There’s really no arguing that life is stressful, but when was the last time you relaxed? Between work, daily chores, and social obligations, it can be really hard to make time for yourself – but you need to! These commitments wear us down over time when we ignore our need to relax. Learning how to spend time relaxing is important to your self-care. It must be prioritized for you to live a happier and more satisfying life. Because let’s be honest, who doesn’t want that?
When we don’t spend enough time relaxing, we’re left feeling mentally and physically drained. All that stress can also cause headaches, extreme fatigue, irritability, and an inability to concentrate. The consequences of pushing ourselves too much can negatively affect our work, relationships, and general mental health.
Use the end of summer as an excuse to introduce a little self-care into your life, starting with prioritizing your wants and needs. It’s time to say goodbye to stress, and hello to relaxation! To do this, try giving yourself time to rest whenever you need it most, even if this means taking a nap at noon. If it works for you, do it. Take that nap!
Relaxation is the ultimate form of self-care, so here are 5 tips on how you can spend more time relaxing instead of stressing!
Release physical tension
Stress usually affects us physically and mentally. When we cloud our minds with too many stressful thoughts, our bodies suffer too. By releasing this physical tension from your body, you’ll be able to truly relax without a sore body getting in the way!
When you refuse to focus on your physical well-being, you’re stuck feeling stressed all the time. If our bodies constantly feel tense, this can lead to things like jaw clenching, headaches, and irritability. These things make you feel worse than you already do. That’s why you need to prioritize your health!
Once we start to pay attention to the stress building inside our bodies, we’re usually surprised at how tense we really are. Thankfully, we know a lot of relaxation techniques to reduce physical tension, and we’re here to give them to you! The more you incorporate these into your self-care routine, the more impact they’ll have on you! Here’s how you can release your physical tension:
- Take a warm bath after a hard day - shop our bath products here
- Go to the gym for some exercise
- Treat yourself to a massage
- Sign up for a weekly yoga class
- Try practicing meditation and breathing exercises
Connect to nature
When was the last time you went outside? Probably too long! Our demanding schedules often leave us trapped inside our workplace or home. With so many responsibilities, it can be hard to make time to spend outside. Sometimes all it takes is a change of environment to relieve stress.
Nothing keeps you more energized and relaxed than breathing in fresh air. Connecting with nature is essential to your well-being, and is something you should add to your self-care routine ASAP! Whether it's a quick run or having a coffee on your porch, being outside can help promote relaxation.
Connecting with nature doesn’t have to be difficult, and even 5 minutes outside can benefit your mental and physical health. Here are some ways you can incorporate nature into your self-care:
- Go on a morning run
- Try bird watching
- Visit a provincial park
- Have your morning coffee outside
- Take an evening walk
Spoil yourself with your favourite things
Relaxation is different for everyone. What works for you, might not work for someone else. That’s why it’s important to make this self-care journey about your own wants and needs. In other words, it’s time to put yourself first! Sometimes all you need to do to relieve stress is reward yourself.
Let yourself have a break during the day and do something that truly makes you happy. If that break means eating cookies on the couch with your favourite movie on in the background, that’s okay! It’s always those little pleasures that get you through your everyday grind. Doing those little things can help boost your overall mood, and improve your mental health.
It’s important to do something you really enjoy, otherwise it could double your stress. When you’re participating in something you love, it never feels like a chore. That’s why you must prioritize your own wants and needs when it comes to relaxing. Otherwise, you aren’t benefiting from it. Now, put the excuses away and start prioritizing yourself! Here are some ideas of what this could look like:
- Putting on your favourite movie
- Listening to a band or podcast you enjoy
- Visiting your favourite store
- Ordering food from a restaurant you like
- Eating a snack you really love - shop our tasty treats here
Create a relaxing space
How can you truly relax in a space that brings you more stress than happiness? Creating a relaxing space is the key to relieving stress and starting your self-care journey. It’s impossible to spend time relaxing in a chaotic environment. If you find yourself struggling to relax in your home or workplace, try reorganizing it into your dream space!
Redecorating your space may make you feel less stressed, and help encourage you to relax more throughout the day. It’s easy to feel calm and relaxed in an atmosphere that brings out your best self. Not only will the end results benefit you, but the actual cleaning and organization of it all is therapeutic. No one likes a messy room!
If you’re wanting to decorate your space to help promote more relaxation, we recommend starting out small. Try adding a few things here or there to make your space more calming, so it seems like a less stressful task. Sometimes all it takes is the right candle to make your room more peaceful, and we’re here to help you with that! Here are some small ways you can create a more relaxing space the Harp & Fin way:
- Add a candle to your coffee table, desk, or bookshelf - shop them here
- Buy a bouquet of flowers or eucalyptus to put in a vase - shop them here
- Decorate with framed photos or paintings that make you happy
- Use a diffuser in your room
- Remove any visible clutter
Try being creative with it
We’re all for making things easy for you, and one of the easiest ways you can spend more time relaxing involves only a pen and paper! Writing down emotions can be great for kickstarting relaxation on your self-care journey. The art of writing down your thoughts and emotions is symbolic. By writing down what’s bothering you, you’re essentially releasing all the negativity from your mind.
When you write down your thoughts, you also have a better idea of what part of your life is causing you stress. This can help you determine what you can do to relieve that stress. For example, if one of the things you wrote down relates to you spending too much time indoors, the solution could be to take more walks!
Writing things down can pave the way for more time spent relaxing. Writing during times of stress can be beneficial to your general well-being, and can be done at all times of the day. Whether you’re at work, at home or on vacation, you can benefit from this activity! It’s time to grab your favourite pen and some paper (or do some stationary shopping with us first), and try using these different writing prompts:
- Identify 3 things you’re most grateful for in life to look back on during times of stress
- Write down 5 activities you’d like to do in the next 6 months
- Identify 3 things that are causing you stress and reflect on them
- Write a short paragraph about your current emotions
- Make a list of some empowering words to encourage yourself
Spending time relaxing is something we all need to do more of. Learning to fully relax is great for your mental and physical health, which is why it’s important. It’s not something that should ever be ignored, trust us! Relaxation is a huge part of self-care, and self-care is essential to feeling like your best self.
Whenever you feel unable to relieve stress, come back to this blog for a reminder at how simple it can be. If you know someone who needs to prioritize their well-being more, send them a link to this blog for ideas on how to spend more time relaxing.
From everyone here at Harp & Fin, we hope you have a good end of summer, and remember to always take care of yourself!