Relax, Take It Easy
When I first wrote this blog, I escaped to one of my favorite local coffee shops to find a little peace and quite. Unfortunately, I found that I was greeted by the complete opposite, being pestered, bothered and distracted by those around me. I was completely stressed out and not in the right frame of mind to yield optimal content. I continued on anyway, hoping to just get this “done and over with.” I sit here, three days from when I first wrote it, with a completely blank document in front of me, because I never want to produce content JUST to produce it. I want to love it and be happy with every single post that I write, because if I don’t WANT to write something, and am not happy with the end result, why the hell should I expect you all to continue to read and support me? I found myself in a very stressed out situation before, and have since taken the time to clear my mind, compose my thoughts, and regain my enthusiasm for writing this. So please, before you read any further, do me a favor and just take a deep breath and close your eye for a little while. Even if it’s just ten seconds, just take those ten seconds to completely relax and de-stress.
Don’t you wish that it was always that easy to relax? That you could just constantly be in a state of taking deep breaths and feeling less stressed? I know it can’t always be that way, but I have made it a point in my life to actively seek out peace in moments when I’m feeling especially stressed out. I have yet to find the magic elixir that will completely eliminate all forms of stress from my life, but there are steps that can be taken each day to try to help reduce unnecessary hectic feelings, and in return, keep you feeling more at ease. Today, I’d like to share some of those with you.
1. Exercise first thing in the morning:
This is something that I just recently started doing, and I never knew how much of a positive impact it would have on my life. I’ll admit that it’s not always easy, but it is always worth it. Every single time I leave the gym, I find myself in a fantastic mood- endorphins are no joke, people. Not only does this help jumpstart my day (literally), but it has helped improve my nights as well. I have always had issues falling asleep, but now that I’m waking up and being active early in the morning, I find that by the end of the day, I am totally drained, and practically pouring myself into my bed. And for me, more sleep = less stress!
2. Prepare and plan for the next day:
So I have to be honest with you, this isn’t something I do EVERY night, but I really do try to, and when I do, my mornings are much less frantic. I have found that if I pack my lunch and pick out my outfit for the next day the evening before, I have literally nothing to worry about in the morning besides getting coffee into my body as quick as humanly possible. My mom always used to tell me to do these things while I was in junior high and high school, and I never really listened… but now I am, thanks mom.
3. Have a routine and stick to it:
To me, nothing says “stress free” like the promise and security of an everyday routine. It’s a proven fact (at least in my world) that consistency makes things go more smoothly, and when things go smoothly, what is there to worry about?
4. Lists, lists, lists:
knowing exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it is one my favorite ways to alleviate stress. Every night before bed, I make a “to-do” list of things I have to do for the next day, that way I don’t have to worry about forgetting anything important (also, what’s more satisfying than crossing things off a list? The answer is nothing).
5. Find a means of immediate stress relief:
As much as I will deny until my dying day that I enjoy running, it really has become one of my go-to’s when I’m feeling overwhelmingly stressed out. When nothing else will make me feel better, I know that hopping on a treadmill, even if it’s just for a mile, will undoubtedly do the trick. That is not to say that running will cure all of my problems, but it will at least allow me to release some steam and calm myself down.
I believe that stress relief and relaxation go hand and hand. Once my stress is managed, I can finally relax and unwind. And just like with stress, it’s important to learn about and understand your mind and body, and the specific ways that you can help yourself take steps towards relaxation. And of course, I have some suggestion on different methods that may help you to relax (all bee tested, and approved)!
1. GET AN ESSENTIAL OIL DIFFUSER:
This has seriously been one of the most wonderful purchases I have ever made in my entire life, and there has pretty much not been a day that I haven’t used it since I purchased it. I like to use mine at night with lavender essential oil. The light steam, the quiet, oceanic sound, the soothing color changing LED lights, and the scent of the oil all work together to create the perfect environment for relaxation. After using and experiencing the perfection of mine, my mom loved it so much that she bought one for herself, and has even purchased one as a gift for a friend. A++, Five stars, would recommend.
2. Learn to meditate:
This has proved to be very challenging for me, but I still try, and it really does help me relax. If you are anything like me, and the idea of just completely shutting down and clearing your brain sounds seemingly impossible, trying out guided meditation can be very helpful. You can find apps for meditation, and there are even some really great ones on YouTube, but it’s all just about finding what works for you. Close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and let the rest fade away.
3. Practice yoga:
This has become a part of my nighttime routine. You don’t have to be in a studio or at a class to practice yoga, however, those can help in the beginning to learn the basics and what works best for you. I have learned that doing a few sun salutations at night before bed really helps to completely calm me down. In addition to this, practicing yoga at night will help stretch out your muscles, and have you feeling much less stiff in the morning. OM!
4. Make a calming playlist:
Music has always had a way of completely changing my mood, and creating a playlist of songs that I know will help calm me down has been a real life changer. Mine is on Spotify and is called “Sunday Coffee,” it’s a collaborative playlist that is always being added to by myself and some of my friends, and we’ve created one hell of a soothing collection. From Avett to Adele, this playlist has it all. And yes, I do especially like to listen to it on Sundays while enjoying my morning Joe.
5. Have a calming activity:
For me, this is reading. If I want to relax, but I don’t just want to get caught up in the Netflix vortex, my favorite way to spend this time is by picking up a book. It’s mindless, calming, soothing and enjoyable. I’m currently reading the second book from the Girl Online series by Zoe Sugg, Girl Online On Tour. Any suggestions for what I should read next? Let me know in the comments below!
While I hope that all of you are constantly free of stress, I know that isn’t realistic. But, I hope now that I have provided you with some means of coping, and some new relaxation techniques.