If you are like most people you operate at full speed from the time you get up until the time you go to bed. We live in a day and age that keeps us busy and stressed. How many times has your busy life and to-do list kept you from taking care of yourself?

Exhaustion, quick meals and no time to play don’t leave you feeling recharged.

When you feel good, life feels good. Make time to recharge and you’ll be surprised to find that you can accomplish more work during a shorter period of time. And you’ll be more fun to be around!

Here are 5 simple tips to help you recharge:

1. Breathe deeply. The easiest way to bring yourself back from the edge of chaos is to stop and take a few deep breaths. Deep belly breathing brings in more oxygen to help you think clearer and have more energy.

2. Be in the present moment and practice mindfulness. Living in the present moment is one of the most stress-reducing practices we can do. No worrying about the future and no regretting the past.

3. Loosen up. Take 5 minutes and do a few simple stretches to loosen up your shoulders, neck and back. Listen to your body, see what muscles feel tight and give them a few gentle stretches.

4. Plan downtime. Schedule an appointment with yourself and make it high priority. Put it on your calendar, set an alarm on your phone to remind you. Even if it is only 15 minutes at a time. Make it a habit and honor this commitment to yourself as you would honor a commitment to other people.

5. Connect with nature. Step outside, take a walk, hike or work in the garden. If you just can’t get outside, houseplants can give you a little nature fix. Clean the leaves, water them and even play in the dirt a little.

It may take you some time to get used to relaxing. You may find old guilty thoughts intruding, or you may start making excuses to skip downtime. If this happens, remind yourself that recharging is a necessity, and that failing to relax will cause your stress levels to skyrocket to unhealthy levels.

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