Relaxing Practices That Will Change Your Life

When you work too hard throughout the week, month, or even year, it is easy to get stressed which can really take its toll on your mental health. A relaxing day or two will bring everything back into balance, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvinated- ready to grab life by the horns.  The following are some of the effective ways to spend your relaxing day. 

1. Body Massage 
A full body massage is just the ticket after a long day at work. It helps to reduce tension in your muscles, promote blood circulation and floods your body with ‘feel good’ chemicals from the brain. Purchase some massage supply items such as rollers and oils. Rope in a partner to help or try self massage. Get a non-sticky lubricant oil and massage your legs beginning at your toes all the way up to your calves. Afterwards, massage your hands starting from your fingers all the way up to your elbows. 

2. Get enough sleep 
After waking up early to go to work and coming back late every weekday, it’s good to not set your alarm on your days off. This will give you the chance to pay off any 'sleep debt' that's accumulated. Go to bed at your normal time, but wake up on your own without your alarm. If you're in a regular routine, chances are you'll naturally wake within a couple of hours of your usual get- up time anyway. But this extra hour or two is exactly what you need to get some restorative sleep, which is good for mood, physical health and energy levels. 

3. Meditate 
Meditation is a fantastic way to calm and revitalise your mind. It has proven scientific benefits, such as giving you the ability to think more clearly and reduce anxiety. Find a quiet place and sit down on  a mat on the floor, alternatively you could sit on a comfy chair or lie on your bed. There are lots of step by step meditations you can follow along to on YouTube and apps. If you have an Amazon Alexa, ask her to open a guided meditation and talk you through the steps. 

4. Journal 
Writing down your thoughts and feelings on paper can help you to introspect and make sense out of a situation. It can also help if you include what you're grateful as a way to dispel negativity. Sometimes our minds can be cluttered, and we can stress about things we're not actively aware of. Journalling brings everything to the surface, where we can work through it and make sense of it.

5. Music and visualization therapy 
Lighting scented candles and playing soothing music is a good way to relax in the bath or through meditation. The soothing music could be sounds of ocean waves, rainforest noises or just relaxing songs that you love. Imagine yourself on a beach chaise, partially immersed in the ocean water. Imagine your stress washing away as the wave recedes. Feel the relaxation as it kicks in and enjoy the moment. This is one of the things you can do to fall asleep faster at night

6. Laugh 
Laughing out loud can make you feel good by slowing down the production of cortisol, a stress hormone. In response to the slow production of cortisol, the body will produce endorphins that will make you feel good. Laughter will help you cope with stress. Share funny anecdotes, read jokes, watch funny clips and other fun things that can make you laugh. Make an effort to socialise with others, especially those who uplift your mood and make you giggle- it's truly good for the soul.

7. Breathe the right way 
Relax yourself through slow and deep inhaling and exhaling. It's such a simple thing but it really works- when you're anxious your breaths can be sharp and jerky. Slow breathing brings oxygen to the body and helps to promote feelings of calmness and peace.

8.  Do Yoga 
Yoga reduces stress in the mind at the same time as relaxing and toning the body. It's been shown to promote emotional well-being, and improves flexibilty and range of motion so really is great for both physical and mental health. Learn how to relax with yoga and lead a stress-free lifestyle.

All of us feel stressed from time to time, and these relaxing practices can help to restore the balance. However, if your mental health is suffering, and your stress and anxiety is severe or ongoing it's worth speaking to your GP or even looking into therapy. There are some great online counseling services these days, so it's something you can do right from the comfort of your home.

Do you spend enough time relaxing, and taking care of yourself during stressful times? 

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