|This unfiltered photo was taken during one of my early evening walks this week, how beautiful is that light?|
There are a lot of posts out there about relaxing and practising mindfulness, living in the moment and getting clarity. No matter how plentiful these posts are, I still think they're important, every time one pops up, it's a reminder of how important it is to take time for you, to relax and de-stress. So I've decided to write a post about what personally works for me. The little things I do each day to try and maintain my mental and physical health, to make me feel better within myself. Each of these things work for me everytime. So next time you're feeling overwhelmed, or exhausted, or your head feels like it's about to explode; try doing one of these things, and see how you feel.
Going for a walk.
No matter how crappy I feel, or how busy I am, I always make sure that I get out of the house and go for a walk every single day. It's easy to spend all day cooped up inside, whether you're in an office, school, or you work from home. I know that in the past, particularly during university or bad mental health periods, I've gone days without getting a breath of fresh air, and that can be really damaging. I can't even explain how it helps but getting your body moving and breathing in fresh air can change your whole mindset. On these autumn days, I'd suggest going around 5pm because that early evening sun gives the most beautiful light and makes everything look and feel better. It's also best if you don't take your phone with you, if this is something you can do with compromising your safety, so that distractions are minimal and you can just focus on what's going on around you, the sights, sounds and smells. Going for a walk is one of the best things you can do to feel instantly a little better mentally and physically, it's brilliant for clearing your mind and you might even find some inspiration as your mind is left to wander.
I know this adult colouring book trend is everywhere at the moment but there's a reason for that, it really does work. I have the Enchanted Forest colouring book by Johanna Basford and I find that even spending ten minutes quietly colouring, either in silence, listening to music or watching something on Netflix, really calms me down and clears my head. There's something about being absorbed in a simple creative task that helps to get rid of stress whilst feeling like you've accomplished something.
Cuddling with a pet.
This is the nicest way to cheer up a less-than-wonderful day, and your pet will appreciate it too. One of my favourite things to do is snuggle up on the sofa or in front of the fire with my doggles and have a big old cuddling session. They'll listen to your woes (they definitely understand) and their unconditional love and unbelievable cuteness will melt the steeliest of hearts. And if you don't have a pet, find someone who does and make an excuse to spend time with them, or head to Pets at Home and hang out with the adorable baby bunnies, I won't judge.
|My handsome cutie, Kip.|
Switching off and settling down.
I've always had a terrible sleeping pattern and a lot of trouble falling asleep, and staring at a screen and scrolling endlessly through social media when I'm supposed to be sleeping definitely doesn't help. Something I'm trying to do now is switch off from technology before bed and start to settle down properly, so by the time I'm trying to sleep my mind should be a bit more clear and relaxed. So about an hour before I plan to go to sleep I turn off my computer, put away my tablet and leave my phone on my desk on the opposite side of the room to my bed (if you have your own place, try leaving your phone in another room). I then turn off my main light, put on my lamp and fairy lights and just slowly settle down for bed. This might be pottering around putting things away, doing my skincare routine and reading a book before sleeping. It definitely helps me to get a better night's sleep and feel more at peace.
Taking a bath before bed.
This is one of my favourite things to do EVER. I know this is totally an obvious one and I'm sooo basic because I love using Lush products and having a candlelit bath but I don't care, it's not a cliché, it's a classic. My favourite bath product to use is the Lush comforter bubble bar, which smells like Ribena. It's a bit pricey but I cut mine up into at least six pieces, because you only need to rub a little bit under running water to get a beautiful scent and lots of bubbles. I personally love to read in the bath and find that I can easily while away an hour soaking in the tub and getting through a good chunk of whatever book I'm reading. This is a great thing to do after you've employed the previous tip of switching off from technology and head straight to bed after, to ensure a relaxed night's sleep.
Although some of these things are obvious, they're genuinely things that help me every single day, and I hope they'll help you too.
What's your favourite way to relax?