Self-care, finding time for YOU – it’s super buzzy, I know. I don’t know how to say it without sounding like a wellness trend – but your wellbeing is SO important. Now, more than ever, it is important to find time to unwind and let the stressors in our life fade away as much as possible. That cortisol and adrenaline can only surge for so long!
Sure, there’s always the “light-a-candle-and-meditate-method” but I wanted to bring you a variety of relaxation techniques and activities to help you unwind after a long and stressful day.
Sit down and Work with your Hands
Yes, this might sound a little weird at first, but TRUST ME, doing something that involves getting your hands moving can be so relaxing. If you’re like me, you are on your feet all day doing and doing things for others. Sitting down with something simple can do wonders for your relaxation. A few things:
Playing with kids’ slime/play dough (not kidding, it’s so soothing)
Braiding anything from string, to yarn, or even the hair on dolls
Painting your nails
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
I recently heard about this relaxation technique and I was so excited to give it a try! There are dozens of videos on YouTube to show you how progressive muscle relaxation works and eventually you will be able to do it on your own! This process involves slowly relaxing all the muscles in your body, section by section. As you progress through this process and learn how to relax your muscles, you will become more aware of your high-tension areas and the best ways to release said tension.
On this note – EFT or “tapping” is another method that is supposed to be really great for stressful situations.
Did you really think I would make a list on stress-relief and not include essential oils HA! I know I have shared tons of information about oils, more recently about how they can be used in cleaning or these 13 creative ways to use oils.
Anyway! Some of my favorite oil combinations are ones that are specifically for relaxation and stress relief. You can diffuse these or make a roller bottle blend with a carrier oil like jojoba.
Lavender + Orange
Chamomile + Orange + Cedarwood
Frankincense + Lavender + Cedarwood
Sandalwood + Clary Sage + Bergamot
Rosemary + Peppermint + Lavender
Write it Out & Throw it Out
When stressed, we tend to need a verbal way to release it. I’m talking about reviewing the situation with a friend or partner, and likely getting heated while doing so. While that might be a nice initial release of tension – it’s also going to spike your cortisol and adrenaline again as you go over the stressful things in your head!
What I like to do instead is to write down everything that could be causing the stress, every last thing, and then throw it away, delete it on my phone, or – well – burn it by candlelight if you really want to get magical.
The day is done, tomorrow is a new one, so why carry the stress from today into tomorrow?
Make Your Relaxation List
It might seem a little silly to you NOW, but making a list of ways you can easily relax can come in handy during those super stressful moments. There will be times when we become so engrossed in our stress that we forget to take the time to relax and then the day is done so we flop down on the couch and forget it happened. I’m not saying that technique isn’t effective, I know it is totally necessary some days, but if I take the time to do a stress-reliever at the end of the day, I often sleep better and wake up better. I keep a list on my phone of quick-fixes to do at the end of the day to be sure I am taking care of myself mentally AND proactively:
Play “Relaxation” playlist – 4-5 relaxing songs that help me unwind. I prefer Hawaiian music or Buble.
Focus on deep breaths and nothing else for 3 minutes – I usually set a timer, and I use the 4-7-8 technique where you breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, and out for a count of 8, all with your tongue near the roof of your mouth/teeth
Take a walk – even to the end of my street and back to get fresh air and alone time
Grounding – walk barefoot on the earth for as long as you have available to you. It has to be an earth surface, so grass, dirt, rock, sand, etc. You will be surprised how incredibly relaxing this is as your body takes in the ions from the earth!
Take a bath or shower – but just sit/stand there for a few minutes taking in the warmth! OR keep it super cold to shake you out of a funk.
Watch a mindless TV show – one you’ve seen before but lets you forget about stress
Everyone feels and manages stress in their own way. I have found that some of the “typical” meditation techniques don’t always help me in the moment, which is why I wanted to share my go-to relaxation tools! If you have some different ways that you relax after a stressful day, be sure to let me know in the comments – I would love to try them!