Relaxation is such a buzz word at the moment. After the busy and hectic time of the Christmas holidays we are encouraged to relax and take time out to refresh and rejuvenate our weary bodies and minds. But, how do we relax ? Does it become another added pressure on us to follow the advice ? Can we force ourselves to relax even if we don’t feel like it ?
Personally I think we should incorporate relaxation and ‘time out’ into our daily lives. I think regular relaxation is more beneficial for our health than a snatched week of relaxation on our annual holiday. How many times have you heard stressed out men and women saying ” I will relax once I am on holiday!” Sadly for the rest of the year they spend each day rushing around, eating poorly and so their health declines.
So what are my top tips for incorporating relaxation into your daily lives ?
1 Plan your relaxation time. If you find yourself getting to the end of another busy day without having taken any time out, then you obviously need to plan for your relaxation time. Write it in your diary like any other appointment and then you are more likely to stick to it. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of time. Just thirty minutes a day time out is enough to recharge your body and mind.
2 Think about HOW you want to relax. Do you like to go for a walk ? Perhaps you like to snuggle on the sofa with a good book? Perhaps you like to meditate with help from an App or relaxing music ? Find your favourite relaxation idea. We are all different so what suits your friend may not suit you. For me I like to snuggle on the sofa with a coffee and read my book.
3 Try incorporate some exercise into your daily life. This doesn’t have to be pounding away at the gym or running ten miles every night. Remember not to put pressure on yourself. Just daily light exercise can actually relax you, your body and your mind. Exercise releases feel good endorphins and can greatly relax us without us laying or sitting still. Exercise gets the blood circulation flowing better which makes us think clearer and feel rejuvenated. I walk twice a day with my dog George and I have recently started gentle swimming three times a week along with a twice weekly session of yoga. I certainly feel more relaxed after these activities and yet I don’t feel I have exerted myself too much.
4 Practice mindfulness which is simply paying attention to the present moment, to your thoughts and feelings and to the world around you. Mindfulness is now recognised as a positive way to relax and to allow the body and mind to refresh and rejuvenate. When we are busy rushing around we lose touch with our surroundings and we become wrapped up in busy and sometimes negative thoughts. Mindfulness is easy to do. Just take some time to look around you. Take note of the weather, temperature, how you are feeling right now, the colour of the sky, your hands, the texture of your dress etc. The idea of mindfulness is to keep in the present moment and appreciate what you have, right now. Mindfulness takes practice but if you persevere with it I promise it is worth doing.
5 Eat good food and eat slowly. As we rush around in our busy lives we often eat in a rush too. This is so bad for our health, both physically and mentally. We reach for junk food and ready meals as they fit in well with our busy lives, but consistently eating in this way only causes more stress to our mind and bodies. Eat healthy and eat slowly and you will almost feel a state of relaxation if you eat this way. Practice mindfulness as you eat and appreciate every mouthful of the lovely food you are consuming.
6 Try and get a good night’s sleep every night. I have suffered dreadfully from insomnia in the past which had a snowball effect on all aspects of my life. I was sluggish during the day, unable to think straight and grabbed junk food as I was too tired to cook proper meals. If you suffer from insomnia try find a way of helping yourself. I personally turned to self hypnosis recordings specifically designed for insomnia and they have helped me hugely. I used the recordings by Glenn Harrold which I have mentioned before in a previous post on insomnia and can be downloaded as an App onto your smart phone or can be purchased as an MP3 or CD recording. http://www.glennharrold.com
7 If finances allow then try make time for a few days away. This can be a break by the sea in a small B & B or a stay in a spa. I personally always make time for spa visits as they are my favourite way to relax. Spas don’t have to be expensive and you can find lots of cheap deals on the internet. Be careful though as visiting spas can become addictive as I know only too well ! I previously wrote about a wonderful spa / relaxation place called Acorn Wellness Retreat Centre in North Yorkshire which is just amazing. http://www.acornwellness.co.uk Please read my post on this if you missed it.
I hope this post has given you a few ideas for helping you relax more. Don’t forget we are all different and you have to find your own way of encouraging relaxation into your life. Trust me, once relaxation becomes an important part of your life then you will do anything to keep it in your life. You will find your health and mental state improve dramatically and you will wonder how you ever coped before you welcomed daily relaxation into your life.
If you have any tips about relaxation please comment below as I and all my readers would love to know what helps you relax.
Until next time dear friends, take care and don’t forget to relax !