Lately I’ve been starting to feel a little overwhelmed from everything going on for me. Within a four week period I have finals, college graduation, training my replacement at work and will be having my baby girl. That’s a lot of really big events, especially considering my pregnancy is making me just want to lay on my heating pad, do yoga and organize my house like a crazy woman! (I also want to work out so bad I can taste it, but of course that’s not allowed for me right now!) Even though I still do yoga every night before bed, I’ve realized that with all of the other things running through my mind, I’m not spending enough time on me! If you’re ever feeling stressed and low on time, here’s a few relaxation ideas that will help you bring yourself back to a peaceful inner balance.
First of all, I need to point out that every single one of these requires a technology disconnect – no phone, no computer, no tv, none of it! You need to focus inward, and these will just distract you! It’s so healthy to disconnect for just a little bit everyday, in fact, you should disconnect at least an hour before bed every night! But anyways, here’s my favorite ways to relax and find some peace.
- Candlelight Bath – This is amazing because it doesn’t even have to be fancy. I use my favorite Glade candles that I buy at Target, typically light one or two on the counter, and just soak. Bubble bath and rose petals can also make for a pleasant addition. Just take this time to think about you! Take in the warm water, the scent of the candles and enjoy yourself in a low light setting. I’ve also heard good things about essential oils added to your bath, but I have yet to experiment with oils.
- Reading in Bed – Reading a book that really interests you is an excellent way to unwind. I’ve mentioned more than once that I’m currently indulging in a number of good reads right now, and I can actually add the book “Half the Sky” to that list as of today! Especially with no distractions, your mind can really just lose itself in the words on each page. I personally like to also strip down to nothing but my undies as well because I find that the more you do naked, the more you are able to accept your body! And it’s just plain comfortable when you’re cuddled up in bed with all of your pillows and blankets!
- Yoga and Meditation – Okay, okay you probably knew this one was coming. I absolutely adore yoga and I think it is a solution for so many different things in our lives. For many like myself, it becomes not only an enjoyable part of the day, but also a necessity! My favorite yoga sessions are honestly the ones where I don’t have any set sequences in mind, but rather move between poses that just feel good. In each pose I focus on my breathing and how the air flow changes, along with each inch of my body that I can feel the tension releasing from. If you aren’t comfortable enough in your own practice to “make it up as you go” per say, it’s always completely okay to use a video or Pinterest to help you find a sequence that will reach your tension areas (I know this breaks the technology rule, but make sure you silence any notifications so you aren’t distracted by people and social media. This is your time!) Then during meditation, really focus inward and find your spiritual connection to every part of your body. I always feel so whole after this kind of meditation.
- Write/Draw – This is something I do both of but I know that both aren’t everyone’s favorite. Just express yourself in your favorite medium! I love writing. I love writing for you on Free Spirit Babe, I’ve recently begun writing to my daughter, I love writing appreciation notes for my boyfriend, and I love writing and re-writing my future plans. It helps to get some of those crazy thoughts out of your head and can help ground some of those ideas that seem so far out. I also love drawing and painting. Mandalas have become a recent fixation of mine, because you can just keep them going and they are beautiful no matter how simple or complex. I also love painting my interpretation of some of my favorite mental images, usually those that I describe in my “happy place”. I know you know exactly what I’m talking about! Try not to think too hard about it as you are expressing yourself, your best work comes out when you don’t try and rationalize it.
- Cuddle – This one is one of my favorites! The best part is, you can do it whether you’re married, in a relationship or single! There are actually studies that prove cuddling increases happiness and decreases stress levels. I cuddle with my boyfriend every morning, my best friends (although I usually break my own technology rule on this one because it’s usually during scary movies!) and my pets! One of my huskies will hug you back when you hug her, and my younger one makes the absolute best cuddle buddy when he’s not running around with his toys! Both of my cats automatically also come lay with me as soon as I lie down in bed, on with her back to my back, the other behind my knees. Petting a purring cat is actually known to decrease both your own stress level as well as the cat’s! Just enjoy the feeling of closeness between you and your cuddle partner and appreciate the unique relationship you have with that individual. This is a good time to reflect on your relationship with that person and appreciate them for the beautiful soul that they are.
Next time you start to feel your stress levels rise, don’t put off time to relax! It’s important for your health and your balance. You will be so much more successful at all of the things going on in your life if you take time to relax and find your balance, because that sense of peace will translate over to the other activities in your life.
Do you have any relaxation go-to’s?
Free Spirit Babe