After a busy week, with all sorts going on, I wanted to take a moment to discuss different ways that we can take a load off our minds and unwind. For me, time to relax has to be factored in no matter what I am doing.
Some prefer to relax in company and others need time alone to properly chill out. I can do either but tend to lean more towards having some time and space to myself. The following are some simple suggestions for good ways to take time out of our busy lives and totally relax.
1) Relaxation techniques
Now we have all heard of these and they often link closely with yoga but I like to keep mine simple. I think I may have originally borrowed it from a sports class and now I regularly use it to help me unwind.
I start by laying on my back, eyes closed, and breathing deeply, in through the mouth and out through the nose. I then flex my feet so my toes point straight up and the foot muscles tighten. I breathe into that then relax my feet and move on to my calves. Working up my whole body, by the time I have clenched and let go of every pair or muscles and scrunched up my facial muscles I generally feel sleepy and chilled out.
2) Reading cosily
As a book reviewer I am always reading and for me it is something I enjoy a lot so it helps me to let go. Often I lay back on the couch with my feet raised slightly on a pillow, holding a book in front of me. Sometimes I devour my ebooks this way too and snuggle up sideways, resting the iPad on the edge of the sofa while I read. Reading in bed with a lamp nearby is also a comfortable alternative. The only trouble is when I end up feeling sleepy midway though a chapter. I then forget where I got to after I wake up, with the book strewn over the floor.
3) Fresh air
Nothing beats a walk in the countryside but I am not living right next to a mountain valley so I have to make do with what is nearby. Luckily there are a few small lakes within my area of the city and I am able to walk around them without needing to drive anywhere first. Being outside, away from screens and distractions, I can be alone with my thoughts and totally clear my head. Of course, having a walking buddy is good too, being able to put the world to rights in conversation whilst taking a brisk stroll in a park or whilst walking a dog.
4) Listen. Sing. Dance.
Sometimes I like to pop on some tunes and dance around the house a bit. At other times I enjoy singing along as well. Do whatever you need to do to feel good. Often a throwback piece of music can be just what’s needed to allow you to forget the stress of work and responsibility. As an alternative, you could do an online dance class. Equally fun and also really good for your body.
5) Duvet day
This sounds old fashioned doesn’t it? Well sometimes you just need a day to lay on the couch, eat chocolate and watch back-to-back episodes of your favourite TV series. I am not talking about when you are ill. I am just saying it can be worth planning one in every now and then.
These are just a few things that I do to unwind but please share your own ideas in the section below. If you enjoyed this post perhaps consider following my newish blog. Click here for a previous post that I wrote about how to improve your sleep.