Life can be stressful…there is no denying it. It is incredibly important that we take some time out in our day-to-day, busy lives to unwind and relax. I am somebody that is not only prone to anxiety but also highly sensitive and introverted. By the end of the day, I have been overwhelmed by lights, sounds, people and more. Experiencing everything on such a deeper, intense level has pushed me to create a life that suits my specific needs and allows me to feel comfortable in my own environment.
In today’s post, I want to share my favourite ways to relax not only during the week but also on the weekend!
YOGA & MEDITATION:
Before I start my day, I get up at 5:30 every morning and practice one hour of either Power or Hot Yoga at the studio next to our home. It is ideal to exercise earlier in the day and by the time 7am arrives, I’ve already had an hour of stretching, meditation and moving. Saluting the sun as it rises is the most beautiful & humbling experience. I strongly believe that my morning yoga practice really sets the tone for the rest of my day.
Meditation has always been a big part of my life as well. I purposely get to yoga earlier so I can meditate before the class commences and try to find moments of stillness throughout my day. A friend at work/registered yoga teacher has also begun running meditation sessions on our lunch break and I cannot explain how calm I felt after those 50 minutes of peace. Yoga & meditation are without a doubt, my main forms of effective relaxation.
WHOLE FOODS & HYDRATION:
It may sound strange but being hungry to the point of nausea actually makes me anxious. Since becoming a vegan and eating filling, whole foods, I am constantly satiated and content. Eating good food has also made me feel and look my best which in turn is inadvertently relaxing. When you fill your body with nutritious, plant foods you are giving your body its best chance to function all day long. Never underestimate what a poor diet can do to your mental state. The same goes with hydration. Last year, I found myself in hospital with a kidney infection and it was a really big wake up call that I didn’t drink enough water. Now, I make sure that I am getting at least 2-3 litres a day which has kept my skin clear and I am much more alert.
READING & WRITING:
Ahh reading…I couldn’t love you more. I honestly use any and every opportunity to read every single day. For example, on my drive to work I now listen to audio books as I have found them to be incredibly engaging and relaxing. I noticed a significant transformation to my mental state when I began to immerse myself in the story rather than the traffic, weather or bad drivers around me. The drive to and from work has become enjoyable and I am so much more present now. When I arrive at work, I actually don’t want to get out of my car as I need to know what happens next! On my lunch break, I walk to a secluded place or cafe and read my physical book and in the evening I like to take a bath and read some more.
If you know me well, then you know that writing is my absolute passion. It is the one hobby that has stayed consistent throughout my life. In March, my second novel ‘Facing the Stars’ was published and I am currently writing my third and final book in the trilogy ‘Aligning the Signs’ as well as blogging weekly! When I sit down to write or open a book, I am in my happiest most comfortable state and thus relaxation ensues…
WALKING IN NATURE:
Being in nature has an instant calming effect. That is why most meditation tracks contain the sounds of rain falling, ocean waves, birds chirping and the trickle of fountains. No matter the conditions, I always make time for a walk outside. On the weekends, I get to venture further and really enjoy hiking in the Dandenong Ranges or exploring the parks around our home. Nature has the ability to keep us grounded and peaceful. When we walk along a beach or trek through a forest, we can’t help but feel the softness in our limbs as tension slowly seeps out of the body. There is so much that can be gained from just one mindful stroll outdoors.
This isn’t something I can do everyday but when I do travel, I always come back more relaxed and focused. Even if it is a trip with constant activities planned, I still love waking up in a foreign country, exploring new landscapes and eating delicious vegan foods. Research suggests that travel can make you look and feel younger and of course release endorphins at regular intervals. Humans worldwide purposely travel during their times of annual leave in order to take a ‘break’ from their jobs. In November, Francis and I are off to Langkawi for our honeymoon which has endless private beaches, lakes, forests, oceans…say no more! I’m feeling relaxed already!
REFLECTING & TALKING:
I am a deeper thinker and feeler thus I need time to reflect on what I’ve observed throughout my day. I talk to my mum several times a week and spend my evenings with Francis discussing our day and what we experienced. This is relaxing because it allows me to express everything I’ve observed all day long and release my innermost thoughts. I really value those I can have deep conversations with. I am definitely the friend you call if you need some in-depth communication and as lame as it sounds, I really enjoy listening too. It’s funny how 90% of our problems can be solved just by talking it out and clearing any misunderstandings. I know a lot of times in my life, I’ve felt tense and stressed about a situation and then the second it’s out in the open, my nerves subside and I am back to normal.
I hope you enjoyed this short and sweet post. You may think you don’t have time for a moment of stillness or peace but there are actually opportunities all day long if you choose to use them. We don’t have to be permanently stressed out just as we don’t need to feel stagnant or like there’s nothing to look forward to. I look forward to so many things in my day that it makes living in the moment incredibly easy. We all have the potential to be here right now…we just have to find the right things to anchor us. It really is the little things!
What are your favourite ways to relax?
Peace & Love xoxo