Updated: Oct 26, 2020
How to relax when things get a little too much
Life is hectic and it's important to make time for some good old R&R. Here, I have listed some recommended techniques to make all that stress disappear!
Tip #1: Meditation or Breathing Exercises
This is my personal go to. When people hear meditation they might think of someone sitting with legs crossed and eyes shut repeating a mantra, however, meditation and breathing exercises take many forms in todays world and can be done virtually anywhere.
Taking deep breaths and attempting to quieten the mind helps our brain slow down, promoting creativity. Whether you are on a park bench, in the work canteen or in your house, taking deep breaths (with eyes open or shut) is enough to get you in the swing of regular meditation practice.
Tip #2: Create a Chill Space
Creating a space where you can turn away from the world and be yourself is one of the best ways to relax. It could be an armchair where you read, the desk that you study or work from, a corner of the house or even a room if you have the space. The basic idea is to allow yourself to indulge in what makes you happy whilst in this space. An album, a hobby, a place to nap. Whatever it is, make it yours and use it for respite when the stress levels are high.
Tip #3: Clean and Tidy
To some of us (me included), this sounds like the last thing you'd do when trying to relax. However, for those of us that enjoy nothing more than a good spring clean, this is perfect. The process of cleaning the house, or doing the garden can be rewarding and motivating. There is something to be said for the feeling you get looking upon something that you have made clean. While the actual work involved might not help you relax, the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction afterwards definitely will!
Tip #4: Take a Walk
Got a spare hour? Feeling the pressure of the week building up on you? What a perfect time for a walk. Your schedule may be jam packed and your phone may be ringing, but there is always a little time for number one, you! A quick brisk walk away from mobile phones, emails and diaries might just be the relief you need. Fresh air and some physical exercise will help you clear your mind and will ensure a calm return to your to do list.
Tip #5: Aromatherapy
There are loads of products available that help diffuse or vaporise essential oils safely and effectively. Oils such as lavender and tea tree are known for their therapeutic effect. If you don't have any devices, oils can be put on hands and inhaled for similar effect. Some oils can even be put into your showerhead which makes for a very relaxing morning shower!
Tip #6: Conversation and Socialising
Anyone else feel like we took this for granted in the days before Covid? Conversing with friends, family, or partners is a great way to relax. We often don't realise the power of venting about our day to our loved ones. If you have someone that knows how to listen to you and give you advice, you are one of he lucky one's. Be sure to thank your loved ones for all their support and always remember to breathe mid rant! Once the venting is over, you can take a deep breath knowing you got it off your chest.
Tip #7: Listen to Music
Music is such a powerful tool for relaxation. You don't have to use soundtracks of falling rain or sounds from the deep ocean. Music is subjective and whether you relax to Metal, Reggae or Pop, sinking into your favourite album is a perfect way to satisfy your need for some you time.
Tip #8: Stretching
The power of stretching is massively underrated. It is another great way of relaxing your body and keeping it prepared for the strains of the day. Our physical health is as important in development as the mental. Getting into a routine of stretching in the morning and at regular intervals throughout the day will keep you feeling comfortable and relaxed. It's also important if you find yourself at a desk with a screen all day. Our bodies easily stiffen up and regular stretching can prevent Repetitive Strain Injuries keeping you happy and healthy!
Tip #9: Daydream
Remember the teachers at school? 'Oi, stop daydreaming and do your work' Well, I now give you full permission. Any process that brings out our creativity and imagination is hugely effective as a relaxation techniques. Allowing for a momentary escape, now and again, into a world completely created in our own minds helps us appreciate what we have and teaches us not to take ourselves too seriously. In the middle of a busy day, a quick daydream actually grounds us and can make to do list's a little easier to handle.
Tip #10: Count Backwards
This is the emergency technique for when things are really getting to you. Starting from 10, 20 or 30, count backwards to zero. As you do so let the stress and the rage and the anxiety leave your mind and body. Repeat this as many times as you have to do to centre yourself and achieve deep, relaxing breaths.