The past year has been a tough one mentally, and it has left most of us feeling more stressed than ever. Whether it is the fact we are not seeing our families and friends as much, are out of work, or just suffering with being in lockdown, there are many factors contributing to not feeling as relaxed as we could be. No matter the reason, if you are struggling to relax, it can affect everything from your quality of sleep, to your mood. As you may know, I’ve been struggling with getting to sleep for a while now so here are a few tips I’m trying to wind down more and look after myself after a long day – perhaps try and add these into your routine to to help you relax.
Have a nice bath
While a shower is great for getting clean, a bath is the perfect thing for relaxing. Get your favourite bubble bath or bath bombs (why not make your own with some bath bomb molds?) and light some candles. Play some relaxing music and just spend some time soaking and enjoying your surroundings. You will soon find your worries melt away and that you feel much happier and calmer. I never have a bath and so you know it’s been a long / stressful day when I’m running one for myself!
Try some meditation
Meditation is a great way to help you to relax. It encourages you to let go of all your negative thoughts and just take some time to re-centre yourself. Make sure that you take yourself off somewhere quiet where you can concentrate and just let your brain focus on you. You can practice this any time of day, but most people tend to do it in the morning when they wake up and then again in the evening. I like to just have some time to myself to chill out if I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed or if my 3 year old has just been a bit much through the day. Meditation / relaxation before some reading in the evening is the perfect way for me to unwind. I love listening to calming / meditation podcasts (the Harry Styles one on Calm is amazing!).
Have some time away from screens / your mobile
Screens can be a real hindrance when you are trying to relax. It’s important that you put your phone or tablet away even for just an hour or so. If you are on a screen not only is it harsh on your eyes, but it will also mean you are probably scrolling through social media and comparing your life to everyone else’s. Or at least, I know I am (if i’m not working of course). This is never going to be good for your mental health and can have detrimental effects on your wellbeing. Take some time to just live in the present and give your eyes a break. Why not read a book or do some art or crafts? I have had a lot less headaches since switching off from my phone more often!
Write in a journal
Journaling is a great way to help you relax after a long day. There is not a set rule for this, it is just a way of you getting rid of any negative thoughts in your mind and writing them down. Sometimes seeing your stresses on paper can put them into perspective, or make you feel that they are leaving your body. I found this particularly helpful when I was going through a rough patch with my mental health last year and although I don’t journal every night now, back then it really helped me leave negative thoughts in the pages and relax more before I went to bed.
Speak to your friends and family
Sometimes the best thing to help us relax is to just have a chat with friends and family. By offloading to them they can help to ease you of any worries. You will find yourself laughing, joking and speaking about random things too, which are sure to keep your mind occupied and make you feel happier. Whenever I’m stressed or have no bloody clue what to do I always call my Mum. Cliché I know, but calling my mum always helps me calm down or figure things out. Especially in lockdown / covid times like we’re in at the moment, grabbing a FaceTime or phone call with friends and family is just such a lovely thing to do. I don’t know about you guys, but soemtimes I feel like the three of us are the only people in the world, we’ve been alone for so long!
These are just a few ways that you can help yourself to relax at the end of a long day. Which will you try? Let me know!