That crazy time of the year is upon us - we just need enough energy and enthusiasm to see us through to some well-deserved time off.
Here are some relaxation techniques and tips to help us cope with the busier, more stressful times in our lives.
1. Breathe deeply
There are loads of benefits of slow, deep breathing but one is that it definitely helps to relax your body and mind.
Exercise helps with blood flow. When you exercise, endorphins are released, which help to trigger a positive feeling in the body.
You’ll be amazed what even a 10 minute walk will do for your stress levels.
Yoga and Pilates are very good for relaxing the body and mind.
3. Eat well, and slowly
A healthy, balanced diet is important. Don’t rush your food, take time to enjoy it. And eat at the right times, regular intervals throughout the day.
4. Drink lots of water
This relaxation technique will also help keep your skin looking its best, not to mention a whole load of other benefits. Check out this recent article.
5. Remove yourself from the stressful situation
Perhaps you’ve got a problem you have to deal with, or a confrontation with someone. Excuse yourself and go for a quick walk. Breathe slowly and deeply. Do not attempt to address the situation/problem until you’ve had a chance to think it through properly. I find thinking on it overnight always helps, and the solution always seems a lot more obvious.
6. Lie down if you’re angry
Try being angry when you’re lying down, it’s very difficult. I wonder if it has anything to do with you looking and feeling a twit!
7. Stretch your body
Arms, neck, back, legs. Breathe slowly and deeply when you do it.
“Laughter is the best medicine”. Watch a funny movie, read a funny book, play a board game, go out with friends/family. Do something fun or insane to make you laugh.
9. Dance and sing
Let your inhibitions go :)
Everyone relaxes in different ways. Some people have to be active to relax. Find what makes you relax, and work this into your regular schedule.
11. “Will it matter in 5 years?”
Ask yourself this when faced with a challenge. This relaxation technique will help put things in perspective for you.
... scalp, neck, back and/or body.
Meditation is very calming and helps you get in touch with your body. A quiet, peaceful surrounding is important when meditating.
14. Get it off you mind
Writing things down and getting them out of your head will de-clutter your thoughts and help calm you.
15. Simplify things
Write a list, prioritise what needs to be done. Do away with non-essentials. Focus on one thing at a time, ticking each off your list as you go.
16. Learn to say no
I can imagine this will be very hard for some of you. We often take on too much, wanting to help and please everyone, and all it does is put more pressure on us.
17. Focus on the here and now
Don’t worry or anticipate things in the future, or the past. Sure, set goals and plans for the future, but don’t focus unnecessarily on it.
18. Be realistic
Realistic about what you can and cannot achieve. You’re not superwoman.
19. Have a bath
Add lavendar oil to help relax you.
20. Sleep well
- Comfortable bedding
- Room at the right temperature
- Avoid stimulation overload before you go to bed - e.g. TV, some books, computer, work, certain conversations that will have you thinking all night
- Intimacy will help you sleep
21. Do for others
Give of yourself and do things for other people - it will make you feel good and take your mind off your own challenges.
22. Tense and release your whole body
Lie down and tense every part of your body - face, shoulders, arms, fists, etc. Hold this for a couple of seconds and then release with a forced blow-out of your breath. Do this a couple of times.
23. Get in touch with nature
... away from electronics and life’s distractions. Breathe deeply and open your eyes to the beauty around you.
24. Switch off
Switch off your phone, your computer, things that may be winding you up.
25. Make contact with someone special
It may even be someone from your past. It will make you feel great. Avoid negative people, they may drag you down.
Do you have any tried and proven tips for de-stressing? We'd love to hear them.