How to Incorporate Relaxation and Stress Relief into a Busy Lifestyle
Over the last few decades, despite all our modern conveniences and technological advancements, western culture seems to become “busier” every day. In the midst of making ends meet to take care of families, partaking in social activities, tending to obligations and just living life, we seem to also be collectively slipping on taking care of ourselves. But before we can take care of others, we have to prioritize ourselves and by dedicating the necessary time it takes to do so, we actually give ourselves the optimal capacity to better serve those around us. With a few minor tweaks, and just a few moments to yourself in a day, you will notice leaps and bounds in your mental health and well-being.
Connect with people directly, rather than on social media
Social connectivity makes it easier than ever to become tuned in to everyone else, but to remain tuned off from your own thoughts. More recently, social media has been linked to resulting in a negative impact on mental health. While it can be a wonderful way to keep up with old friends from high school and long-distance family, it can be an easy way to sneak into your daily routine and eat away at productivity for other tasks at hand. Accessing your screen time can put into perspective just how much time you spend on social media instead of placing energy to other significant things in your life. As an alternative, you could spend the time connecting in person at community events, community meetups, or any social setting that allows you to build or nurture in-person, meaningful relationships away from the screen.
Seek a workplace that stands for wellness
An increasing and promising workplace trend for the future involves the incorporation of lifestyle services to work-life balance. To stay competitive, many companies are beginning to offer services and amenities to their employees including fitness classes in their building, sponsored gym memberships, on-site daycare, or perks such as allowing people to bring their dogs to work. Employers are finding that investing in the wellness of their employees as a whole leads to less turnover and more productive, genuine input, furthering the improvement of the company overall.
Meditate- even if it’s just for 5 minutes a day
Have you ever experienced waking up from a dream or sleep with a sudden resolution to a problem? You might be surprised to learn you can produce the same results just by quieting the mind without being in complete sleep state. Similarly, meditation can also be effective on lengthening attention span, increasing focus and energy, and even reducing memory loss. In addition to providing clarity and solutions to problems, meditation can be one of the most effective tools to allow yourself peace of mind and relaxation from compounding challenges or major and stressful life events. An even better way to explore the possibilities mediation can open for you, is by connecting with others through a meditation class. While there is technically no ‘right’ or exact way to meditate, many forms of meditation exist. Exploring and talking through it with others can be a great place to start a healthy habit.
From Bootcamp to breathing exercises – tailor your wellness efforts to what works for you
Perhaps the most obvious way to de-stress is through exercise. Whether it be through personal training or group fitness classes, finding time for as little as 3 – 4 sessions out of your week is significant not only to your physical health, but it also benefits your mental state and emotional well-being. Your wellness intentions don’t have to be as bold as a Bootcamp class – Harvard Health suggests something as simple as Autoregulation Exercises such as deep breathing practices can go a long way, even when practiced for as little as a few minutes on a busy day.
Whether it be deep breathing practices, Yoga classes, intense physical exercise, reduction in social media, or as little as 5 minutes of meditation a day, it can be easy to start weaving in relaxation practices into your life. The hardest part is the commitment and intention it takes to prioritize yourself. There are days where it will be hard to carve out that moment, and you might even skip a beat. But the most important thing is to never stop trying and you pick back up the intention the very next day. You have just one body – to truly live life to the fullest you must make it count.