One, two, three: relax
Whether it’s work, study, or family that is contributing to your stress, there are ways to mindfully and deliberately work on becoming more relaxed. The good news is that some small changes can be the keys to learning how to relax. Here are some tips to stress less.
When we hear the word ‘meditation’, many of us immediately think of yoga, deep breathing, or chanting ‘Om’. Although this might appeal to some of us, it’s not for everyone. Don’t be fooled by meditation stereotypes, though. Meditation simply means ‘to engage in contemplation or reflection’. Some people do this through calming exercises like yoga or tai-chi, but others find that more vigorous exercise like running or swimming helps them focus their mind and relax. Aside from physical exercise, you might find that creative pursuits like painting, scrap-booking, or photography help to quiet your mind. Any type of meditative exercise that calms you will be beneficial to your overall relaxation, so do what works for you!
Planning can seem like a counter-intuitive relaxation technique, but being organised helps you to feel calm and avoid last-minute panic. Nobody can relax if they are constantly flustered, ill-prepared, or running late so planning is vital to relaxation. Making lists not only aids organisation, but also eases the burden of keeping tasks, dates, and details in your head. When you have a list of things that need doing, you can set them out logically and see what needs prioritising. To get into the habit of planning and organising, treat yourself to a fancy diary or notebook and some good pens so that you enjoy the process—make it fun and inspiring by adding photos, pictures, or quotes.
When you walk in the door after a busy day, your home should be a sanctuary free from external stressors. Unfortunately, for most of us that isn’t the case. Piles of laundry, dirty dishes, and unopened mail aren’t conducive to tranquillity. Mess can make it difficult to relax, so even if you can’t keep on top of every task, try to minimise visible clutter. Home decorating can reduce stress by making your environment more pleasant and giving you an outlet for creativity. Factors like paint colours and lighting can improve your mood. Even something as simple as a bunch of fresh flowers can enhance a room.
What sort of methods or activities do you use to relax