controlled manner is a robust way to reduce tension in the body. “When muscles stay contracted, fascia can lose its elasticity, leaving you feeling tight, stiff, and tired,” says Maya Jocelyn, founder of Brooklyn-based holistic health and arts center Studio Maya, adding that myofascial release increases blood flow to the muscles and gives a gentle stretch to connective tissue, which can “help you feel more open, free, and energized.”

Give Yourself a Head Massage

The best salve for a dizzying amount of push notifications? A restorative head massage. “It helps release tension that we often store in our scalp,” explains Tomoko Shima, the founder of New York City head spa Tomoko Shima Salon. “It can often be seen when people raise their eyebrows or bring their eyebrows together—this reflects the tension that we are hoping to release.” Whether it’s just with your fingertips, or with help from a scalp brush, gently kneading the scalp, temples, and neck for a few minutes can help melt away stress and tension in minutes.

Reach for a Calming Scent

Scent is highly individual, so reaching for your go-to, mood-boosting fragrance, essential oil, or scented candle is a fail-proof way to stay more calm and grounded. But if you want a science-backed strategy, look to scents with known calming properties, such as lemon and lavender, to help you get through the mounting anticipation.

Source: vogue.com