I have had, it has to be said, a rather stressful year. I won’t bore you with the details, let’s just say my plate has runneth over with sh*tness.
Because of the stress, I have found that it isn’t just nice to have some downtime – it’s imperative. I have also found that when those little stress cells start dancing, it’s kind of hard to turn off the music and make them sit down. In other words; it can be really difficult to decompress when you are slap-bang in the middle of a stressful time.
Here are the tried and tested methods of relaxing that worked for me:
12 Ways To Relax
1) Deep breathing. This is a bit of an old chestnut, but it does work. Take a deep breath. Hold it. Now let it out … slowly. Count to 10 as you let out your breath. Try and visualise the stress and tension flowing out of you with each breath – it helps if you close your eyes. Repeat 5-10 times.
2) Exercise. I know we all live busy lives, and squeezing exercise into our daily routine can be difficult, but the benefits of regular exercise are phenomenal. If you exercise alone, it can give you some valuable quiet time in which to think through your problems.
3) Go for a walk. If you really can’t fit in an exercise session then take a walk. Walk around the block, walk around you building at work, just take five minutes out of your day and stretch your legs.
4) Massage yourself. Knead your shoulders, your neck and your lower back. Better still, get your significant other to do it for you 🙂
5) Get yourself outdoors. Get some fresh air, connect with nature and look and the beauty that surrounds you. Take a few deep breaths and enjoy!
6) Read. Get yourself a real page-turner of a book and immerse yourself in it. Nothing to lightweight, get something really meaty – something you look forwards to spending ten minutes a day reading. It will allow your mind to wander away from you worries.
7) Have gadget detox. Turn off your phone, your computer and your tablet. Disconnect from the world for a couple of hours and just ‘be’. Get offline and stay offline, you CAN do it!
8) Nap. Take a mid-afternoon nap, just snuggle on the sofa and recharge your batteries.
9) Take a day off. Book some time off from work and do something that you want to do, rather than something that you have to do.
10) Be still. Sit somewhere quiet, close your eyes, focus on your breathing and relax. Try to empty your mind, but don’t force it. Thoughts will float in, and that’s OK. Just acknowledge them, and focus again on your breathing. Do this for a long as you can.
11) Take a bath. Buy a bath bomb, bath oils or bubble bath – whatever takes your fancy. Then let the hot water soak your stress away.
12) Dance. Put on some fast music and dance around the house like a demon. Really go for it, it puts a smile on my face every time!
Times of stress are almost inevitable, but there are ways to get yourself through them. These are my top 10 ways to relax, what do you do to combat stress?