Hello everyone and welcome to another instalment of my Happiness is… series. Stress is such a big part of our lives these days, with so many priorities and responsibilities and so relaxation can take a back seat. Even when people try to relax, they can feel lazy, guilty and/or selfish for taking time for themselves. If you are anything like me, you need a measure of both pressure and chill time, and with stress also being such a widespread health concern, we need to forget the negative thoughts about relaxing and accept that we need to achieve some balance.
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Do you ever come home just feeling exhausted? Common home time moods and feelings for me can any of the following:
- Heavy, strained eyes
- Low mood
After a long day, a common thing to do is to come home and plop down on the sofa. But is that real relaxation? For me, it isn’t always. Don’t get me wrong, I am a ‘drop on the sofa and stay there’ kind of girl, but I have also noticed the benefit of different types of relaxation.
Prepare to relax
Do as much as you can to leave work at the office
Physically leave any paperwork at the office, switch off your emails and cut yourself off from communication from work. This isn’t always possible and may depend on the type of work that you do but, in any case, try to keep it to a minimum.
Get stuff done as soon as you get home
Although you might feel some relief at getting through the door, at this point you are probably still somewhat strung out from the day. This is a good time to get any chores done so that you can relax for the rest of the evening.
10 ways to relax after a long day
1. Get comfy
There was a time when I could just live in my school uniform. Partly because it was relatively comfortable and partly because I was too lazy to get changed, but now I just love getting into loose, snuggly clothes.
2. Herbal Tea
Common flavours known to be stressbusting are chamomile, lemon, basil and green tea. However, if you fancy something a bit more uplifting or refreshing after a long day, you could try peppermint or fruity infusions such as lemon and ginger or blackcurrant and raspberry. My current favourite is peppermint and liquorice.
Stretching has become something I do more often these days due to the muscular discomfort I experience. Much of this is brought on by tension and having suffered for some years now I believe I have established a pattern. Tension develops in my shoulders and extends down my back into my legs and down through my calf muscles. It certainly isn’t my favourite thing to do but, in my experience, spending time stretching can really help to ease some of the tension build us and subsequently lead to a better overall sense of wellbeing.
4. Go for a walk
Walking is a great way to get some gentle exercise and some fresh air, particularly as the evenings become lighter. Here on the Isle of Wight, we have the option of a country walk or a seaside stroll, both being great for getting out and about.
5. Light a candle
Candles bring ambience and create a cosy environment in which to relax, especially at cooler, darker times of the year. You can pick up some wonderful candles for relatively low cost. Check out my review of some TK Maxx candles, my go-to place to pick up some wonderful scents.
Now I have a kindle and I love it, but in order to unwind and unplug, a good book in paper form can work wonders for the soul. Reading helps to unwind but can work as a distraction technique for those anxious moments.
Bathing is a well-known way to wind down. You can make your bath as luxurious as you like with bath bombs, bubbles or oils. Ultimately, just some hot water will do the trick for you to sit back and unwind. Alternatively, giving your feet a soak can provide similar comfort, especially if you have been on your feet for long periods of time.
I love a good colouring session and adult colouring books have become a popular relaxation technique both to relax and help cope with periods of anxiety.
Treat yourself to a pamper session, maybe in conjunction with having a bath. Grab your favourite facemask, maybe give yourself a manicure or pedicure and paint your nails.
Not for everyone I know, but there is a growing argument for the health benefits of meditation. Taking some time, even just five minutes, to sit quietly and focus can help to ease the pressure of the day.
Although the world we now live in is full of technological wonders, unplugging completely can be hugely beneficial as a relaxation technique but also as a mental health benefit. Many of us spend large portions of our day on our phones, computers, tablets… there are so many devices that we stare at over the course of the day.
Example relaxation once the chores are done:
- Early bubble bath with fragrant bubbles
- Indulge in some skincare to pamper and moisturise
- Comfy clothes for the rest of the evening
- Fresh bed sheets and a scented candle for an evening read.
Finally, a further additional option is to create a relaxing Space. This is a whole subject in itself so I will be back with a future video all about creating a space to help maximise your ‘me time’.
Do you use these methods to relax? Or do you have alternative ways to chill? Let me know in the comments.
Some images courtesy of Pixabay.com.