It’s easy to get caught in the stresses of everyday life. As our schedules become busier, feelings of burnout and struggling to get through the day are becoming more commonplace. That’s why so many people are turning towards daily relaxation routines.
Small things like waking up with some gentle exercise, nourishing your body with good food and calming teas, carving out time in the day for self-care and winding down for sleep with meditation will help you feel calmer and more in control of your life. Be intentional with making yourself a priority and schedule time for relaxation in your diary like you might any other commitment. You deserve it!
H2: Start the day with gentle exercise
Give yourself the best start to the day by waking your body up with some gentle exercise. Whether you go for a walk and enjoy the fresh morning air, practice yoga, or go for a refreshing swim at the beach or pool, do something that will refresh you and get you in a positive mindset for the day to come.
Starting the day with exercise will improve your focus and concentration, put you in a better mood and help you sleep better at night. By mentally ticking off this first part of your relaxation routine, you’ll feel more determined to keep it going throughout the day.
H2: Nourish your body
Like a car, your body needs premium fuel to function most effectively. While sugary drinks and foods might feel like they give you an energy boost, these are short and unsustainable, often leaving you craving more. Instead, aim to eat a balanced diet across the whole day, focusing on proteins and carbs for a sustained energy release that will save you from feeling like you’re running on empty.
Handy tip: if you’re feeling at a low ebb, brew a calming chai tea instead of reaching for chocolate. Chai can help induce relaxation and combat rising stress levels.
H2: Schedule some ‘me time’
Self-care is often the first thing that goes when you’re struggling with a busy schedule and trying to be more things to more people. Switch your mindset by recognising that you must put on your own metaphorical oxygen mask before you can help others. Carve out time for doing something you love, whether it’s going for a long walk, listening to your favourite music, being creative or hitting the gym. Also find time for slow activities that help break the frenetic pace of modern life, like watching the world go by from a park bench or coffee shop, or wandering through a second-hand bookshop.
Handy tip: make sure you put me-time in your diary as a reminder not to skip this important part of your day.
H2: Start a gratitude journal
If you haven’t kept a journal since your rainbow gel pen and heart-locks days, now is the time to start. Writing a gratitude journal is a great way to connect with your feelings and introduce a sense of appreciation and deep peace into your life. Expressing gratitude, even privately, will help boost your physical and mental wellbeing.
Even if you’ve had a difficult day or you’re struggling with negative thoughts, being intentional about finding small snippets of positivity will help you shift that mindset. It doesn’t have to be grand gestures – it might be the velvety ears of your dog, sunshine or a cool breeze on a warm day, food in the fridge, or a comfy bed to snuggle in at night.
H2: Wind down for sleep with meditation
The more stressed we get, the easier it is to find ourselves wired and struggling to fall asleep at night, often leading to a negative cycle of staying up later and later, distracting ourselves with TV or social media. Break the cycle by setting yourself a regular bedtime and starting your wind-down routine an hour before by turning off your screens, having a warm bath with lavender essential oils and using meditation and mindfulness techniques to get yourself in the optimum state for sleep. Plenty of apps offer guided meditations for beginners and experts alike. Meditation is a brilliant way to calm the mind, shut out unhelpful thoughts and focus on your breathing so you can fall asleep naturally and easily.
Passing stress as a normal part of daily life can be easy, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, as life has shifted for so many people. Whilst there are many things we can’t control, creating a daily relaxation routine is a small change that will help you feel like you are positively impacting your wellbeing. Carving out time for gratitude, meditation, exercise, and self-care are all steps that will help you feel calmer and more easily able to handle the ebbs and flows of life. Try it for yourself and enjoy the benefits.