Sunday 6 September 2015

7 Tips To Help You Switch Off And Relax

Hey, did you know you don't HAVE to be busy doing something every second of every day? You're actually allowed to just sit back, relax and not be beholden to anyone if you don't want to be? Funny that. I know we know it deep down, but sometimes it feels like life is moving at 100 miles an hour and it can easily be forgotten! 

It's as if we feel duty bound to share how busy we were during a Monday morning brag, so when we do eventually burn out or try and switch off of our own accord, it's actually hard to do. There is always something that can be done if you're hanging about the flat, whether it's putting a load on, prepping dinner, checking emails, before you know it, hours have passed and you've wasted half the day doing the stuff you were purposely going to avoid doing, rather than focusing on yourself. 

Well this weekend I purposely made myself be very present in the moments so that time for once, I didn't feel like it was gone in the blink of an eye - and regardless of what I was doing,  I tried to enjoy it and see it less of a chore, more of a step to helping me unwind. Here's how:

1. Make a 'To Do' List

You don't have to do it, but offloading everything that's buzzing round your head is a great way to just free up some mental space to focus on more important things. Plus once it's written down, usually you'll realise the stuff you 'have to do' is always self imposed, rather than an urgent requirement of anyone else - why do we put ourselves under so much pressure sometimes? If it can wait, let it wait!

2. Exercise

I'm not the biggest running fan, I'm not fast at all, but actually when you've got stuff on your mind, going for a run or to the gym is a great way of working through issues and tiring yourself out. Actually I'd highly recommend running only when you have stuff on your mind, that way you're not counting how many steps you've run or thinking about how much further you have to go. It also gives you alone time, and means you've done something positive; if nothing else, that deserves a pat on the back!

3. Create a 'Me Time' routine

It could be anything from reading a book, to doing your nails, or slapping on a hair mask and catching up on some TV, whatever your 'thing' is, use it as a mental trigger and remember the feelings of when you're in those moments. The brain will remember the feelings when you start doing it next time and it'll help evoke those relaxed feelings again.

4. Achieve something - even if its something small

Sometimes people, like me, may struggle to relax until we've achieved something. That's because I get a buzz off that sense of achievement, and it may be something such as getting some chores done around the house or making that call that I know I need to, but regardless, I get great vibes once its done with. (Yep that's another pat on the back!)

5. Try not to over think things

I wrote a whole separate post on this here, but in order for your mind to not ruin the moment with it's constant whirring, you need to allow yourself to be distracted. Phone a friend, play a game, spend an hour on Instagram or Pinterest, just allow yourself the mental relaxation you need. You never know, but chances are you're making it worse by constantly analysing the same subject - you're not at school and this isn't a test - take a break!

6. Be aware of the little things

Sometimes we may only get an afternoon or evening to switch off before we have to switch on again, in those moments its important to focus on the small things. The fact there is no alarm clock in the morning and you got an extra 30mins kip, that you're alone and can strut around the flat naked, or that you can get on with all your secret little behaviours that your flatmates or partners don't know about, even enjoying a bath in peace. Whatever it is, make it count!

7. Clean up your act

If your environment is clean and tidy, you'll find it much easier to relax without your eye wandering over loads of incomplete jobs, get them done or put away and it'll help keep your mind clear of all the mundane things and allow you to enjoy your space much more.

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