Despite many of us working from home due to the global pandemic, it seems our lives are busier than ever. Emails and social media notifications are always pinging on our smartphones, and we never seem to be allowed to turn off completely.
Not being able to unwind and relax fully can actually be detrimental to your health and lead to a host of health concerns. It’s essential to find your own stress-relief strategy. In this article, were going to cover six ways you can get some well-needed relaxation and me-time.
1. Connect to Nature
Fresh air and a change of scenery can do wonders for the soul. Spending time in nature when you feel stressed can help you feel relaxed and recharged.
Take a wander through a forest or a walk along a beach, or even sit in your garden. It’s scientifically proven that even looking at nature can help you to relax.
Even if you are amidst the hustle and bustle of a mega-city, you can still increase your sense of peace just by looking at ‘greenery.’
A good massage can help to reduce stress and relieve built-up tension. It can also help ease headaches and migraines, lower blood pressure, and improve circulation.
There are some fantastic head and eye massagers on the market if you don’t have a personal masseuse to hand. It’s a great way to unwind after a stressful day.
The feeling of being relaxed and not tightly tensed can improve sleep patterns, and increase endorphin levels – a head massage can even promote hair growth.
3. Progressive Relaxation Techniques
Progressive relaxation is a mind-body technique said to ease stress and protect against stress-related ailments.
Lying in a comfortable position, slowly alternate constricting and relaxing each muscle group in the body. Start with your toes and work up to your eyelids. As you do this, pay attention to how your body feels.
It produces various benefits, including a feeling of well-being, lower blood pressure, and decreased muscle tension, which reduces the need for oxygen and lessens anxiety and fatigue.
4. Be Grateful
According to a study by the University of California, expressing gratitude can be beneficial to your health and well-being.
Positively committing to acknowledging gratitude can improve your physical and psychological health. It reduces any pent up annoyances and enhances empathy, affords you better self-esteem, helps you sleep better, and allows you to be more open to honest relationships.
Every day, take time to document the positives in your life. We know that when you feel stressed, it is much easier to focus on the negativities. Think about the good things that have happened to you today and write them down. It doesn’t matter how big or small the positives are; feel how being positive makes your body react.
5. Breathing Out Stress
Mindful breathing exercises are some of the simplest relaxation tools that can help you calm frayed nerves and your stressed-out body.
Find a comfortable and peaceful place to sit or lie, put one hand on your chest and one on your stomach; slowly breathe in to the count of three and breathe out to the same count of three. Feel your chest and stomach rise and fall, and focus on your breathing.
Continue these quiet breathes until you feel the stress levels being released, your heart rate slowing, and the sense of calm that envelops you.
6. Find Your Happy Place
We all know the saying ‘find your happy place’, well, it really is a thing.
Sit in a quiet place where you can feel comfortable and start to drift off to the place where you feel the calmest. Embrace all of the feelings that it presents, the sights, sounds, taste, warmth, and other touchy tactile sensations.
If you are thinking about a quiet beach, imagine crashing surf and the taste of the salty air. Picture the perfect turquoise waters, gentle lapping waves, the smell of fresh coconuts, and the softest sand between your toes.
The more that you visualize, the more you can relax. You might want to mix this with the breathing techniques for an even more profound sense of relaxation.
7. Practice Makes Perfect
Not all of the relaxation techniques are quick fixes. They can take a little bit of practice and persistence before you can reap the benefits.
It’s so important to find time for yourself and find the tools that suit you best. You might want to combine two or three techniques.
A massage, controlling your breathing, and finding your happy place might be the perfect combination to allow your stresses to float away and leave you feeling peaceful and calm.