Life can be a tad manic at times – something I’m sure I’ll understand on an even bigger scale next Spring. I work with a lot of clients who struggle to find time for themselves. Struggle to recharge their batteries, struggle to rest, struggle to switch off and as a result end up exhausted, irritable, run down and often unwell.
Making time to relax is important in effectively managing stress and anxiety. When we feel stressed, our bodies react with what is called the “fight or flight” response. Without a level of relaxation, chronic stress or anxiety can lead to a burnout, anger, depression, weight gain, chronic fatigue and fertility issues to name a few.
Now nobody wants to suffer the above, but many of us do at different times in our lives. I’m a big believer that, like with exercise, we need to make room for rest and relaxation in our busy day to day. I’m also very aware that this isn’t always easy, so planning time for you to recharge is key. This will help you deal with your commitments, your relationships, your life and your overall health and wellbeing with the oomph they deserve. It’s a worthwhile investment of time, because the productivity of a well-rested mind will make every area of your life easier and more enjoyable.
Any good training plan should also include rest, yes working out can be part of your ‘you time’ but it’s also important if you are training hard towards a goal, those muscles need to recover and rebuild too, so here are some simple ideas outside of ‘exercise’, spa days, manicures and pedicures to support your time out.
- Have a bath – add a bit of lavender oil to help you unwind.
- Read a book. Even if you manage 10 minutes before bed – it can take your mind to a different place.
- Get outside. Fresh air can do wonders for your frame of mind. Breathe it in!
- Grab a cuppa / small glass of red with one of your friends, have a silly chat, make some plans.
- Get a good night’s sleep. I know It isn’t always possible but try to get to bed a little earlier, and you never know.
- Get a massage – I mean what is the other half for if not a weekly shoulder rub?
- Watch one of your favourite TV shows. Gilmore Girls always cheers me up and takes me to a light and happy place.
- Listen to some music – I’m finding Jessie Ware’s new album a good downtime soundtrack at the mo.
- Do a crossword or play sudoku!
- Say no to things you don’t want to do. Ok, sometimes you might not be able to, but don’t get roped in to activities that drain you and get in the way of other things you need to do.
To summarise – don’t run yourself into the ground, it’s not worth it. Even when finding time to slow down seems impossible, you must plan for it because in the long run, extra rest will serve you well.
Got some tips of fitting in relaxation into your hectic life? Share your experiences.