In the 21st century, life is filled with technology. At home, in the car, at the office – it is a constant buzzing that makes it difficult to reflect, relax and recharge. After all, the internet never sleeps. I think this is a big contributor to insomniacs, but more on that another time. Some of us struggle with the winding down process when it doesn’t involve TV, Facebook, Candy Crush or Netflix. Now I love a good binge of American Horror Story as much as the next fan, but sometimes, you just need to step away. And so – lucky reader, today, I want to share with you my top 5 tips to relax and after a long, hard day!
Mindset Switcheroo: Before you begin your relaxing evening, it is super-duper important to switch your mindset from “work mode” to “off mode.” I know this is hard. I have listened to countless work horrors after hours, some of them voiced by my own self. You must convince yourself that the time you’re about to spend with yourself, does not mean scheduling and planning time for work. Try and ponder the difference between living and existing (and please share, because this is something we all struggle with). Being able to unwind and relax physically must begin with a mental meltdown, so free your mind of all thoughts and focus on the night ahead of you. Maybe you have awesome plans. Keep them separate from work. It’s more fun and more beneficial to your relaxation and enjoyment.
Chill Out to Music: We use music (or I do) to reflect my moods. Different bands and different rhythms help me relax or refresh or they energize my slowly caffeinating morning body. A great musical playlist can work miracles in getting your body to relax and unwind. Soothing music is scientifically proven as a link to our emotions, therefore it serves as an effective way to manage stress. Your heart rate and pulse slow down, and you’ll find that your blood pressure and stress hormones decrease as well. Look for acoustic, instrumental, or slow paced tunes with little background noise. I tend to stay in my own genre, but older albums from The Cure or Suede never fail to relax me. If you need a different genre, only you can choose your tunes. I am playing some Cage the Elephant while typing away here, and I am quite chill and relaxed. So when should you play your music? In the bath, while taking a leisurely walk or while cooking dinner. Dancing and singing optional.
Create Your Own Peaceful Place: If you’re standing in the middle of Covent Garden or Times Square, you are not exactly in a bucolic locale. If I told you to meditate, right there, in the center of the tourists and cacophony, could you do it? Probably not. That’s why it is so important to create a peaceful environment for yourself to unwind. It doesn’t have to be a padded, sound proofed room. At home, for example, try to rid your surroundings of possible distractions. These include electronic devices: TV, radio, and general noise. Put your phone on DND. Yes, you might need to tell the kids to find someplace else to do their homework. Most people are relaxing and unwinding after a long day, so your neighborhood should be relatively quiet. It’s great if you want to sit outdoors or open some windows. You should be able to enjoy a peaceful night of relaxation. A person’s perfect environment varies by individual, but what comes to my mind is my sofa, comfy pillows, schizo dog curled at my feet, and if the AC is too high, a soft, warm blanket.
And now, though this is a personal preference: Candles. Most people I know enjoy candles. They smell great, create a peaceful atmosphere, (especially if you dim the lights) and most importantly, they really help me to unwind. I have a Smoky Bourbon candle I like to light. It smells like old wood, clouds and memories. Because candles come in every scent imaginable, the possibilities are endless to transform your room into a beautifully scented location. Candles create the perfect subtle lighting to remind your body that it’s time to relax, so lighting up while reading that awesome new novel is a great way to end a long day.
Lastly, Breathe. While you may not count this as a tip, I believe the key to relaxing and unwinding after a long day is just to breathe. If you want to get serious, meditate. There are loads of guided meditations to help the beginners. Check out Sonima for a few. Deep breathing releases those stress hormones. Take time to sit comfortably, close your eyes, and focus your breathing in an even pattern. While you’re deep breathing, imagine yourself in your favorite location, for me, it’s Sanibel Island. Let your mind float and wander as your worries leave your body. Relax.
Bonus: Something mellow for your relaxed listening pleasure: Frazier Chorus – Dream Kitchen
Keep breathing, stay motivated and caffeinated!😘☕️