7 Wonderful Ways To Relax

7 Wonderful Ways to Relax

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We live in a stressful time where everything is moving at what seems to be a million miles per hour.  Everything is available at the touch of a button or the swipe of your phone and as a result, that’s led to levels of expectation that things must happen ‘right now’.  I call it the age of ‘instant gratification’.  Nobody is prepared to wait for anything and we suffer stress as a consequence.  This can lead to more serious health concerns of both a physical and mental nature so taking care of our stress levels should be a priority.

You know what it’s like a work too.  The phone is always ringing, the email inbox seems to breed like rabbits and there’s always somebody bringing you something extra that needs to be done.  So what do you do?  I’ve found relaxation easier said than done if I’m quite honest but here are my 7 top tips that can help you achieve nirvana for either nothing or pretty much next to nothing …

7 Wonderful Ways to Relax – Number 1

Walking

Take a walk on your own and really appreciate what’s around you.  Sure we all work somewhere every day but do we really see what’s around us?  Taking a moment to actually take on board the fact that life and nature is all around us.  Nature never gets stressed out, it goes with the flow and never fights what is happening ‘in the moment’.

Better still, take a dog with you and if you don’t have one, borrow one!  I have done this regularly with a neighbour’s dog so you’re benefiting not only yourself but the dog and their owner too.  It’s no secret that I adore dogs but when you’re working it can be tricky but that’s never stopped me enjoying the company of dogs.  On a walk, they’re fantastic stress busters.  They never talk back and just stroking their fur is known to bring down blood pressure and reduce anxiety.

Why not use the services of BorrowMyDoggy which is a brilliant way of connecting dog owners and wannabe dog borrowers in your local area.  All you have to do is create a free profile, choose a membership, meet up and start enjoying the company of dogs.  At just £12.99 per year for membership, you are able to message owners, have access to the Vet Line when you borrow a dog and be covered by insurance too.

7 Wonderful Ways To Relax

7 Wonderful Ways To Relax

7 Wonderful Ways to Relax – Number 2

Bath not shower!

Enjoy a long, lazy bath in the dark.  Most people talk about ‘nipping into the shower’ but, for me, there is nothing to beat a soak in the tub.  Use your favourite bubble bath then turn the lights off and lock the door.  Even something as simple as this can make you feel safe, cocooned and relaxed.  If you really can’t stand the silence, get some soothing music on or listen to a podcast.  I love listening to a Desert Island discs’ podcast so call me a fogey if you want ….

For more of a spa feel, light some candles and I’m not talking about spending a fortune on them either – I’ve never spent £200.00 on a Jo Malone candle!  B&Q sell 200 tea lights for £6.00 so one candle costs 3 pence.  Lighting a few of those won’t break the bank at that rate. TK Maxx is also brilliant for drastically reduced candles and soaps.  I’ve found lots of beautiful Italian triple-milled soaps that you’d pay a fortune for online.

7 Wonderful Ways to Relax – Number 3

Laugh

When was the last time you laughed and I mean really laughed?  Children seem to laugh so much more than adults and take pleasure from the simple stuff.

Really think about what makes you laugh out loud.  I love Bolton’s very own, Peter Kay and I just find myself crying with laughter – he cheers me up every time without fail.  Who does it for you?  Make sure you have a selection of films/DVDs/recordings that you can resort to when you feel the stress levels rising.  I remember reading that Kylie Minogue used to watch the Comedy series ‘Nighty Night’ when she was recovering from cancer.  If it’s good enough for the Princess of Pop then it’s good enough for me…

7 Wonderful Ways to Relax – Number 4

Go to the cinema

Visiting the cinema sometimes feels as if it’s a bit of a faff and a bit expensive but I think it’s a fantastic way to relax and lose yourself in someone else’s story.  I like being cocooned in the darkness and there’s something magical about having the place to yourself.

Try and go during the week when it’s cheaper and more likely to be empty.  Book half a day off work and indulge yourself.  Why people say it’s ‘sad’ to go the cinema alone is frankly quite odd as I think there’s nothing better than allowing yourself to be swept along by a great story with nobody to please but yourself.

7 Wonderful Ways to Relax – Number 5

Focus on your breath

When life feels overwhelming, it’s very easy to create a disaster scenario inside your head.  You know what it’s like: you wake up in the night fretting about all manner of things you can’t control or wake up in the morning with a sense of foreboding doom.  Yes, I have been there.

What I try to do is to just focus on my breath.  It’s the most simplistic form of meditation and despite many attempts, it is the only sort of meditation I seem to be able to do!  You literally only think about the breath you’re inhaling and exhaling.  Your limbs are totally relaxed and you think of NOTHING else except your breathing.  Even if you think you have no time at all, it is possible in the few minutes before you get up in the morning or when you’re sat in the carpark just before you have to go to work or wherever.

7 Wonderful Ways to Relax – Number 6

Enjoy a hobby

Sometimes when ‘life’ just takes you over, it’s easy to forget the things you used to enjoy doing when you had time i.e. before kids, marriage or whatever came along.  Doing something you enjoy is fantastic for our stress levels and mental health.

I never thought I would admit this but I recently got some coloured pencils and I really enjoy doodling and colouring in parts of my diary.  I haven’t got as far as colouring books yet but who knows?!  I find that just the simple practice of focusing on colouring takes my mind to another place.  Writing works for me too as I can lose myself in a storyline and not know where time has gone.

What did you enjoy as a child?  Is it something you could resurrect?  Perhaps you could even turn it into a sideline business – the only limit is your imagination.

7 Wonderful Ways to Relax – Number 7

Read a book

I’ve saved my favourite until last.  Today, we can get all kinds of publications on our phones and tablets but nothing quite beats a real book.

As a child, I used to love reading before school and I particularly enjoyed reading next to a window when it was raining.  As I got older and I found out what it felt like to experience depression, I discovered that reading books [and later writing them too!] dramatically improved how I felt.  Losing yourself in storyline is a magical experience that so many of us lose somewhere down the line maybe because we’re ‘forced’ to read at school or university.

If you really can’t face a ‘weighty tome’ then why not listen to an audible book?  Use your phone or tablet for something other than talking or surfing.  Kick back and enjoy revisiting your childhood when someone else read you a story and you couldn’t wait for the next chapter.

Here’s to life on your terms,

Rachel a.k.a The Life Hack Tutor

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7 Wonderful Ways to Relax

7 Wonderful Ways to Relax

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