Take a Chill Pill: Relaxation for Everyday Life
Let’s set the record straight: relaxation doesn’t mean vacation. It isn’t necessary to save up thousands of dollars to sit on a white sand beach with cocktail in hand (although, that is appealing) to make all of your stresses disappear. Plus, saving for that vacation can cause even more tension in your everyday life as you scrape to put away your loose change to cover hefty traveling expenses.
On the other hand, learning how to relax in your daily life has a plethora of benefits, from improving your sleep at night to reducing your pain from headaches and backaches. Practicing relaxation techniques can also leave you with more self-confidence and more fulfilling relationships.
Relax the mind
People across the world have been practicing meditation for thousands of years. While there are many different types of meditation, they all typically aim to reduce stress and promote inner peace. For effective meditation, sit in a quiet place and clear your mind of all thoughts for around 30 minutes or so. If you don’t know where to start, try these guided meditation exercises from the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. We also recommend the Meditation app by Red Hammer Software for those of you who live life on the go.
Tap into your creative side and try out art therapy. Expressing your emotions through art will help distract you from the stressors of everyday life, divert your focus, and can help you feel more fulfilled by giving you a hobby. As with meditation, there are many different ways to integrate this technique into your life. Purchase a sketch pad, sit in a quiet place, and let your mind guide your tool across the paper. You can also mold clay or paint on canvas to reap the benefits of this relaxation method.
Relax the body
This technique requires you to make use of both your mind and body in order to manage stress and anxiety. While there are many different types of yoga to get involved in, they all involve a myriad of poses and deep breathing to achieve a relaxed state. You can practice yoga at home with YouTubers such as Tara Stiles, by following a DVD program like Yoga for Beginners, or by finding a class near you.
We know this is the one you’ve been waiting for. Getting a massage typically has the reputation of being an indulgent behavior as it can be costly. However, treating yourself to a massage may actually be just what you need. Research has shown that massage is beneficial for anxiety, headaches, insomnia, and nerve pain, among other ailments. Consider a membership with Massage Envy for only $60 per month–well worth it considering you also have access to the spa as well as a variety of member benefits, including roll-over massage minutes.
If none of these options appeal to you, pick a soothing bubble bath like this one from Philosophy called Pure Grace. Light some candles and relax all of the stress away in your makeshift home-spa. Happy relaxing!