16th May 2016
Taking time out to relax when life is so busy is essential for our mental well being. It sometimes comes at the back of the queue, however, as we feel we should constantly be 'doing' something. Re-charging the batteries regularly will help you to be more productive in the long run and keep your mind healthier. Here are my tips to relax and unwind.
1/ Give yourself permission to relax. There is no point in attempting to take time out while you are telling yourself 'I should be doing the housework, I haven't got time to relax!' if you are guilty of doing this you will stop yourself from switching off as you will be thinking about what has to be done, or what you are doing tomorrow etc. Set aside the time and really focus on allowing yourself to do so.
2/ If you are struggling to quiet a busy mind then concentrating on your breathing can be a fantastic way of doing just that. Try the '4,7,8 breathing technique'. Breathe in slowly for count of 4, hold your breath for 7 and then breathe out slowly for count of 8. Then repeat several times. Keep going without a break in between and you will not only distract your mind as you are simply concentrating on counting but slowing your breathing will lower your heart rate and make you feel lovely and calm and relaxed!
3/ Relaxation doesn't necessarily mean sitting still and meditating. If this isn't something you enjoy then engaging fully in a hobby or activity you absolutely love can relax you. So it could just be sitting and reading a good book, watching Netflix or going for a run! it is up to you what works best.
4/ Put away those devices for a bit. Stay off your emails and social media and don't take any calls while you relax. you will be tempted to get involved in other things instead of taking time out.
5/ Be mindful. The more you are in the moment the more you will relax. Look around you, take it all in and enjoy!