Reading time: two minutes. An important component of a physical wellness program is learning to relax, unwind, refresh, loosen-up and reset the stress button. Here are some of my favorite techniques. Laugh – A hearty chuckle or a rolling guffaw can actually reduce the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the bloodstream. An easy way to get a chortle or two is to look up a favorite comedy film clip on YouTube. It takes just a few seconds to find it, and you can get your favorite laugh from a favorite movie without watching the whole film! Be sure your office door is open so everyone knows what a fun person you are!Workout – I’m an early morning workout guy, but some like to schedule their walk or trip to the gym mid-day as a break from the hectic pace of ministry. Makes sense to me! Stretch – An alternate is to take a stretch break. Use the CD you received on your Grace Place Wellness retreat, of just do some simple “toe reaches” (who can touch their toes, anyway?), torso twists, or get on the floor for some more elaborate stretches. Remember your deep breathing! Treat – My treat of choice would be ice cream, but if your weight and blood sugar are in order, pick your favorite summer treat and splurge a little. Savor every bite. Relax and remember the joys of childhood summers. Call – Call your mom or your grand-kids or your college roomie, someone who always cheers you up. A friendly voice is a great stress reliever. Game – I’ve got a putter and three golf balls in my office. Golf is my favorite, so I stuck a Post-It-Note on the baseboard and take a golf break once in a while. I have a friend who keeps a baseball and a couple of gloves in the closet. He grabs someone and says, “Come on! Let’s have a catch!” If video games or computer Solitaire relax you, (I can’t imagine that myself) play a little. Our former District President took the bocci balls into the office hallway for mid-day fun and games with the staff! Nap – I once told my pastoral counselor friend Al, “Sometimes I just feel like taking a nap right in the middle of the day!” He looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Are you kidding? See that couch you’re sitting on? I’ve taken a nap there every day at work for the last 26 years!” Good advice. What’s your favorite unwinding, mid-day stress reliever? I’d love to hear from you! Thanks for reading. A Congregational Wellness Weekend is designed to help create a ministry environment at your church or school where professional church workers can thrive and serve joyfully in their calling at top capacity. Let’s start the conversation today! Find more information on our website or contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman to learn more.