As someone who often suffers from daily stresses and anxiety, I know how hard it can be to unwind from the day, but i also know how important it is. Without fully de-stressing or relaxing, your mind is constantly overthinking conversations you’ve had throughout the day, actions and choices you’ve made. This causes excessive worrying, stress and anxiety that is unhealthy for the mind and body.
Everybody has their own worries, and therefore everyone tends to have their own ways of shutting them down and relaxing. Here i have explained my 5 most effective ways of de-stressing at the end of the day.
Meditation isn’t always as difficult as it is imagined. It doesn’t always require sitting crossed legged on the floor humming away.
For me, I find meditation can be as simple as closing my eyes whilst lying on my back and listening to the sounds I can hear and the things I can feel. Although this sounds very basic, it is a good start to relaxing as it gets the brain to think about things other than any anxious thoughts within the head. Doing this for just a couple of minutes can help the body to de-stress and allow you to feel much more in tune with your body and mind.
Another way to meditate and get the body relaxed (particularly before bed) is almost ‘turning off’ your muscles. Similar to before, however this time focus all of your thoughts on what you can feel throughout the body. Start at the tips of your toes and imagine you’re ‘turning off a switch’. Focus on them feeling so relaxed and slowly move upwards throughout the body, up the legs, throughout the stomach and chest area, through to the hands and finally finishing up with the eyes and head. For some people, I’ve found they can do this within a couple of minutes, however for others this can take up to 20 or 30 minutes for them to feel fully relaxed.
Other good ways to simply meditate can be to lie down or sit whilst playing your favourite song and not do anything else. Not talking, not scrolling through your phone – just sitting, listening to every word and every beat of the song. Often you will actually find a complete new meaning to the words within the song if you focus and listen to it all.
If you are feeling unsure about meditating by yourself, I’ve found an excellent app is Headspace. This can be downloaded on both the App store and the Google Play store. The free version of this app is excellent at learning the basics to meditating and relaxing. If you find you are really enjoying the app, you can subscribe from as little as a few pound a month and you will unlock hundreds of meditation singles and packs for specific feelings and activities such as feeling burned out, having a job interview, leaving for uni, creative writing and eating healthily.
2) Essential oils
Essential oils are another favourite of mine, they can bring a sense of calmness to your home, car, office or wherever you feel like using them.
I’m sure you’re aware of how many different scents and smells there are, and it can be pretty confusing if you’re new to it all.
I’ve listed below a couple of my favourite scents for de-stressing, unwinding and relaxing.
Lavender – relaxation, sleep
Orange – relaxation, focus
Eucalyptus – relieves cold, boosts immune system
Peppermint – increases alertness, calms head tensions
Frankincense – stress
Rosemary – boosts mental activity
Chamomile – helps treat depression
Lemon – boosts immune system
Ylang Ylang – relaxation
Patchouli – relaxation, sleep
3) Read a book
This is an obvious one, but is because it is just so effective. Sitting down with your favourite drink, whether that be a cup of tea, hot chocolate or glass of prosecco, and getting engrossed into your favourite book can take you away from this world. In this day and age, I’m sure that many of us have said ‘I need to read that’ at a book they’ve found but have just never gotten around to it. We are all so consumed and busy in our daily lives that we don’t find time to ourselves anymore. By just cutting down on social media by just 10 minutes and swapping the iPhone for a new book, you will find yourself feeling less anxious and more self-aware.
Here fellow bloggers have shared with me their favourite books to read;
Steph @ ovasinax.weebly.com/steph – I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk
Wandering Pram @ wandering pram.wordpress.com – Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
Willow Peal @ willowmaypeall.wordpress.com – The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley
ThisCozyMorning @ thiscozymorning.wordpress.com – Harry Potter And the Sorcerer’s Stone or Harry Potter and the Order Of The Phoenix.
This one might sound slightly strange, but colouring is not just for children! There are so many adult colouring books around now, from magical unicorns, and mermaids, to swirling zen patterns, to colouring in gigantic swear words! There is sure to be a book to suit your mood and personality. This activity can give your brain something to focus on, helping to take your thought away from the stresses and worries of life. Focusing on what colours to use, keeping it in the very small lines and thinking about the overall look, it can be really relaxing. Particularly, if like me, you enjoy being creative but are absolutely rubbish at drawing!
5) Watch your favourite film
Sitting and watching your favourite film can definitely help you to relax, by again, giving your mind something else to focus on rather than the thoughts within your head. Rewatching our favourite films can give us a happy feeling, particularly if they are a feel good film. I mean I’ve watched Mamma Mia way too many times to count, I know the songs, lines and characters off by heart – but again, by singing along to the songs, I’m no longer worrying about whatever it is I was worrying about!
I’ve created a list of my favourite feel good films to go to when wanting to relax!
- Mamma Mia 1 & @ (obviously, what else did you expect?)
- The Holiday
- Meet the Parents, F*ckers and Lil F*ckers
- Bridget Jones
- Harry Potter’s
- Love Actually
- The Switch
- The Devil Wears Prada
- School of Rock
- Forrest Gump
- Dirty Dancing
- Bad Boys’
- Forgetting Sarah Marshall
- American Pie
- Cool Runnings
- Ted 1 & 2
These are my top 5 ways on relaxing after a long day, like I said, everybody’s is different so I would love to hear below how you relax when feeling stressed or anxious. Of course, if you are feeling super anxious, worried, or down about something, please make sure you talk to someone and get medical advice if you think it is needed!
All images within taken for this post have been used in fair use for a review / suggestion, all images belong to their respectful owners (Headspace inc. 2018) & (Paramount Pictures / image taken from cinematerial.com)