If you are like me when you hear the word, "relaxation" you react by saying, "What’s that?" It can be very difficult to find the time to relax and also know how to relax in the first place. If you suffer from anxiety and stress it is all the more imperative that you carve out some relaxation time during your day. Even if it is for five minutes it will do wonders for your emotional well being. Give yourself that time to look forward to where you can unwind and de-stress.
- We talked about one way to relax in my last post and that is to visit your favorite peaceful places If you don’t have access to a peaceful place at the moment, you can visit one vicariously through images or video.
I have always sought out relaxation videos. They sell them at many stores but you can also find a gazillion of them for free on Youtube. Here is but one example called "Sea of Tranquility" and to the side you can find many more with images and sounds of waterfalls, rainforests, and mountain streams. You can do a search for relaxation or meditation to come up with a multitude of video choices.
There is a small gift store in my local area with an odd assortment of trinkets and odd things. One day I discovered this scalp massager and it worked so well that I went back and bought several more for family members. It is one of the most relaxing sensations I have ever experienced. The one I bought looks a lot like a wire whisk with little nodules at the ends of the wires. It was only five bucks at the little gift store but on-line I see them for as little two dollars on up to over thirty dollars. Do a google search for scalp massagers and you will find a wide variety.
- If you have a good sense of smell, aromatherapy might be one way to help you to relax. There are certain smells which are said to induce a sense of calm such as the scent of lavender. I have a lavender spray that I spray on my pillow and it helps me to go to sleep.
Most people who do yoga find it very relaxing. I am probably not the best yoga student as it is very difficult for me to slow down and stop my mind from racing from one thought to another. It may take awhile to learn to relax through yoga but it is well worth the effort. You can read about my yoga experience here.
Drinking tea has been associated with peacefulness and feelings of calm for centuries. There are certain teas which are reported to promote relaxation due to their ingredients. Green tea is one type of tea which is said to have a calming effect due the fact that it has an amino acid called L-theanine. Chamomile herbal tea and "Tazo Calm Tea" are also said to be able to soothe and calm.
- It has long been known that exercise has many benefits to ward off physical illness but it also can have a dramatic effect on our mental health. Exercise has been shown in multiple studies to increase feelings of emotional wellness and to decrease stress and anxiety. It also is a natural way to sleep better at night. I can tell you firsthand that I am much more relaxed and get a great night’s sleep when I exercise. Try to engage in exercise that you love so that you will be more motivated to do it frequently. For me a good bike ride is not only a good work out but provides me with a chance to enjoy the peacefulness of nature and the outdoors.
- Relaxation has gone high tech. I broke down and bought myself an iPad recently and I have to say that I love it. One of the categories of apps that you can buy for the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad are for the purpose of relaxation. Two relaxation apps I use frequently include:
- Ambiance: On this app you can choose from a selection of many different sounds to create a play list. The sounds range from monks chanting to rain on a tent. There is an image to go with each sound.
- Magic Window: I was very impressed with this app which is like a window to the world. If you don’t have a peaceful place to go to, this app allows you to experience places from around the globe that you otherwise would never get a chance to see or hear. For example you can see a New Zealand glacier and also hear the birds chirping in the distance. Or you can spend the night in Costa Rica hearing hearing the waves spash. I have been playing this app all day for background sound.
For a list of other relaxation apps for the iPhone or iPad there are many articles out there including this one, "7 Soothing iPhone Apps to Help You Relax."
I hope that you find at least one idea from my list helpful as a way to relax. I know it can be hard to allow yourself that bit of time just for you. But it really can make the difference between feeling stressed out and exhausted to feeling like you are able to make it through the day without being mentally and physically drained. If you need permission I am hereby granting it to you. Relax. You deserve it
I am a mother, a writer, and now an MS patient