Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ways to Relax Today

Do laundry, check email, walk the dog, return text messages, plan trip to visit family, pay bills… does this to-do list sound familiar?

Well U has got something else for you to add to your to-do list: Relax!

As our days get busier and busier, a designated time for relaxation becomes even more important. You must prioritize relaxation, or stress could make you sick. Stress can cause everything from weight gain to headache to heart attacks.

While our culture tempts us to stay busy and be productive, our bodies and minds can’t handle a 24/7 mentality of “full steam ahead!” We need wakeful relaxation. Carve out time every day to unwind, restore, and chill out. It doesn’t take hours, and won’t derail you to-do list – we promise. Here are 18 ways to max and relax today:

1. Close your eyes and sit with the sun shining on your face.

2. Take a walk and observe every little thing you see, staying fully present in the moment.

3. Soak a wash cloth in a cup of water infused with a few drops of calming lavender oil. Wring out the cloth and drape it over your eyes.

4. Take five slow, deep breaths. Make the exhale longer than the inhale.

5. Sip herbal tea.

6. Watch a funny YouTube video.

7. Turn off your phone and read a good book.

8. Soak in a warm bath, with bubbles, candles, and relaxing music.

9. Write down or tell someone three things you are grateful for.

10. Try progressive muscle relaxation.

11. Be present by orienting yourself: Where are you? What does it look like? What time is it? This practice is grounding and reminds you that things are fine, just as they are.

12. Connect your hands to the earth in child's pose.

13. Meditate.

14. Cut
 yourself some slack.

15. Snuggle with a pet, a loved one, or a cozy blanket.

16. Watch nature: trees swaying in the wind, birds gliding overhead, bees busily working among the flowers.

17. Get a massage or give yourself one.

18. Practice yoga.

The practices above can help you learn how to just “be” rather than “do.” Although they are simple practices, they won’t happen unless you make relaxation a priority and find the time to practice it.

Start a new habit by challenging yourself to practice one new way to relax every day for the next 18 days, or pick one that you really love and make time for it every day. If none of these practices appeal to you, find one that does.
Want more information? Check out the Well U Resources webpage for a 5 minute relaxation webinar and more!