In today’s lifestyle, we need to be in a constant state of fight or flight. We need to worry about everything from our jobs and finances to the stressors that come with caring for children and aging parents. It can feel like there is never any time left over just for us.
Unfortunately, this lifestyle will only lead you further down the path toward burnout and chronic illness. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can slow down your life without giving up your career or responsibilities. Here are ways you can stop thinking about anything for a moment and relax at home:
1. Drink a glass of water
You can’t think when you feel dehydrated. When was the last time you actually drank eight glasses of water? If it has been more than one day, try to drink at least four glasses throughout the course of today and tomorrow and notice how much better you feel both mentally and physically.
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2. Watch a comedy
Everyone enjoys a good laugh every now and then, but ever wonder why we love comedies so much? It’s because laughing is not only fun; it also helps us relax. That doesn’t mean that people should avoid watching dramas or other shows that are serious in tone but watch them after taking some time for yourself to enjoy something funny. Laughter causes the body to release endorphins, the hormones that make you feel good. It also pushes out stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine in favor of more relaxing ones like oxytocin.
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3. Enjoy a massage
Massages are luxurious, but they can also be incredibly relaxing if you don’t have to pay for them at a spa. Go to your local department store and buy one of those Infinity massage chairs or invest in this furniture piece. Relax in your chair every day when you get home from work; take deep breaths as it kneads your muscles with its strong grip, loosening any tension built up during the day.
4. Give yourself some “me time”
Stress is often defined by how much control we have over what is happening in our lives. One way to take back some control is by carving out small pockets of time for yourself throughout the day where you can do whatever you want without worrying about anything else.
5. Listen to soothing music
Everyone has different tastes in music, so there isn’t one set genre that will immediately induce relaxation. Classical and new age are considered relaxing genres because they generally use slow beats and melodies that can ease running minds into quieter thoughts. Pop songs often have faster tempos which makes them less relaxing than their counterparts. Take a look through your favorite artists’ discographies to see what type of sound might make it easier for you to unwind.
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Turn off your phone, computer, and all other electronics for an hour or two every day. This doesn’t mean that you have to be completely unplugged from the world; it just means taking a break from screens. Reading a book, going for a walk outside, talking on the phone, or coloring can all be done without screens. Just make sure that the time you set aside is screen-free.
7. Take a bath
This is an oldie but a goodie. Add some soothing scents like lavender or chamomile oil to your bathtub and let the warm water wash away any stress or tension you’re feeling. Add in some of those aforementioned relaxing tunes, light a few candles, and let the hour (or more) just slip away.
8. Get moving
Exercise is a great way to burn off energy and stress, but it can also be incredibly relaxing when done correctly. Yoga is one type of exercise that has been shown to help people relax. If you’re not into yoga, any other form of exercise will do as long as it gets your heart rate up and leaves you feeling calm and rejuvenated afterward.
9. Eat mindfully
When was the last time you ate without being glued to your phone or laptop? Probably not recently. But there are benefits to slowing down and eating mindfully. Not only will you enjoy your food more, but you’ll also be able to fully taste the flavors of your meal without distractions. This might help you decompress because you won’t have anything else on your mind while eating.
Meditation is one of those activities that has too many benefits to write about. It can make people more productive, decrease anxiety, and it’s also relaxing! This article goes into more detail about meditation if you want to learn how to master it. Once you feel like you’ve perfected the practice, meditating every day will be easy and rewarding.
Enjoying these ten lifestyle changes will not only improve your mental health; they’ll also make you healthier overall. Because stress causes chemical reactions in the body that can lead to physical symptoms like high blood pressure, headaches, and stomach problems, reducing your stress levels will undoubtedly increase your quality of life. So what are you waiting for? Start implementing some of these tips today.