The past year has left many of us more stressed (consciously or subconsciously) than ever. It’s no wonder, then, that you might not truly be getting the rest you need and are looking for tips to help you relax. However, this might seem counterintuitive. Shouldn’t “taking it easy” be…well…easy?
As it turns out, in today’s busy society and “hustle culture” it has become harder than ever for many to truly relax. With many people working from home more, the work life and home life have become blended, making it difficult to separate yourself enough from either to really take a break.
This is unfortunate, as there are so many benefits to overcoming stress and letting your mind and body relax. Relaxation has an overall positive effect that balances out the negative physical and mental effects of stress we incur daily. This allows us to:
So we thought it would be a good time to revisit the topic of relaxing and methods to ensure your relaxation quality. Here are some simple tips to help you relax and truly rest.
First on our list of tips to help you relax is to be intentional with both your rest time and rest space.
Especially with the increasing amount of people working from home, it’s more important than ever to carve out a specific time to intentionally relax. When your work life bleeds into your home life, it can make it hard to disconnect from work. As you try to relax in the evening, you might even feel guilty about it. Maybe there were distractions in your workday, so you feel like there is still work to do and you have no business relaxing. And when you have that worried mindset, you are never truly relaxing. The key is to be intentional and protective of the time you take to relax and stick to it.
Also, don’t save your dedicated relaxing time for just the weekend. Not giving yourself enough time to relax can cause you to overdo it when you do. To counteract this, you should allow yourself pockets of time throughout the week dedicated to relaxing. Taking time to rest will actually make you more productive when it comes time to work.
Along these same lines, some people also find it helpful to truly relax when they have a dedicated space to relax. This could be a specific comfortable chair, futon, or bed that gives your spine and neck a break from the weight of the day. Having a dedicated space to relax helps to tell your mind and body that it’s time to rest.
Not only do you need to be intentional about time and space, another one of the important tips to help you relax is to establish a routine or signal for when it’s time to relax. Normally, you might have a commute to and from work, so when you’re home you know it’s time to relax. However, if you don’t really leave the house to go to work, you need to establish something to signal that “going home time,” or “it’s time to relax” time.
Something as simple as taking a walk, a series of stretches, writing down your to-do list for the next day, or a quick chore can signal to your mind that it’s time to go into “relaxation mode”. Or even just a simple song can do the trick, as in The Office when they played “Closing Time” to close out the day:
Another one of our tips to help you relax is that what is relaxing for one person might not have the same effect on another. For example, a bubble bath might be the most relaxing thing for some people. However, some find sitting and stewing in hot water for an extended period of time completely boring and uncomfortable. Likewise, some might find watching tv relaxing. But if you’ve been staring at a computer screen all day, staring at another screen can actually be more exhausting.
An activity that is truly relaxing should leave you feeling refreshed. After a long day of computer work, instead of watching tv, maybe what you really need to do to relax is sit back in your favorite comfy chair and read a good book. Or maybe you’re one of those bubble bath fans, and nothing beats a nice long soak with some bubbles.
No list of tips to help you relax would be complete without mentioning meditation. Many people find an immense source of calm, clarity, and relaxation from the benefits of meditation. If you’ve never tried it, it comes highly recommended and there are plenty of books, articles, and apps to peruse to help you learn how to meditate.
However, not everyone is comfortable with the concept of meditation, or maybe you’ve tried it and it’s just not for you. A couple of important takeaways from meditation that you can incorporate into your relaxing routine are to focus on your breathing and visualize something calm. Whether you’re fully meditating or not, both of these practices are important when helping coach your body and mind into a relaxing state.
Many times the reason you are never fully relaxing is that you have too much on your mind. Whether it’s work tasks needing to be done, chores at home, relationship issues, your or a loved one’s health, etc., it seems your mind is always racing and full of worries. One of the best tips to help you relax is to write in a journal. You can write down the things that are worrying you to get them out of your mind.
Many people also find immense help from the benefits of keeping a separate gratitude journal and writing down what they are thankful for every day. This can help override those worrying thoughts. When you have less worrying thoughts, your body and mind can more easily and completely enter a state of true relaxation.
If you lead a mostly sedentary life due to your job (and let’s face it, most of us do), you’re actually building up a lot of physical tension in your body simply from sitting so long. Last on our list of tips to help you relax is to find ways to release this physical tension. After a long period of being sedentary, one of the most relaxing things might be to get up and move!
Doing a series of stretches is a good start. Heading to the gym and lifting weights or going for a swim might be the best idea for some. But one of the best ways to release physical tension that is extremely relaxing for almost anyone is simply to go for a walk. An added relaxing bonus is to take a walk in nature and soak up a little sunshine.
If you’re looking to implement these tips to help you relax, you’re going to need the perfect recliner, bed, and mattress to do the trick. We here at Quality Sleep Shops are passionate about finding you the best furniture pieces to help improve the quality of your sleep, rest, and relaxation. We carry only the highest quality brands and products for any price point and have knowledgeable staff to help point you in the right direction. Give us a call today or come visit our store to see how we can help you!
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