Hello my friends, if you noticed I did not post last week. This is because I decided to take some time off and go on a short little trip. Although it was only for a few days, I did not want to put that stress and pressure on myself on having to upload a blog post… which brings me to this week’s post!
Something many of us are guilty of is working so hard all the time and putting our bodies through so much unnecessary stress and pressure, that we end up getting overwhelmed, feeling poorly, getting sick, or worse! We forget that our bodies need time to recover. As I have said many times before, it is all about BALANCE! Some days it is alright to have days that are fully booked right down to the minute. Whereas other days it is alright to have nothing planned and be unproductive. Although it is probably best to have a balance that is consistent from day to day, life happens and it may be unexpected; but that is all part of the fun. We just need to learn to incorporate techniques or habits into our day to day routine to allow ourselves to de-stress, to heal and recover as best as we can.
Everyone has their preferred way to de-stress and relax. However the following includes some of my favourite ways to do so and perhaps it can give you some new ideas and inspiration to try and incorporate into your own life.
- Take a “vacation” – Holidays… isn’t that everyone’s ideal way to rest and relax. Unfortunately it is not feasible for most people to take long or extended holidays. If you are lucky enough to have a day off or at the very least some time off, make the most of that time! Go out an explore! Go to a different town or neighbourhood that you’ve never been to. Go check if there are events happening nearby. Be a tourist in your hometown. If money is an issue, there are plenty of things that costs little to nothing. Simply be open-minded and unafraid to try something or go somewhere you haven’t.
- Make small changes to your routine – If you work a billion jobs and literally have no time off, what then? Well first off, what is it about a vacation that allows us to be able to relax and de-stress? Perhaps it is the fact that we are in a new environment, perhaps it is simply not thinking about all of our tasks and appointments at hand, where we need to be or what we need to be doing. One way I have found to be very helpful is to make some minor changes or adjustments to our everyday life. For example, if you take the same route to work or to school, choose a different route and change your surroundings even if the change is minimal. Instead of turning on this one street, turn on another. If that slight change takes a little bit longer, leave your house just slightly earlier. Yes, I understand many people do not like change, but just try it one day and see what happens. Go to a different spot for lunch, go to a different grocery store, instead of brushing your teeth before breakfast, brush it after breakfast… it literally could be anything. Simply try changing something small in your life even if it’s just for the day… you’ll never know what you may discover or how you may feel.
- Go unplugged for at least a certain amount of time each day – this may include either turning your phone or whatever tech on silent, turning it completely off or just putting it far away from reach. One of the best times to do this is during all your meals. I understand some people only get a certain amount of time for their lunch break to catch up on their social media, on their emails and texts but do that after you finish your meal. This allows you to focus on the task at hand, which in this case is eating. Take the time to enjoy your food, the food that is fuelling you and nourishing your body! Another great time to unplug is right before bed. Try your best not to continue scrolling through your feed after all the lights are turned off… I know it may be tough but your mind and your brain that time to wind down.
- Go for a walk – I personally LOVE walking, I choose to walk to work everyday even if it takes me hour. It is my time for myself, time to reflect and to take it all in. Sometimes I walk with no music or anything plugged in and just take that period to be present or to be lost in thought. Sometimes I listen to audiobooks, or listen to some old tunes that I know will instantly brighten up my day. Regardless, take that precious time and enjoy it.
- Stretch/Foam Roll – Stretching is super important, regardless if you are active or not. If you’re unsure on what type of stretches or recovery exercises to do, there are some great resources online, such as YouTube videos or other fitness articles you can check out. See if your local fitness studio or gym offer any recovery classes. Having an instructor and joining in a class is very beneficial. Not only will it hold you accountable, but you can learn so much from the instructors. One of my favourite things to do is take 10-15 minutes before bed to stretch and/or foam roll. This allows my body and mind to de-stress, to relax and prepare myself for a good night’s rest. If yoga or meditation is something that interests you try it out! Again there are many resources online that you can follow and learn from. I practiced short yoga flows every night before bed for a month and during that month I had the best sleep ever.
Although these things may seem simple and generic, they have worked wonders for me and I highly recommend them. No matter where you are in your life and how stressful or intense it may be, try your best to be present in the moment. If you are feeling nervous, anxious, or overwhelmed, acknowledge that feeling and turn that into something positive such as excitement and gratitude. Acknowledgement is a great first step. Think about why you may be feeling this way and allow yourself time to appreciate those feelings. Then, incorporate ways and techniques to tackle whatever is giving you stress or unwanted feelings.
What are things you like to do to de-stress, to rest or recover? I would love to hear them!