How to Relax: 11 really easy ways to unwind
Whether you get your sun, sea and sand abroad or in the UK, lots of you will be going away at some point in the summer. But diving into relaxation mode straight after leaving your busy and hectic lifestyle behind for a while can be tricky. To make the most out of your holiday you’ll need to learn to wind down before you go on holiday. That’s why we’ve come up with an action plan on how to relax before your summer holiday. These techniques also work very well on a regular basis – so get relaxing!
The first thing to do is make sure you nip burnout in the bud. Of course, we all know there aren’t enough hours in the day and it seems everyone wants a piece of you. But there are ways you can avoid wearing yourself out and focusing on how to relax.
- When you open your eyes in the morning, don’t get up straight away. Spend about 10 to 20 minutes to yourself – be it meditation, writing in a dream journal, stretching or reading the paper.
- You’re allowed to say “no” to people. Don’t overexert yourself and double (or even triple) book yourself. That means you’ll open yourself up to the tasks you really want to do, as opposed to just keeping people happy.
- You are what you eat. If you eat junk, you’ll feel like junk. Healthy eating isn’t all rabbit food and calorie counting. All you really need to do is put aside half an hour a day to create recipes from scratch – you’ll be surprised at how quickly it becomes a habit. Not only will they taste delicious, but they’ll give you enough energy to deal with life’s busy bustles.
- Take a technology break! Set a certain time each day where you “disconnect” from the world. Turn off your laptop and phone for a couple of hours. At first it might be hard, but after a while it’s like giving yourself a treat.
- If work is becoming stressful counteract it with a creative project or hobby. This could be anything from working on a piece of art, picking up a musical instrument or even learning a new language.
Even though breathing is an automatic process, we often forget to breathe properly and effectively. When you’re under stress you take shallow breaths using your chest muscles instead of your stomach muscles. Simply taking deeper breaths can make you feel a lot calmer. The following is an easy breathing exercise:
- Wear comfortable, breathable clothes
- Make sure you’re comfortable in a seated position
- Place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach
- Slowly breathe out and count to 11
- Slowly breathe in and count to 7
- Stop for a few seconds and repeat the process
You should feel deeply relaxed, maybe even a little light-headed. Your blood pressure will greatly decrease and your mind will feel clearer. This is a great technique to practice before bed as it settles your mind and body for sleep. It’s also great for waking up in the morning, as you’ll be in a good mood for the day ahead.
Put Yourself as a Priority
Busy? Don’t have a moment to yourself? It’s time you started putting yourself as a priority now and again. Don’t worry, it’s not selfish – you’re only human and you deserve to put your feet up. Everyone needs time to themselves, and here’s how to do it properly…
- Go on a leisurely walk. Walking encourages the flow of endorphins, helping you to relax and sleep well at night. Walking in a gorgeous part of the countryside can put you in a fantastic mood.
- Yoga can be done in under an hour. It’s fantastic for regulating your breathing, increasing dopamine levels and decluttering your mind.
- A long, hot bath can be heavenly. It soothes and relaxes tense muscles and improves blood circulation. It’s even better if you light a few scented candles and use some essential oils or bubble bath.
- Meet up with a friend for a good chat. Putting the world to rights with a trusted mate can help you see things from a new angle. Even just an hour of meeting up with a good friend can reduce stress levels – and laughing with them helps too!
- Escape with a book or an inspirational movie. This is a great way to switch off and visit another world without leaving the comfort of your own home.