Our Favorite Ways to Unwind & Relax
"Just breathe. Pause. Amidst the business. During the days of back to back appointments, celebrations, and meetings. During the moments when life seems to be moving at 100 miles per hour. Pause. Take it all in, right where you are now. Reacquaint yourself with who you are. Remind yourself that you're doing your best and that is all you can do. Pause. Allow yourself to take a moment to stretch and feel your muscles relax. Let any tension fall away. Pause. Take in as much air as your lungs will allow and just breathe. You are doing better than you think."
1. Read a Book
Reading a book is great for unwinding, and it's also one of the more relaxing ways to pass the time. We all know this, but we don't always take advantage of it. This year, I've been trying to read more—and so far it's been working! It's also helped me with my insomnia and anxiety.
The best part about reading is that you can do it anywhere. Whether you're laying in bed at night or relaxing on your porch during a sunny afternoon, there are no excuses for not picking up that book and start reading! Just make sure you have enough light when indoors.
Our Favorite Pieces to Unwind in While Reading:
2. Take a Walk
Taking a walk is one of the best ways to de-stress, relax, and get some fresh air. The benefits are numerous: it’s good for your heart, improves circulation, and can help you sleep better at night. It also helps keep your mind sharp. And the best part? It doesn't need to take much time and can fit into any schedule.
You don't have to do all of this alone—why not invite friends along? Or bring along a pet who needs some exercise as well! This way it becomes more than just another chore on your daily agenda; it's an opportunity for social interaction.
If you feel like taking a relaxing walk by yourself, you can immerse yourself in the sounds of your surroundings or listen to podcasts and music when you're out and about.
For the best walk, take a few moments to prepare. You'll want to find a route that's safe and comfortable—whether it's around your neighborhood, through a park, or any interesting trail. Make each walk an adventure by putting yourself in places you enjoy!
3. Get Outside
Separate yourself from your to-dos for a moment. Relax. Going outside doesn't need to mean much more than taking a break from work and stepping outside or taking your dog for a walk. Sunshine and fresh air are excellent for your mental health.
If you have some extra time on your hands, go to the beach, take yourself on a hike. Turn your phone on silent and immerse yourself in the outdoors. If you're in Hawaii, check out our favorite Oahu hikes.
4. Get Active
Whether taking a walk before/after work, taking a weekly yoga class, or having a HIIT gym workout, there are so many little ways you can fit getting active into your schedule! Being active is great for your body's health, but also your mental health by ridding yourself of pent up energy. If you're looking to add a quick workout to your routine, here's some of our favorites.
Our Favorite Pieces to Get Active In:
5. Take a Nap
A power nap is a 20-30-minute nap that can help you feel more revitalized. If you’re not used to napping, start with just 15 minutes and build your way up. There are times when we don’t want to fall asleep at work or school, like during an important meeting or class session, we can still enjoy the benefits of this short rest by sitting quietly and "resting" our eyes while everyone else is busy.
Naps are great because they replenish our energy levels without being so long that we lose track of time (and end up late for anything). They also help us solve problems better than if we hadn't taken one!
6. Stretch Out
Bring balance to your body! Stretching relaxes your muscles, especially after a long day of work. Stretching is also a great way of easing your body before and after intense workouts.
7. Cuddle Your Pet
Pets can be the perfect stress relievers. The best part is that there are a variety to choose from! Pets can provide you with unconditional love and comfort as well as help you sleep better and feel more connected to the world and others around you. This can lead to feeling less loneliness, depression, anxiety and other negative emotions we carry. They can also ease us when we're feeling tense or anxious. You can bet we're cuddling our furry friends every chance we can get! Cuddle or pet your side-kick and relax together!
8. Watch a movie or tv show
When you feel stressed, it can be helpful to watch something that will lift your spirits. In fact, many people have found that watching movies is one of the best ways to de-stress and enjoy life. If you're looking for an easy way to relax, try watching one of your favorite comedies or dramas on Netflix. Simply vegging out and engaging in your favorite stories is a simple way to ease your mind from the things going on in your life.
Our Favorite Pieces For Lounging at Home:
9. Write Down Your Thoughts
Don't have a day journal? Get one! It's important to reflect on our experiences and feelings, both good and bad. Writing is a great way of slowing down your thoughts and keeping them focussed on one thing at a time.
Journaling can be a great way to release pent-up feelings that are causing you stress. Writing about how grateful you are for something can help put things into perspective and make it easier for you to focus on what's important. Writing about your goals for the future and how they connect with how grateful or stressed out you feel will help keep things in perspective as well. If there were any good parts of your day, write about those too! You might even want to keep track of them so that if one day seems less than stellar, at least there was something good from it (even if it was just waking up). If there was something stressful today, write down the facts surrounding the situation and then let go of them by writing down an affirmation such as: “everything happens for a reason” or “everything is okay” or whatever helps calm down intense emotions like anger, fear, and frustration. If you're in need of some extra inspiration, here's some of our favorite inspirational phone wallpapers.
10. Talk it Out
Just as writing your thoughts down can help slow your mind, speaking out loud can also do the same! While your brain is focussed on articulating your thoughts into words, it isn't wandering the way it might normally do, which can result in calming you down.
Talking it out is a great way of expressing yourself and decompressing, whether it be to yourself, your pet, family, friends, anyone really!
11. Create a Ritual
Creating your own ritual could mean just about anything, but at the root of this, it just means delegating a scheduled time for a "you" moment. Quality time with yourself is just as important as spending time with those you care about. Something as easy as taking yourself on a lunch date or seeing a movie by yourself can be immensely helpful in realizing how enjoyable of a presence you yourself can truly be.
9. Treat Yourself
Treating yourself is such an important aspect of relaxing. After a hard day's work, there is no shame in enjoying life's pleasures and rewarding oneself. Rewards can be as simple as having a scoop of ice cream, cooking a delicious recipe, or treating yourself to the latest Love Fitness pieces!
Here's some of our latest faves:
There are so many ways to relax, and we want to share them with you! Whether it’s reading a book, taking a walk around the park or doing yoga poses in your living room—whatever works best for you. Take advantage of those moments when stress starts to mount up and remember what it feels like when you come back from them—you can do it!
Share with us in the comments your favorite ways to relax and unwind.
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