Friday Five: Easy ways to help you relax

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AS the fabulous Carrie once said in Sex & The City, everyone these days seems to be ‘sooooo busy!’.

True isn’t it? Is it just me or have we all seem to have lost the plot a little and forgotten how to totally relax and rest up?

Personally I blame smartphones. Controversial I know.

Yes they are amazing, yes I couldn’t live without mine either but come on…how many of you spend nearly all of your spare time using it? I know I do.

The thing is, you might think you’re relaxing, but if you’ve got your all singing, all dancing phone to hand, it’s just too easy to just have a peek at Facebook, scroll down your Twitter feed, glance through Instagram… you get the picture.

When it comes to putting my feet up and relaxing, I have to say I’m not the best. It doesn’t come easy to me, but I am – as I’ve mentioned many times before on here – getting better. How I here you cry?

Well, I know we’re all different but these five little things seem to work for me. Here are my top tips to help you take some time out and relax.

Go to bed really early

In all seriousness, if you only make one change to your life, do this. At least one night a week go to bed really early, like no later than 9pm.

Pull the curtains, turn the light out and snuggle down and catch some of those precious zzz’s. It’ll feel very weird at first and will probably take you a while to get used to it but you’ll feel like a new woman ( or man) in the morning when you arise, I promise you.

Ignore the housework

Tough I know but guess what. That housework that needs doing, IT. CAN. WAIT.

Trust me when I say that the world won’t end because the sink is full of pots or because the floor is strewn with toys. If you’re absolutely knackered and your body is screaming for you to relax, leave the housework alone. Just let it be.

Make sure you, your children and pets are all looked after and then ignore everything else. Yes your house will be a total tip still in the morning and yes it’ll drive you bonkers but it’ll all be ok. Don’t kill yourself for a clean and tidy house. It’s really not worth it.

Drink camomile tea

If you’re finding it difficult to wind down or if you’ve had a stressful day, ignore that bottle of wine that’s calling for you, step away from the coffee and make yourself a camomile tea instead.

It may sound a little twee, a little hippy-ish perhaps but I swear to you, this much under-rated herbal tea can work wonders. I drink camomile tea every day. It helps to calm my often frazzled nerves and is just the tonic to get me feeling wonderfully sleepy before bed time.

When life is throwing you too many challenges to deal with, drink it. When you feel completely overwhelmed, drink it. When you’re struggling to switch off and get to sleep, drink it. It really will help.

Put your feet up

Go on, do it. Do it right now, right this second, if you can. Then take a moment to appreciate how goooood that feels.

I don’t know why but whenever I’m feeling a little wiped out, I always feel a little better when I put my feet up. It just feels really rather nice and helps me to relax almost instantly.

Our dear, overworked and often unloved feet, work damn hard to keep us going day after day after day. So do them and yourself a favour and give them a well deserved rest.

Finally, turn that bloody phone off!

I know, I know. The thought sends shivers down my spine too but come on, we can do this! Remember life without mobiles glued to our hands? We survived then. We can survive again.

If you want to totally relax, just switch the damn thing off  (and no, switching it on silent is not the same thing). Yes you’ll miss it at first, but it’ll get easier. You just need to go cold turkey.

Start with switching if off for just an hour a day and then increase it as much as you dare, aiming to turn it off for a whole evening or day if you can.

Turning your phone off will not only give you back some precious time but will also provide you with something which is priceless – peace and quiet. No phone means no distractions, no alerts, no emails popping into your inbox demanding your attention. Doesn’t that sound amazing?

And if you really can’t bear the thought of it being off? Don’t fret.

Simply go and turn it on silent and hide it or get someone to hide it for you. Stash it in your bag, leave it in another room or if all else fails, let your kids play hide and seek with it. If it’s out of sight, you can’t use it, which is a positive step in the right direction at least.

See now. Relaxing, it’s not as hard as you think is it? :)

*Note- this last rule applies to all similar devices such as laptops, iPads etc etc etc.*

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What do you think? Do you find it difficult to relax these days? Or do you have any tips to help us be all more Zen-like in our daily lives?

Till the next time, take some time out this weekend to relax, relax, RELAX! x

Katie

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5 Discussions on
“Friday Five: Easy ways to help you relax”
  • Some good thoughts there, Katie. Thanks for sharing.

    As you know, I’m big into my gadgets, and my iPhone is never out of reach, but I’ve added a few new habits of late that are helping me be more relaxed.

    I now have a 24 hour social media blackout one day a week—usually from Friday night to Saturday night. I don’t check Twitter, Facebook, etc. I’m not totally dogmatic about it, but by-and-large I’m mostly sticking to it.

    I’m also changing my reading habits to focus less on ‘now news’ and more on material that isn’t time bound. I’ve subscribed to The New Yorker magazine recently and I’m loving the long-form articles and spending time with them rather than feeling I have to read all the current news and stories. This definitely leaves me more relaxed.

    Lastly, I was also intentional about getting an iPad without a data connection. It means that when I have it with me on the bus I’m not able to check Twitter, Facebook, or my emails, and instead I, without distraction, read an ebook. It’s precious time that leave me starting and ending my working day much more relaxed.

    I still spend a lot of time with social media and news—it’s something I enjoy—but these new behaviours have helped me not be consumed by ‘now’ and instead enjoy other, longer forms of reading that are both more relaxing and enriching.

    • Thanks Sam and what a brilliant comment!

      I LOVE the sound of the social media blackout. I think you’ve inspired me to have a go at that one (!) and I agree, that our reading matter should be about quality rather than instant ‘now’ news and Internet and social media noise.

      Really inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Really sounds advice. I am terrible for being permanently attached to somethings electronic! I feel obsessed with checking things and as a consequence never relax. Food for thought. Thanks for linking up to #Thelist x

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