Or how to stay calm when you have a zillion things to do!

OK, so we women are supposed to be good at multi-tasking but hey, don’t push us.

If you’ve read or watched the Harry Potter stories, you’ll probably remember Professor Dumbledore’s aptly named pensieve, this sort of magic cauldron in which you could put your thoughts when your brain is overcrowded so you can see things more clearly. How many times have I  wished I weren’t a muggle and could have one of those!pensieve

Here’s a quote from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Dumbledore speaking to Harry):

I use the Pensieve. One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one’s mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one’s leisure. It becomes easier to spot patterns and links, you understand, when they are in this form.

But since we lesser mortals (or Muggles) do not have one, here is the first of a series of 4 posts giving you some ideas on how to relax from our busy lifestyles.

1 minute wonders

1. Just BREATHE. Sounds obvious I know but the idea is to BE AWARE (as Jean-Claude Van Damme would say) of your breathing, a minute of mindfulness concentrating on just that.

Simply take four or five deep breaths right into your stomach (place your hands on your stomach to help you concentrate).

It’s the simplest way to help release any stress building-up.

2. DRINK SOME WATER. Being dehydrated is a trigger to stress because the body reacts negatively to not having enough fluids. DON’T WAIT TO BE THIRSTY to drink.

Here's my Decathlon water bottle

Here’s my Decathlon water bottle

Do like me, keep a water bottle always to hand and sip at it regularly throughout the day. I purposefully bought a bright pink water bottle with measurements on the side (it holds up to 750ml, from Decathlon in France if you’re interested) so I know how much I’ve drunk in the day. I try to refill it, but hey, I also drink three-four cups of tea and herbal tea, so that adds to my fluid intake. Develop a water habit. You’ll feel perkier and your skin will love you for it (plus point).

3. SMILE. Stop frowning all the time (maybe you don’t, good for you) and make an effort to be nice to people. Force the smile if you must (but don’t grit your teeth, it’s a dead giveaway that you’re not being sincere!) and soon you’ll be doing it naturally. Smiling tells your body you’re happy which produces endorphins that make you feel good…so you keep on smiling.

Check out this poem about smiling.

4. SNIFF. Using certain essential oils in a burner or on a handkerchief to inhale can calm. Try lavender, sandalwood or ylang-ylang.oils

Make a date for next Friday to get some ideas for some 5 minute wonders.