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Changing work patterns, daily stress, media hype...it’s enough to make your head spin, isn’t it? We’re all doing what we can to work, stay informed and support others more vulnerable than ourselves. But, it can make switching off and relaxing just that little bit more challenging than usual.
That’s why I’ve created a simple ‘go-to’ list of things that you can slot into your day - some can be effective in as little as 10 minutes and so there’s no reason not to give them a try...
So simple, but it works! A shower at the end of the day works wonders...or even mid day if you’re working from home and need to boost your mood and focus. If you have the time, then include a few of your favourite natural products to your shower so that you feel refreshed, relaxed and pampered.
Whether it’s something inspirational or a little escapism, reading can have such a soothing and relaxing effect on us. If you only normally read before bed, then try picking up your book for a few minutes when you get home while you put your feet up and unwind from the day. Do try not to read online though because we all know that it doesn’t take long for our attention to be pulled in a multitude of ways.
Learning to meditate is truly life changing, I’m sure that you’ve heard that a hundred times but it’s true. And, that’s coming from someone who thought she didn’t have time for it and started with just 2 minutes every day! Today, I meditate every morning...sometimes only for 10 minutes but it’s enough to still my mind and acknowledge the present moment. I encourage you to give it a try, here are a few tips on how to make meditation your new wellness habit.
Take a Nap
Lack of sleep causes us to feel irritable and unfocused. Which can lead to even higher stress levels and leave us vulnerable to illness. When it comes to my own self care, it’s my number one choice and I sometimes take a nap at the end of my work day so that i’m refreshed and ready to enjoy my evening. I know that sounds luxurious but, let’s be honest most of us could swap 30 minutes scrolling on our phones for time to rest, don’t you think - and it leaves you feeling much better!
Creativity can be lost in the whirlwind of busy days and schedules but most of us can look back to our childhood and remember something creative that we used to love. Could you incorporate any of those creative outlets into your adult life? Studies have shown that creativity can help to lower stress, anxiety and even depression. So, if you have a spare evening or weekend to explore your creativity it’s more than worth your time.
Another simple one that can be done at any time during your day, especially if you’re working from home and your focus - and step count - needs a boost! Or, if you have a dog who would love the extra exercise. It doesn’t even have to be for long because experts tell us that a few 10 minute walks throughout our day can boost mindfulness and reduce negative emotions - as well as a host of physical health benefits including boosting our metabolism.
Create an evening routine that helps you to switch off and relax at the end of your day. Take a few of these tips and turn them into a ritual that you can enjoy. Repeat it every day so that it becomes a habit and you’ll find it much easier to relax at the end of your workday.
While our phones provide a source of connection, especially during difficult times, we all know that they can sometimes leave us feeling stressed, insecure and anxious. So, try putting yours away for an evening. Experts tell us that because our phones have become such a habit, it’s simply not enough to put them to one side, it has to be out of sight. I pop mine in a drawer that I don’t pass often and that always works for me.
Take some time to plan and dream a little...create a vision board for your next holiday, house project or even for a new capsule wardrobe. You get the idea. Giving your mind time to plan something positive helps you to let go of the worries of the day.
That’s right, have some fun. I’m not sure what this means for you...me? I’m besotted with my dog and so any extra time with her is my idea of fun. We all have those little things that we love doing and that lift our mood but we limit the time we spend doing them. Let go of the reigns for a while and enjoy whatever makes you laugh out loud.
While that’s only a snapshot of ways that can help you to switch off and relax, I encourage you to use it as inspiration because as we travel through the winter months in these very unusual times, it’s more important than ever that we all take care of our mental and physical health.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.