In a world that is moving so fast, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. There are so many things we need to think about; school, work, bills, family, friends etc. that we forget to take a moment to relax. Even if we sit down at the end of the day and watch the TV, our mind is probably still going over all of the different things that we need to do or what happened during the day.
We have learnt to live life in the fast lane and because of that, we all seem to be suffering emotionally. We are taught to constantly plan ahead for our future and that if things aren’t done a certain way, then we won’t be successful. Even if this were true (which I don’t think it is), we still need to find a way to be relaxed otherwise we won’t be the best possible version of ourselves. Eventually, things will get a bit too much and we won’t be able to function normally.
I think it’s something we are all guilty of and until recently, I didn’t realise how much stress affected me. It just seemed normal to me to constantly worry about whether I was achieving my targets and if I wasn’t, then I would push myself harder. It was only once I was forced to relax that I noticed how much better life was for me. So here are five of my ways that help me relax and hopefully help you too.
1. Try meditation
Meditation is something that I was very sceptical about and I still am to some kind of level. However, it is a fantastic way to step away from the stresses in our lives, especially the ones that we can’t do anything about for the time being.
Meditation is a practice that helps you shift your awareness to something particular like your body or your surroundings. That awareness will help relax your breathing and will help train your focus which should help in the rest of your life. By training your mind to be able to focus, it should enable you to be calm and focus in stressful life situations.
Meditation is also a part of mindfulness which is a great tool for people feeling anxious or stressed.
If you’re unsure about where to start, there are a number of free apps or videos that can help guide you. One app that I used was ‘Headspace’ that was fantastic at guiding me through what I was meant to do. It also helps progress your skill level.
2. Take a moment to yourself
Taking some time by yourself may seem obvious but it can be easy to miss. During the day you are busy with work and then you are left with evenings to catch up with your loved ones and then you go to bed.
Taking time by yourself can help you create an atmosphere that you feel good in. You could have a pamper session (face masks, bubble bath etc.) which may help you feel better within yourself or you could just sit and listen to some music that you love so that you can relax.
When you are by yourself, you can detach from the stresses in your life and do something that makes you happy.
3. Plan something fun with friends/family
In contrast to being by yourself, it can be good to go out somewhere with friends or family. There are moments when being by yourself could make things seem worse. For example, you’re working on a project at home and as much as you try, you can’t ignore it. In those moments, it may be better to go out somewhere.
Being around those you love can help you express what you need to express and then move on and do something fun. It could be something as simple as going for coffee or you could do something more extravagant by going for an adventure weekend away that will completely take you away from your normal life which leads me onto my next point.
4. Get away from routine
The older we get, the more of a routine we fall into. Time seems to go faster and faster but my theory is because we aren’t filling our lives with enough variety. If we just focus on work, it takes over our lives and therefore our minds.
If you have the opportunity, change up your routine where possible or take a break away. Do something different that will help shift your focus away from things that may not actually be that bad.
If you’re not sure where to start, maybe write down your typical week and see where you can change things up one week. It might also be good for you to plan some time where you can fit other things in. As many say, you don’t find time, you have to make it.
5. Take up a hobby
The final tip is quite generic but it’s something that has helped me numerous times when things have been stressful. I started going horse riding again a few months ago and it’s something that brings me such joy. Not only that, but it breaks up my week; beforehand I’m super excited and then after, I’m really happy.
If you can find something that you enjoy, try to put it into your routine. Maybe it’s bike riding or rock climbing or maybe it’s knitting. Whatever it is though, should bring you joy and help you relax a little.
The thing is, there are a number of ways to relax but it’s finding what works for you. Just keep in mind, the more relaxed you are, the more enjoyable life should be.