No Time For Stress? Simple Suggestions to Feel Better in 10 Minutes or Less

This list is inspired by a walk and conversation I had with a friend over the weekend. She’s a mom of 2 young girls, wife, working professional, family woman and community volunteer. She’s busy. We talked a lot about stress, the impact on health and responsibilities.

When we parted ways she said, “I don’t have time for stress!”

Who does? Below is a list of simple, practical techniques that work to help you feel better at various times during the day – at home, at work, in a meeting. Sometimes we all need a reminder, myself included. Pick one from the list or choose your own.

Take a few deep breaths. 1 minute to settle your thoughts. Can you spare it?

Take a short walk. Boost your mood naturally by yourself, with your family or with a colleague.

Stretch. Chronic muscle tension creates pain. And when you’re in pain, where is your attention? Most likely on the pain. Check out some of my past stretch break videos for ideas.

Talk to a friend. Connections are a critical part of lifting your mood. Research shows that strong family/friend connections are important to feeling good and living a healthy life.

Play. Play invokes creativity and is a great stress reliever. Toss a ball, work on a puzzle, knit, or engage in a hobby you enjoy.

playing on carousel

Clean your space. Sometimes nothing feels better than taking a few minutes to clean up your home or office space. Physical clutter is often associated with mental clutter.

Write it down. Writing is a great way to get thoughts out of your head and onto paper without necessarily sharing with others. The more I write, the more I find solutions to my problems.

Get some fresh air. Breathe it in…and out.

Listen to your favorite music. Music is a motivator (athletes use it) and instantly lifts my mood when I’m feeling down or low on energy.

Get support. If you feel stressed out and overwhelmed, you do not have to go it alone. I don’t care what society tells us, it’s ok to ask for help. Burning out and being unavailable to people is worse.

INSERT YOUR OWN TECHNIQUE HERE. Don’t like what I’ve suggested or have something else that works better for you? Great! If it feels good, relieves stress and keeps you healthy in the long term, go for it!

Now, it’s up to you. I (and others) can make suggestions but at the end of the day it’s up to you to make it happen. If you can’t find 5 or 10 minutes during your day to take care of you, you may want to consider seeking professional help. When you take small, simple steps to alleviate stress during the day, it definitely feels good.

How about you? What quick tips and ideas do you have to alleviate stress in your life?

Did you enjoy this post? Join the community to get new articles delivered once per week.


  • Chris Edgar

    It’s interesting what your friend said about not having time for stress — I know that, when I’m in a state of total focus on my work, I don’t feel anxious about it, even if there is a looming deadline or some other time constraint. In those moments I don’t need as many breaks — in fact I’m not that conscious of my needs outside of the immediate project. Those moments, I think, are wonderful.

  • Stacey Shipman

    Chris – I know what you mean. without getting in to it, one of the things my friend and I talked about was the impact of stress and how people don’t realize how stress affects us. There are so many things involved with “stress” today, and ironically folks are “too busy” to do anything about it. focus is presence, and there is no feeling of stress or anxiety or overwhelm in that moment.

Search the Site:

About Stacey:

Hi and welcome to the Brave Communicator blog where I write about communication as the path to well-being, trust, and influence.

I share insights, observations and interviews with brave communicators. I invite you to take a look around and bravely join the conversation. Learn more
Get Free Blog Updates


©2013 Stacey Shipman. All Rights Reserved.