Life is, to put it mildly, hectic. Many of us feel like there is always something important to do or someplace we need to be. But to be able to keep going, it’s important to take some time to relax and unwind. We need to make sure that we don’t get caught up with everything that must get done only to make ourselves suffer as a result.
Everybody needs a moment to reflect now and then, and both our bodies and minds need a break. We will now take a look at what you should do to regain your strength. But let’s first find out what you shouldn’t do!
The Problem with Relaxing on the Sofa
At the end of the day, there might be nowhere you’d rather be than in your cosy sofa. You just want to put your feet up, wear pyjamas, eat some sugar and watch something mindless. And sure, that can be really nice sometimes. But there are a few problems with this type of relaxing that might actually make it counterproductive.
Firstly, watching TV isn’t really relaxing. You probably think that it is, and we get it, it totally feels like it is. But the brain is actually not resting at all when you watch your favourite shows. If you do feel like watching something, limit it to one episode of something you really enjoy watching. Wasting an entire evening watching stuff that isn’t even any good only makes us depressed.
How would you feel if you never had any breaks at work but had to think constantly for, say, five or six hours? You’d be exhausted! Remember that the brain needs to process information when you watch Netflix too, but most people don’t take breaks to do something else.
Chilling on the sofa is, of course, quite relaxing for your body, and it’s true that it is important for your body to get some rest. But staying in a slouching position for hours isn’t good for the body, so this is another bad thing about this common method of relaxing.
Lastly, the time we spend in front of the TV could be spent learning something new, taking care of your body and mind, or spending meaningful time with your family.
So now that we know what you shouldn’t do, let’s see what kind of self-care you can do that will make you feel more relaxed and happier.
Get Some Exercise
Moving your body might be the last thing you want to do after a long day at work, but it might also be exactly what you need. Depending on what you do for a living, you might sit still for most of the day or use the same muscles over and over. Think about what parts of your body that need to be activated and do some light exercise.
You don’t have to feel like you need to go to the gym if you don’t want to, a walk, some Pilates or some stretches might be everything that’s necessary.
Exercising regularly will give you more energy in the long run. It also releases endorphins so that you feel happier straight away.
Read a Book
Reading is often much more relaxing than watching a movie, partly because it can be done in a nice, silent environment. There are many other benefits to reading, for example, that you learn so much from it.
When you read, you can easily be transferred to another world, which can help you endure stress during difficult times in life. Your empathy and interest in other people are also activated, which can help you to think positively. For example, if you read an autobiography about somebody else’s problems, you get a new perspective and it helps you, not only to see how they dealt with them but to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Create an At-Home Spa
Light some candles, apply a lovely facemask and soak in the bath for a while. Listen to some soft music or even a podcast you enjoy. This is a simple way to take care of your body and mind at the same time.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but when people are stressed, they often just take a quick shower because they feel like they don’t have more time to spare. If this is you, make sure to schedule a spa night. Buy a new body scrub, a bath bomb, and a sheet mask and tell yourself that the spa night is important.
Having a good skincare routine every day will also give you a mini break to look forward to. Treat yourself to some nice products that make you feel beautiful, such as creams, perfumes, and an eyelash serum.
Try a New Hobby
Learning about something new gives your brain a chance to focus on something completely different for a while. Try painting, playing an instrument, knitting, or something else that you would like to become good at. Perhaps you would like to learn a new language.
Pick something that you will be able to do without depending on others, remember, this is your self-care activity. You should be able to do a little bit of your new hobby whenever you have some time to spare.
Practicing your new hobby is only part of the process. Let’s say that you want to learn how to paint with watercolor. Of course, you will need to sit down and actually paint a few times a week. But what about those times when you don’t have enough time to take out your paint and brushes, or you simply feel like you don’t have enough energy? Well, then you can watch YouTube videos that teach you techniques and provide inspiration. Or you can read a book on the subject.
Having a hobby like that will give your mind something to escape to that doesn´t have to do with work, picking the kids up at the nursery or helping your mum with the shopping.
Put Away Your Phone
Our phones can make us much more stressed than what is healthy for us. Just having it within reach is a stress factor in itself. When we use our phones, there are lots of things that make the brain happy. Flashing lights and sounds make us happy at first, but it soon turns into anxiety. Many people are addicted to their phones, and as you probably know, addictions are rarely beneficial.
Out of sight, out of mind. Put the phone in another room or even behind something where you can’t see it. This will help you to stop checking it every five minutes and your brain will be able to calm down and focus on more important things. And if you haven´t already, turn off the notifications from apps that only stress you out. If you’re the type of person that can’t leave an email unopened and unanswered, don’t make life hard for yourself, turn off the notifications and start living!
Tidying can have a massive effect on your wellbeing. Most of us feel much better when our homes are clean and organised, so try to come up with a good cleaning schedule that works for you. And when you notice that the same stuff ends up in the same wrong place, find a good storage solution. Things most often end up in the wrong place when there is no right place for them to go. All your things should have a home where they belong. This sounds simple but will make a big difference.
When we are stressed and tired, it’s easy to reach for the fifth cup of coffee or an energy drink. But staying hydrated by simply drinking water is a good way to become more alert and healthier in general.
Keep a water bottle by your side at work to make sure that you sip some water during the day. Aim for at least two litres of water every day and you might find that you start feeling much better about pretty much everything.
To know if you are drinking enough water, check your urine. It should be pale yellow. Basically, the more yellow it is, the more water you need to drink!
Hopefully you will be able to implement some of these tips and find new energy and happiness in your everyday life!