Taking Time to Relax & 6 Ways To Actually Accomplish It
There's a lot on my mind... a lot of the time, but that means that taking time to wind down and relax is even more important for me. And if you're stretched to the max like I am, chances are you need to chill out sometimes too. Some of my favorite things to do to relax are taking a bath, coloring, going for a walk, reading my devotional, and browsing around Target or Hobby Lobby (alone!).
If you have trouble actually relaxing, here's a few tips to get you started
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This is actually the simplest and most effective form or relaxation. It's the basis of hypnosis and meditation and you'll see why once you do it. Progressive muscle relaxation is where you start from the top of your head and work your way down your body by clenching and releasing each muscle group. You'll want to take at least one minute per muscle group. It makes you very aware of body and the sounds around you. Don't worry - if your mind gets off topic, just acknowledge it and refocus your thoughts. It's crazy because it really does help you decompress.
The rhythmic motion of chewing gum or sipping on green (hot) tea has calming effects as well. Since tea is hot, you can't drink it quickly - so you naturally breathe in the steam and take deep breaths in between each sip.
Daydreaming or "creative visualization" as it called, is a great way to zone out and escape from your daily grind. Need a little inspiration? Try finishing this scenario - "The doorbell rings and you go to the door to open it. You open the door and Ryan Gosling is at the door..."
Drip Drip Drip
Next time you're feeling stressed, drip cold water on your wrists and behind your earlobes. It sounds crazy, but there are major arteries in these areas, so cooling them makes your whole body less tense.
Brush Your Hair
There is nothing more relaxing than someone playing with my hair. If you don't have someone available to run their fingers through your hair, brush it! The bristles are just tiny fingers :) If you have curly hair, you may just want to run your fingertips across your scalp - you'd hate have your relaxing time be cut short because your head looks like a Brillo pad.
Find the Sun
I admit, that I hide from the sun when it's summertime here in Texas, but a little Vitamin D is a great mood booster. I mean, it worked to recharge Superman, right? Sitting in the sun and taking a few deep breaths could be just what you need to get through that slump. In cold weather areas, depression is actually combated with light boxes, i.e., artificial light to mimic the sun's rays. If it works for depression, it's sure to work for your stressful day.
Hopefully some of these tips will help you find your zen the next time you're feeling on edge.