Rest and relaxation are something most tend to reserve for certain occasions, or do only when they have the extra time. Our culture often drives the idea of “burning the candle at both ends,” and being “busy” as ideal. No rest, no sleep. On the go, etc. A great life includes all kinds of things including having a career, schedule, etc. But it also should include getting down time and chilling out. It’s as important as taking a daily shower, brushing your teeth, seeing your physician for annual health checkups, and whatever else you do to take care of yourself.
You can “run on empty” for years before it hits you, but neglecting taking time for rest and relaxation can ultimately run you down and has the potential to burn you out.
Just the same it can be hard to take the time for downtime. The key is to find small ways to bring it into your day-to-day routine. Once you do it’ll be a habit like any other self care routine.
- Take it in minutes. Take a short walk, meditation/prayer time, say calming words or aspirations. Whatever chills you out — take 10 minutes out of your to do it. If you can’t do 10 minutes at once, do a few minutes throughout the day totaling 10. Even if it’s just a matter of closing your eyes or trying to quiet your mind briefly. It adds up and it can absolutely make a difference.
- Micro treat. Treating yourself or taking care of yourself doesn’t have take hours of time or a lot of effort! A luxurious lotion at your desk or in your handbag/brief case in a scent like lavender or chamomile used once or twice throughout the day can be a mini moment of pampering that can have an impact. There are facial sprays that can be misted easily at home, work or on the go, keep peppermints nearby, essential oils. It can take less than a few seconds to treat yourself.
- Good noise. Sound can sooth a busy mind or alleviate stress. There sound apps available for smartphones with relaxing tones like gentle rain and white noise. Put that in your ear buds at your desk or play on the stereo in your car. Music can also work - soft jazz, symphony, etc.
- Mini massage. Self massage is easy to do and doesn’t take a lot of space, time or effort. Give a quick rub of your neck, hands, feet or face. It can get the blood flowing, release tight muscles and invigorate the skin. You can use a facial or other oil to add more to the experience.
- Scent. Aromatherapy can tone down high stress. Lavender, peppermint and other scents are known for their power to relax and sooth. Light a natural wax candle, incense, use room spray. If you’re at an office where odors might bother coworkers, keep an essential oil in peppermint or other scent and sniff it when you need a moment to chill out.
- Hot tea. Hot tea is packed with potential benefits for health and wellness. But it can also evoke feelings of rest and relaxation. Jasmine, lavender, lemon, spearmint, peppermint and others can bring everything down a notch and it’s ultra easy to do no matter where you are at or what you have going on. You can grate your own fresh ingredients like turmeric or ginger as well. Raw honey can add an element.
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