This is a guest post from Isabel William
We have become incredibly oblivious to our body’s initial signals of stress and general tension. From irritability, low energy levels, all the way to insomnia, it’s easy to distract ourselves with a whole range of everyday responsibilities from the deep-rooted issue of chronic stress. Known to be the leading cause of many diseases and health issues, stress should never be underestimated or ignored for long stretches of time.
If it’s been ages since your last stress-free weekend, or you’re so wrapped up into all your personal and professional endeavors that you no longer even know what helps you relax – it’s high time for taking a break from it all. You’ll do your body and your mind a favor by slowing down, and discovering all those activities (or the lack thereof) that help you unwind and replenish your energy!
It’s the simple solutions that are underestimated, and yet they often lead to the best, most long-lasting results. One such method that has been used since the dawn of time is breathing. You do it every day, but how often do you really focus on the depth and the duration of your inhales or exhales? Too busy doing everything else, breathing is an automated process our body needs to survive, so we really have no need to actively monitor its progress – but therein lies the rub!
Take a moment to yourself every day, and spend some time merely focusing on your breath. Revel in every deep, long inhale, and let all of your negative energy leave your body with every long, relaxing exhale. Even as little as a couple of minutes of daily breathing exercises can do wonders for your stress levels!
When you feel especially suffocated by the tempo of the modern life, all the noise and air pollution, and the annoying people around you, spending time in nature is the best remedy for your body and soul. If there’s a wooded area in your vicinity, head there for a couple of Zen hours of walking, contemplating, and even breathing – so why not combine these two methods and double your stress-relieving results?
Fresh air combined with sunshine, greenery and the lack of stress triggers creates a perfect environment for relaxation. Your body will naturally flush out toxins through sweat and breathing, and you’ll recharge your batteries before you even know it. Do this as often as possible, because few experiences can compare to the feeling of bonding with Mother Nature.
One of the first segments of your life that end up neglected in the face of stress is self-care. For you to be able to cope with the amounts of work and other responsibilities, putting off those wonderful moments of bliss can actually be counterproductive, leaving you exhausted and drained. We can learn so much from the ladies Down Under, because they make sure to visit a spa in Vaucluse and other well-known relaxing spots to indulge in a few restorative treatments such as massages or acupressure.
Surrounding yourself with soothing scents, enjoying a professional pampering session, and distancing yourself from the causes of everyday stress will let your body finally detox properly. Your tense muscles will relax, your mind will be able to slow down, and in just a few hours, you will be as good as new, even more resilient when stress ensues once more. Although we cannot enjoy these sessions every day (although that would be heavenly), the least you can do is make a promise to yourself that you’ll improve your self-care steps to include these pampering steps at least once per month!
Although there are many ways to unwind, sometimes your sedentary life that drives you insane calls for added effort to create a fitness routine. If you have skipped one too many a Zumba class or your body simply craves for the feeling of a revitalizing jog around the park, that’s precisely the remedy you need to kick your body into detox gear. You’ll stimulate your blood flow, balance your hormones, increase your heartrate and get your joints moving to drain the toxins out of your system and fill your body with positivity.
On the other hand, perhaps your body needs something more soothing, such as yoga, to stretch out those tendons and ligaments, and improve your mobility from all those hours sitting down. Yoga naturally incorporates controlled breathing paired with those powerful Asana positions, so you’ll pair the best of both exercises to help your body recuperate. The beauty of yoga is that you can do it pretty much everywhere – so after a few guided sessions, you’ll be able to have your own in-home routine to start your mornings right!
Even if you stay away from toxic people and spend some time in a dreamy resort, unless you truly commit to a few digital-free days, it will be close to impossible for your mind and your body to regenerate. Flooded with notifications, calls and messages every day, the variety of gadgets you use are actually wreaking havoc on your ability to rest. In fact, if you are in the habit of staring at a screen just before bedtime, chances are that you’re also depriving yourself of quality sleep.
Whether you choose to go camping, set up a spa weekend getaway with your friends, or just go to a park for a couple of hours, make sure you’re offline and all notifications muted. A bit of silence and reclaiming that focus on the present moment and your surroundings will immensely help you lower your stress levels.