*Why does this photo make me laugh so much? I’m wrong for this. Is it just me or does she look like the lead in ‘Voldemort’s half-sister’ or something (ok never mind)? 😂
Ahem, guilt shouldn’t rid us of the pleasure of taking a break, relaxing shouldn’t be deemed a ‘sin’.
Nor a ‘reward’ for that matter. ‘I’ll give myself 15 minutes of peace as a thank you for working a full day’ we say to ourselves. But is this really fair?
I believe that we don’t dedicate enough time to relax in our lives.
In fact, I think a lot of us have even forgotten how to relax! Isn’t that the thing hypnotists try to make you do??
In all seriousness, not finding time to relax is a global cause for concern. In my own life I have learned this the hard way, how a lack of time to relax and so being too hard on myself leads to nowhere but unnecessary stress and a miserable life, and none of us deserve these, right?
So we don’t want a miserable life, but do we want a complicated one? I mean, if we actually think about it, when we strip life back to its basics we only really have a few commitments e.g. breathing, eating, mating, pooping, sleeping (and crying (excessively) if you were me)). Life is simple, although us with our super-intelligent minds have to go and complicate things! 😦 hehe
We believe that:
- Once we are reach a certain level of ‘success’ then we will be happy.
- So we put in place goals to reach that success.
- But we don’t just want to be successful in our careers do we? We want it in our love lives, in our personal development, in our finances etc etc etc.
- Basically we create so many goals across our complicated lives that we find ourselves juggling so many areas at once.
- We think that being busy = being productive and that being productive = we are on route to achieving our goals, so we become busy in every aspect of our lives!
- So where does that leave ‘time to relax’? Oh yes, well, err…. That’s something you do after you’ve worked hard, right???After you’ve achieved your goals???
Relaxation is integral to our well-being. Just like eating and sleeping serve to re-energise our bodies and minds, so too does relaxation.
And in fact giving time to relax won’t inhibit you from reaching your goals, if anything it should give you the recharge of energy necessary to keep going. Don’t believe me? Then take a look at the NY Times article And perhaps it may even give you time to clarify your thoughts and realise that you don’t really need a million and one goals after all! And that being busy doesn’t necessarily mean that you are being productive.
Another point is that some of us can forget how to relax. Relaxing doesn’t have to mean some grandiose sense of the word where you pull out the all-spice candles, coconut face mask and add an extra rubber ducky to your bubble bath before your new 9 pm bedtime (although ofcourse it can be this, because hey who am I to judge *slathers on coconut face mask).
De-stressing can mean something very simple like taking a walk outside while listening to music, reading a few more pages of your favourite book, or chatting to a friend on the phone for a while. Relaxation may mean different things to each of us because we’re all different personalities, and that’s great. What’s important is that you know what sorts of activities help you unwind and to give them a rightful place in your life on a regular basis.
Some interesting facts about relaxation and stress:
– Individuals under constant stress have a 50% higher mortality rate.
(Journal of Aging Research)
– 76% of employees are stressed out due to work and money issues.
- Studies show relaxation techniques like meditation can lessen pain from conditions like fibromyalgia, migraine, chronic pelvic pain, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- -Long-lasting stress makes it harder for your body to fight off infections. But deep relaxation can help your immune system recover.
- Research has shown that relaxation has a protective effect against depression and anxiety.
- relaxation simultaneously reduces heart disease cofactors such as stress, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and poor sleep quality.
- Improved relationships – The antidote to stress is relaxation. By engaging in activities that calm the fight-or-flight response, you are better able to connect to a partner. In a state of relaxation that you are able to give and receive love.
- Expanded motivation – Have you ever felt motivated to work on your personal goals or dreams when you’re feeling stressed out about work, finances, or relationships? Most likely not. Motivation stems from inspiration, which in turn flows out of relaxation. If you want to enhance your motivation, start by carving out some time to relax your mind and enjoy life. When you are calm and connected, you will find the motivation to pursue all your worthwhile goals. (So don’t say ‘I don’t have time to relax’ ever again!)
Most popular ways to relax:
- Take a warm shower or bath (with the extra rubber ducky of course hehe ;))
- Listen to music (not the type that makes you weep yourself to sleep ofcourse, or perhaps that may help you afterall, I know that when I’m stressed to high-heavens my lumpy pillow is getting drenched in tears. There’s nothing wrong with crying, I’ve done it so much I’m surprised I don’t have chronic dry eye… ok I’ll stop now).
- Breathing exercises
- Being outdoors especially in nature
- ASMR if you know then you know!
Helpful tips to relax:
- Make a point of setting your phone down (perhaps at the same time each day to make it a habit) and/or turn off email alerts.
- A bit of exercise, be it a brisk walk or a jog has proven to be stress-relieving. It doesn’t have to be anything too intense, simply moving a bit more has it’s benefits to the mind and body.
- Journaling helps cope with stress, clarify your thoughts and learn more about yourself.
- Craft and create – creativity-focused activities allow the brain to release dopamine, a natural antidepressant. So sharpen your pencils and steal those knitting needles from Barbara at the care home.
- Laughter – even deliberately induced laughter, not only provides emotional satisfaction, but also significant physiological benefits and relaxation. So why not book a comedy show or have a laugh with a close friend or family member.
Relaxing is by no means a sin, and dedicating time to it shouldn’t rid you with guilt either! If anything you should feel good about being good to yourself and in return I’m sure your life will be less stressful and more enjoyable.
So next time you find yourself with a tension headache, take a moment to check-in with yourself and maybe even do a few breathing exercises too.
Heck if none of the above work maybe you just need to go and do the below! Don’t say that I encouraged you though!
Take care and don’t forget to relax!!! You deserve it!
Copy these guys 😂😂😂 Rule 1. cucumber, gherkins just won’t do (😈):