Relaxation tips to reduce stress, time to self focus

With the hustle of life, stress levels can rise rather quickly which can lead to many side effects and health issues.  Some examples include panic attacks, high blood pressure, difficulty sleeping or even fatigue, irritability and shortness towards others.  The list goes on.  There are ways we can take control to prevent such side effects as much as possible.  Highlighted below are some relaxation tips to reduce stress. 

Set aside time for yourself

For many of us, it always seems like there is never nothing to.  Even when there is some free time, it can be be challenging to turn off those nagging thoughts listing off all the things in our life that need to be done.  Yes, there may be a list of chores or updates that need to be done around the house, or a pile of paperwork and bills to get through, or many tasks at work that need to be tackled, family you need to tend to, etc.  This list will get done eventually, but an important task that should be part of your list is to make some time for yourself.  

Make a habit to set some “me-time” into your daily schedule, put this time in your calendar if you need to.  Have a reminder set on your phone, or whichever device you use the most.  Take this time to block out every thought that makes you feel tense or stressed and just focus on the very moment you are in.  Do something that puts you at ease and brings you happiness such as taking a walk, doing yoga or meditating, reading, enjoying that hobbie you never seem to find time to do. Set your phone to “do not disturb” so you can’t be distracted.  

Taking breaks through the work day is also important.  It’s easy to keep working or plugging away when on a mission to complete tasks; then before you know it, the day is almost over.  Taking your allotted break times and stepping away from work gives you a chance to refresh the mind.  You may even think of resolutions to a work problem differently upon your return.  Have a little Power Nap on these breaks, go for a quick coffee run or walk with a colleague.  Do some stretches if you sit at a desk all day.  Anything to recharge yourself.

Get physical 

Get those endorphins going with some movement.  Any form of physical activity works to relieve stress.  Go high intensity with a good run or cycle, do some kickboxing or spinning.  Or, turn it down a notch and go for a walk, try yoga, pilates or tai chi.  If you don’t want to go to a gym or are on a tight budget for classes or personal training, there are plenty of YouTube videos or Apps that can guide you along for free.

Calm your mind

Even if it’s for a few minutes throughout your day, do some deep breathing, meditate, or try hypnosis to relieve stress.  This practice allows you to really escape the chaos and live in the present moment.  Focus only on your breath using different techniques; such as slowly inhaling until your chest and belly are full of air and expanded.  Hold that breath for so many counts, then slowly exhale to the bottom of that breath.  Watch your chest and belly rise and fall through this process.  

Through meditation, you give your full body a chance to relax as you mentally scan yourself from head to toe; releasing any tension that you come across in your body.  Use visualization to put yourself in a setting that makes you feel calm and at peace.  Again, there are many free apps and online tools that can walk you through these methods if you prefer to be guided along. 

Enjoy your hobbies and favourite pastimes 

Favourite activities tend to get put on the back burner as we get looped into the day-to-day routine.  Make your hobby part of your daily or weekly schedule.  Join a group or club that meets regularly to enjoy the same interests with others; such as a book club, painting or pottery, hiking, golfing, etc.  having that commitment will force you to take that time to do what you love and provide yourself some stress relief.

It can be calming to knit, crochet, or to work in the garden.  Enjoying some quiet time to yourself as you get into the zone doing a hobby is also a perfect way to decompress.

Do you!

Self care is key.  Make sure you are taking time to do what is best for yourself and engaging in things that bring you peace and happiness.  The more goodness you put into yourself, the better you can knock down those stress levels and put your best self out there.  Having a lot on your plate can be overwhelming and could lead to procrastination; causing more stress in the long run.  Try choosing one task to focus on at a time; instead of thinking of the whole to-do list and being unsure of where to start.   

Make sure you are getting a sufficient amount of sleep.  You might even find yourself dozing off when meditating and may want to set an alarm before you start.  Being well rested is a big factor in keeping stress levels down.  Rest and self care will really reduce the risk of burnout.  

Take advantage of those moments you have to savour a relaxing setting; whether in a silent room, or out in the fresh air.  Stop and take in your surroundings to stimulate your senses; such as the smell of the outdoors, the sound of the birds chirping, the view of a nice landscape or feel of a light breeze.. Keep fresh cut lavender near by or use essential oills with a stress reducing scent either on you or in a diffuser.  Have a laugh, watch something funny or listen to a comedic podcast.  Start saying no to some things that come up.  Don’t feel like you have to take on everything, it’s okay if you can’t please everyone.

So give it a whirl, try any of the suggestions above and note the difference in how you feel overall.  Feel free to provide any feedback or any other suggestions in the comments.

Leave a Comment