I am the self-confessed Queen of relaxing. (Does that sound a bit too cringe?) Be it a nice bubble bath, or just chilling out in the garden, I have realised the importance of listening to my body and trying my best to respond to what it needs. So naturally when it wants to do nothing, I do nothing… *smug face*
I think this is so important for a healthy mind. We spend most of our week with our brains in overdrive, worrying about how many e-mails we have or what work item to do next. When we have a chance to do so we must relax, particularly if you suffer from stress, anxiety or indeed any other mental condition where your poor brain is particularly active.
I don’t want this to come across as a ‘stating the bleeding obvious’ style of post. I just simply wanted to share a few tips for how I relax, which may include some things you hadn’t thought of. After all, we all need to find ways to cope with the every day stresses of life.
Here are my top 6 tips for achieving that sense of inner calm:
1. Essential Oils
You may have seen an area in the likes of Holland and Barrett, or the ‘alternative therapies’ section in Boots, which contains a load of little bottles. These aren’t special drinks for Borrowers (tiny people for anyone too young to know what a Borrower is!) but are in fact essential oils. Now I’m pretty new to using these, so I won’t reel off a load of facts. What I can say is, get yourself an oil burner or a humidifier, fill it with water and then pop a few drops of your chosen oil or oils in. Each of them promote different properties. Lavender for example advocates a relaxing nights sleep, Camomile, Patchouli and Frankincense are all known for their calming properties and then Eucalyptus is the king of clearing out a bunged up nose (technical term). You can add a few drops to your bath too. Or they can be used directly on your wrists or behind your ear, just check the particular ones you have purchased are OK for this though. I’m not being held responsible for any burnt skin patches!
2. Get outside!
This one is pretty self explanatory. Nothing blasts away the stress cobwebs quite like getting out in the fresh air. Either going for a walk, having a drink in a pub garden or chilling out at the beach or park with friends. The fresh air does wonders for you. If it’s cold outside then just wrap up, you’ll appreciate your warm house even more when you get back in and and will feel better for it too. My personal fave is going for a walk to the beach and having a cheeky beer whist watching the sun go down. Utter bliss.
3. A DIY pamper sesh
Whatever type of pampering relaxes you then go for it. Be it painting your nails, having 5 minutes with some cucumbers on your eyes (slices not whole cucumbers, although whatever floats your boat!) Or having a wonderful bubbly bath with all sorts of added treats; bath bombs, oils, bubble bath – I go the whole hog. Candles lit, Ministry of Sound Chill-out mix playing and my Kindle within reach – perfect. Whatever type of pampering works for you, make time for it and rejoice in the ‘floating on air’ feeling that will follow.
This might sound like a bit of a strange addition to the list and I’m not referring to the ‘Paul McKenna on TV’ style of Hypnotherapy. In other words, I’m not suggesting you start acting like a chicken or only answering to ‘Dr Love’. Although of course if that relaxes you, then feel free. The type of Hypnotherapy I have experienced is firstly, my sessions with Julie, which I spoke about here. As part of that, she sent me an MP3 recording called ‘7 steps to relaxation’. The basis being that the only thing you focus on for 20 minutes is elements of your mind and body and how they feel or how you want them to feel. Twenty glorious minutes to concentrate on you and only you, it’s fabulous. It gives me a sense of calm that I’ve never had from anything else, I literally feel like I’m floating on a cloud. Of course I would recommend that you go to see Julie anyway as she’s fantastic, but if funds don’t allow or you are after just an example of the tape, try Googling ‘Mediation’ or ‘Relaxation’ tapes and you should find something similar. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.
5. Massage your troubles away
I’ve recently become a bit of an addict to Spa days and treatments. Not a cheap thing to be addicted to but I find the whole thing so relaxing. A Spa day with a friend is one of the best ways to spend a day quite frankly. Having a casual swim, popping in and out of the sauna and steam, relaxing on a lounger with a book and of course getting a fabulous massage is just the definition of pure relaxation. You can often find deals on sites like Groupon or Wowcher that make the experience a bit more affordable, and it’s definitely worth it too. I have one coming up soon and I cannot wait! Just having a massage without the spa day is a treat in itself too, and I’d love to shout out a good friend of mine called Elizabeth who has kept my neck and back in check for several years now. I’d be lost without her. She’s much much more than a masseuse too – check out her website for everything she offers.
6. Become a ‘rantalope’
Have you ever had a good Ol’ rant, one of those full on ones that lasts a good half an hour, and then felt like a weight has lifted immediately afterwards? That’s not a coincidence, it’s called ‘getting it off your chest’ for a reason and letting out all your stresses and woes is so good for you. If you’re not well practiced in this already then make sure you do it. Meet up with a friend for coffee and just have a good old moan about everything and anything, maybe warn them beforehand if you don’t normally do that, but I promise you will feel great afterwards. I always do! I have a few close friends who often have to listen to my rant sessions, I likewise listen to theirs, and it’s essentially a free Therapy session! Make sure it’s someone you trust though and not in earshot of ‘nosy neighbour’ types. It may sound obvious, but it works – join me and become a ‘rantalope’.
As always, thanks so much for dropping by and reading this. I would love to hear what you do to relax, and if any of these tips have helped give you some ideas too.