Even when we’re busy, we make time for the crucial things in life – we eat, go to the bathroom and sleep. And yet, one of our most crucial needs – exercise – is often the first thing to go when our calendars fill up.
Exercise is an effective stress reducer. It helps lift your mood and can put you in a meditative state, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Marilyn recommends dedicating a few blocks of time each week to self-care, whether it’s a workout, yoga or meditation. If you’re really pressed for time, start with deep-breathing exercises during your commute or a quick fiveminute meditation session morning and night.
These exercises require minor effort but offer major payoffs. Psychotherapist Bryan Robinson, author of Chained to the Desk, explains that our autonomic nervous system includes two branches: the sympathetic nervous system (our body’s stress response) and the parasympathetic nervous system (our body’s rest and digest response). The more you do the exercises, the more you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which “calms everything down, not just in the moment”, he says.
“Over time, you start to notice that your parasympathetic nervous system will start to trump your sympathetic nervous system,”