In our North American society we are constantly go, go, go, often opting for an extra large coffee en route to work instead of giving ourselves a few extra minutes to settle in with a newspaper and enjoy that acai bowl we “keep meaning to make”. We rush from one appointment to the next, running errand after errand, forgetting that, we too, are human beings and need to desperately make time for ourselves in a world that is constantly moving and we are forever trying to catch up to. Do we even KNOW what is it to unwind anymore? Adulthood seemingly carries the responsibilities of the world but that simply does not mean that we should be putting ourselves on the back-burner waiting to get burned. It’s time to relax, in whatever way that means for you and re-charge yourself for the following day’s perfect chaos.
Here are seven ways for you to unwind (at any time of day) that you should start now...
1. Roll out your yoga mat
Wether you are looking to begin your day with an open heart or unwind after a long one, stepping on to your yoga mat is a sure fire way to take a break from the noise around you. Flowing with your breath through a full 90 minute class or completing a series of sun salutations in the privacy of your own home, yoga is the perfect way to revitalize your mind, body, and soul. Yoga has proven to lower cortisol levels in the body which helps decrease depression, assists in catching better Zzz’s at night, and also lends a hand with other ailments such as diabetes and osteoporosis. So land yourself on your mat for even 30 minutes a day and reap the benefits..
2. Go for a walk away from the bustling city
Working in the same busy environment doesn’t allow our conscious brain to rest, or give the ability to experience change. When we remove ourselves from the buzz of everyday life and go green, we can think and feel in a completely different way. Exposing yourself to nature gets your creative juices flowing, lowers anxiety, and stress levels. And hey, its great for exercising as well! So next time you have a thirty minute break at work, why not take your lunch to the trail?
3. Make a to do list
We’re all swarmed with a million and one things to do, and we have to walk the dog at the end of the day too. But if you sit down (in nature maybe?) with a pen and paper in hand to make a list of everything that needs to be done, it suddenly doesn’t seem so intimidating anymore. Work out the most important at the top of the list and give yourself a time frame to do each. When you know everything doesn’t have to be done today, you can breathe a little bit easier and work through it at your own pace.
4. Cook a nourishing meal
Take the guess work out of what’s for dinner every night by scoping out the internet or picking up a colourful cookbook. Choose a few recipes to make each week and turn a lazy Sunday into a day trip to your local farmers market for some delicious organics, and weekly meal prep at home. When you’re slicing your own veggies and arranging them on your plate like a professional food stager, you’ll breathe a breath of fresh air and be reminded of the importance that doing something kind for yourself is vital. Be sure to always make left overs for lunch the next day, it will give you a little extra time on your yoga mat. You’ll start feeling better in no time and have enough energy to do more throughout the day.
5. Pick up a book and make a tea
Sometimes after a long day you want nothing more than to not think, or do, anything. Instead of plopping yourself on the couch with remote in hand for the remains of the evening, pick up a favourite book or one you have been meaning to read. Fiction can take your brain to a place of wonder, curiosity and imagination away from the things that may stress you out from everyday life. Pair your reality getaway with a hot tea that has calming factors such as mint, lemongrass, rosebud or valerian and you’ll be sweet dreaming with no stress before you know it.
6. Treat yourself how you would treat a loved one
If you’re like a lot of people in this world, you generally come second to loved ones. Constantly taking care of children, spouses or best friends before yourself because somewhere your brain told you that you don’t deserve the most. When we reflect back on ourselves and start treating ourselves as best we would a sister, it allows us to show kindness and compassion in a more true way. So take yourself for a solo dinner, a pedicure, or just take a full day to yourself and re charge. When we show self-love, we can better be available to others when they truly need it.
7. Click off, sign out and ditch the cellphone
Disconnect, literally, from the outside world. Giving ourselves a break from that red flashing light on the cellphone and those notifications on Facebook takes a lot of weight off of the mind. Giving yourself the okay to reconnect with yourself and the real world around you will make you feel rejuvenated in the a.m. So make the commitment to leave work at work, not to get caught up in the false realities of social media, and start living your real truth with loved ones around you. The ones you can truly connect with on a personal level and will hug you when you just can’t seem to unwind from the pressures of everyday life.