Relax. Totally easier said than done right? Doesn’t it drive you nuts when someone tells you to relax! My Mom is always telling me to chill out. I feel like we often hear or read that our population is in a constant state of stress (so trying to relax almost seems redundant). However this week I finally realized yes I will be in stressful situations but I certainly need to relax (or at least attempt to manage these situations in a more productive and calm way).
Here are a few things I’m trying to do on a daily basis to help with the relaxation process:
1. Stop multi-tasking. I am terrible multi-tasker (likely in both senses of the word). I don’t find it makes me any more productive and generally causes more distraction and less focus. I am especially bad when it comes to the internet (opening multiple windows, watching TV and doing something else at the same time, haphazardly reading blog posts, articles, etc.) For now I am trying to focus on one thing at a time!
2. Finish the job I started. Along the similar lines of multi-tasking it is so easy to eat dinner, go do something else, leave the apartment, and then come back to wash the dishes. I feel more accomplished if I clean up immediately after eating (and then I no longer have to worry about it! score). My friend Shawn should be very impressed by this. He witnessed how bad I was with washing dishes in undergrad.
3. Do the boring stuff first. Keeping along the same lines as washing the dishes, if I try to get the ‘boring’ tasks out of the way early in the day, it makes for a more productive and happy end to the day. It’s also been a good test of my patience.
4. Take a few minutes to breathe deeply everyday. Sure I practice yoga 1-2 times per week but that’s only a few hours of my whole week. I hope this will be a baby step to meditation! My friend May shared this meditation challenge with me and I’d like to try it out. It starts March 11 if you’re interested and it’s free!
Testing out the meditation mat (from PEI!) my Mom gave my sister and I for Christmas
5. Take an evening walk. Even better if it is with a friend! I love my evening walks with May and her dog. It’s a great way to ‘decompress’ about the day and generally makes it much easier to go to sleep.
Coming back to a cup of tea is also a nice way to end the evening!
6. Put your legs up the wall. This is one of my favourite yoga poses (it’s so relaxing and easy… minimal effort involved).
Image Source: Yoga Journal
Try it out tonight for a few minutes (no bolster necessary)! Some benefits of the pose include relief of: anxiety, digestive problems, headache, insomnia, and mild depression. My sister and I did this everyday when we were in Paris. It was great relief for our tired legs, back and feet and a nice gentle stretch for the back of our legs.
7. Cut out the coffee. I am the first one to admit I love the taste of coffee but sometimes it just makes me more anxious than it’s worth. I’ve tried a few coffee substitutes (Dandy Blend and Teeccino) but find I prefer drinking green tea instead. Nothing can really replace that coffee smell.
8. Sleep. Not to be the one to point out the obvious but man does it ever make a difference! I’m trying to be in bed by 10:30 pm most nights. It puts me in such a better mood and gives me way more energy the next morning!
9. Let it go. I have been making a more concerted effort at letting things go! Whether it’s a little thing that annoys me on the sky train or a pressing assignment… just let it go. Or maybe this is just the hippy-mentality of Vancouver getting to me
10. Eat one meal without distractions. I’ve been trying to eat dinner without my computer (or some sort of reading material to distract me). It’s a nice way to end the day and I always finish the meal feeling a lot calmer!
Any things you do to relax?