Today is National Relaxation Day. Now there’s a day that I can totally use! Most of us think we’re too busy to relax, and there is always something else we should or could be doing other than just…well, relaxing. The thing is, if you don’t take some “me time,” you’re not really doing yourself or anyone else any good. Stress can be deadly, and relaxing can help ease all that stress, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
The benefits of relaxing are numerous. According to the Mayo Clinic, practicing relaxation techniques can slow your breathing and heart rate, lower your blood pressure, relax your muscles, reduce your anger levels, and help you think more clearly.
Tips for Relaxing
Before I get into the tips, let me just say that these are things that work for me. Not everyone relaxes in the same way. I’m skipping meditation because it never works for me. In fact, it makes me feel more anxious because I get all flustered that I can’t clear my mind properly. Then I forget to breathe or start hyperventilating, and it all goes downhill from there.
- Read a good book. The key term being “good,” as in something you really enjoy and not something you’re obligated to read for work or school. When I get lost in the world of a wonderfully written character, I forget all about my worries and issues.
- Zone out on Pinterest.Browsing on Pinterest, particularly through the humor section, is one of my favorite ways to relax at the end of the night. No matter how stressed I am, when I see cute dogs with funny captions like the one below, I can’t help but lighten up a bit. Shameless plug- you could always browse my Pinterest boards! I love new followers!
- Schedule your worries, then let them go. This one gets me strange looks sometimes, but my therapist suggested it for my anxiety attack a few years ago and it really works. If I can’t relax because of something on my mind, I decide on a time in the near future to worry about it, then let it go until that time. It takes practice, but it does work!
- Go for a walk with a purpose.I like walking just for the sake of walking, but I like it even better when it has a purpose. Bringing my camera and finding things to take pictures of is always fun and relaxing for me. Walking to my friend’s house down the road instead of driving sometimes is also good.
- Do nothing with someone else.Sometimes relaxing alone isn’t as relaxing as it should be, because when you’re alone, you have no one to redirect you if your mind starts to wonder to all the other “important” things you should be doing. Having someone else to relax with keeps you from squirming your way out of your stress-free time.
- Declare a “work-free day.” This one is especially for all you work at home moms out there, because if you’re anything like me, the fact that you never actually leave your office means you never actually leave work. In fact, right now it’s Sunday night, and while I should be relaxing on the couch reading a book, I’m scheduling this post because I know I feel like since I’m up and my “office” is right here, I might as well be working! I do force myself to take days off though, because all work and no play makes for a mildly psychotic Nikki!
Whether it’s spending the entire day at a spa (oh how I wish I was doing that!) or just hanging out for a few hours after getting work done with an amazingly wonderful guy (I take the spa back, I’d rather do this any day!), make sure you schedule in a bit of time to just chill and lower those stress levels.
So what are you going to do to celebrate National Relaxation Day? Tell me in a comment, I’d love to hear your tips!