We tend to live life in the fast lane. By juggling work, home life, and a social life, it makes it hard for us to make time for ourselves.
So many of us are just GO GO GO all the time (I know I am)!
Between work life, farm life, and the additional aspect of motherhood in the coming future……here isn’t much time to sit and just relax.
But I have come to realize that even if I don’t feel like I have the time to unwind, I HAVE to make time!
One thing I have always told myself is that “life doesn’t stop just because I do.”
And while I still believe this to be true..
I also know I need ME time.
I need set time each day to unwind, relax my mind, and decompress.
Easier said than done right?
I thought it was going to be impossible.
BUT there are some tips and self care guidelines that I follow to ensure I am taking time to care for myself each day.
They have been a HUGE help to me and I hope they are for you too!
When we feel more relaxed, it’s not just good for our mind but our overall health as well.
In fact, stress can really take a toll on our physical well being…
It can weaken our immune systems, impede our sleep, raise our blood pressure, upset our digestive system and more…
And it all starts with our minds.
If we can clear our minds of stress, we can get our bodies on the right track and feel our best on both the inside and outside!
Let me tell you about my FIVE TIPS for easing my mind and clearing up some mental clutter!
Meditation has been a widely used way for us to relax for CENTURIES! It has exploded in popularity because it’s an easy and effective way for us to focus on our breathing and relax our minds.
I personally spend 15-20 minutes each day on my meditation. Now, the time of day may depend on your schedule. For me, I like to meditate first thing in the morning when the sun is coming up and the birds are chirping. The harmonic sounds of the morning songbirds help guide me into my breathing.
I sit in my sunroom as I watch the sun come up. With my hands in my lap, I sit with my legs crossed and I close my eyes as I focus on the songbirds (or the rain if it is a rainy day). Once I have my focus, I then switch to my breathing.
If you don’t have a peaceful surrounding (heavy traffic for example) try to find the most quiet room in your house and focus only on your breathing. If that doesn’t work, try putting on headphones and listen to meditative music or sounds of nature before focusing on your breathing.
The moment you breathe in deeply, it sends a message to the brain to relax. Keep your eyes closed and focus on the inhale and exhales. This will help clear your mind and relax your body as well. In breathing this way, it can immediately slow down the heart rate and blood pressure. It also reduces the production of stress hormones.
To steady your breathing, try inhaling while counting to and then exhaling for the count of ten.
You can also do this in the evening to end your day if you have had a very stressful day. In doing so, you can help rid your mind of any excess thoughts before bed so you can relax and sleep more deeply.
Bob Marley once said “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”.
And I hold this to be very true.
Granted, there are some songs that may trigger unhappy memories… but music can speak for us when we have no words and calm us when we need it.
I find music to be such a great way to escape my own mind. I listen to it when I shower, when I cook, when I work, when I exercise, and when I am just having alone time to decompress.
Listening to music can help us escape the moment, which helps us relax and unwind. And whatever that music may be – listen to it!
But, in order for it to be truly relaxing, it shouldn’t get your heart beating too fast. For relaxation, you want something that calms you. Now this doesn’t mean you have to listen to classical music. Your music selection can be any genre that you feel eases your mind. Once the music is playing and you find yourself unwinding, you can begin to let your mind wander and allow the stress from the day to roll away.
Writing has been a unique form of expression for years and years. It gets the thoughts we have swimming around onto paper-which can help clear our head of all that clutter.
Writing reduces stress as it helps us process our thoughts and emotions. It helps us think critically and review a situation in a different light. Sometimes it can simply get the words out when we don’t quite know how else to express them.
I keep a daily journal that allows me to get my thoughts into words and release any pent up emotion.. I find that it helps me to have a clear mind when I don’t hold anything in and just write everything as it comes.
Writing is a great tool as it lets us release our thoughts and feelings without judgement. No one has to see what you’re writing. It can be as confidential as you want.
Do you have a head full of thoughts that you just need to get out? Put some pen to paper and just let it flow (even if it makes no sense). By eliminating the words and thoughts from your mind, it will help you to feel destressed and clear minded.
Exercise doesn’t have to be fast paced or overly exerting if you want to feel relaxed. Walking and yoga are great exercises to help unwind. Check out my benefits of yoga article here to see how Yoga can help your body and mind!
Exercise aids in providing stress relief for the body while imitating \the flight or fight response. Through physical exertion and this response, your body receives positive effects including support to your cardiovascular system, digestive system, and immune system. By activating these systems, you are helping your body release stress and feel your best.
Walking specifically is a great relaxing way to exercise. I love putting my headphones on and going for a stroll with my dog Lincoln.
Studies have shown that walking promotes the release of brain chemicals called endorphins that stimulate relaxation and improve our mood.
Self care is one of the most important tips for overall health. Our mental and physical wellbeing go hand in hand and they each need to be taken care of for us to be healthy.
Making some time for yourself is crucial. Even if it’s not daily… Every other day or a few times a week will help you destress. This could be just having a nice soak or enjoying a drink outside on a sunny day. Whatever brings you joy, you should do it!
And it doesn’t even have to be solo. Have a date night with your spouse, go out for dinner with friends, or anything that helps you unwind and enjoy yourself.
You work hard-and you deserve to let loose – whatever that may be!
The more relaxed we are, the more we feel like ourselves. We feel more capable of taking on the next day and can feel rejuvenated to tackle anything that gets thrown at us! It gives us a more positive outlook on life which can go a long way!
Life isn’t easy, and our minds can take a beating. But, we can learn to empty out that mind of ours and make room for more positive thoughts!