Hello beautiful people! How are we all on this last week of July? Hopefully you came through the heatwave relatively unscathed? Saying it was hot, is an understatement and I imagine many were pretty stressed, so here are 6 ways to help you relax. Nothing I say here is going to be ground breaking but think of it as a reminder.
6 Ways to Help you Relax
We shallow breathe quite a lot which is where you only use our thoracic (chest) to breathe and take less air in. You may even hold your breath at some points without realising it. What you want is to inhale to your capacity where your stomach expands. When we shallow breathe it causes our body to remain in a state of stress which isn’t really helpful. A technique you can try to help you relax is box breathing. Deeply inhale for the count of 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4, hold for 4 and repeat. It can help your body and mind to relax and can be done just about anywhere for a couple of minutes.
On a whole meditation is really helpful for relaxation and being in the present. It also builds skills on dealing with stress however, it can be a challenge if you need something to focus on. This is where guided meditation can help. Someone else is speaking and giving cues on what to visualise. To me it’s a stepping stone to meditation where you won’t need the assistance of someone else. But, you still gain relaxation benefits. Also, you can use a guided meditation for any length of time and whenever you need it. You can check out the Calm app or Headspace. Alternatively, check out Spotify, Apple Music or Amazon Music for some freebie options. Find a voice you like the sound of because there’s nothing more stressful than a voice you don’t gel with. It defeats the whole purpose of relaxation.
Doing Your Skincare Routine
There are some tasks that can help you relax because a) you know you’re doing something good for yourself and b) it allows you to focus on one thing at a time. Not rushing your skincare routine and turning it into a nightly pamper can help you to relax. You wash your face and wash away the stresses of the day. Doing this helps to train your brain into slowing down to get ready for bed. In the 5 to 10 minutes it takes to do your skincare routine give yourself permission to be in the moment.
When your mind is whirling around like a ping pong ball and you can’t relax, write it down. I know it’s cliche and you probably know it but it helps. I like to think of it as pulling that string of continuous thoughts out of my head on to paper. It frees up some space that helps bring clarity which allows me to relax, feel calmer and make more well informed decisions. If you have a nighttime routine, you could include journalling to it to give you a better night’s sleep.
Speaking of sleep, we all know the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. If you didn’t know, some of the benefits of good sleep includes: better concentration, improved mood, improves exercise performance, strengthen your heart, better memory and many more. Sometimes switching off and getting some sleep is exactly what’s needed to help you relax. Get those zzzz’s in.
Watching and Listening
We unconsciously consume alot of content online and are unaware of what we’re consuming. Paying attention to what you watch and listen to can really help you manage stress and relax. If you’re on Tiktok or Instagram a lot, curate your feed. If you notice that you’re getting stressed whilst watching your favourite content creator, maybe it’s time to take a break. Additionally, this isn’t about being less informed and more about protecting your wellbeing. Continuously watching and listening to negative and less life affirming things can give you the impression that the world is all bad. It isn’t. There’s lot of life affirming things happening. I signed up to Nice News daily and it helps me see that actually there’s still good in the world which helps me to relax.
These are my 6 ways to help you relax but of course there are lots more. How do you relax? Share in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading and until next time, be well! x