For many people today, the always-on approach to life can be physically and emotionally taxing. Whether it’s a high-stress job in the corporate world or being a stay-at-home parent to an active toddler, stress can create a barrier to truly enjoying life. It can also affect your health. You’re more likely to overeat, gain weight, feel depressed and even develop other medical problems if you’re constantly stressed. Fortunately, there are simple ways to chill. Taking time out for yourself will improve your mind, body and soul. Here are four unique ways to relax.
#1 – Make a List
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by too many responsibilities, then start each day with a list. It doesn’t have to be a long, elaborate one. Simply list out what you need to do, and identify which items need to be done first. You can also make lists for other things. For instance, you can map out the things that you can and can’t control, such as an impending meeting with your boss or what to bring for your daughter’s snack day at school. The act of making a list helps you to refocus, allowing you to prioritize more carefully and avoid getting overwhelmed.
#2 – Embrace the Inner Child
Psychologists encourage children to play because it’s a good way to explore the world and learn new things, but play is important for adults as well. Embrace your inner child by pursuing activities that don’t require overthinking. Ideas include swinging, visiting your local zoo, playing Frisbee, building sandcastles, blowing bubbles or running with your dog in the backyard. Playing not only relaxes your mind, but it can also clear your head, which will help you to focus when you get back to your daily life. Plus, playing in the sun increases your exposure to vitamin D, which can improve your mood.
#3 – Mix It Up
Tried-and-true methods of relaxing include reading a book, listening to music and watching your favorite movie. Instead of doing the same old thing, mix it up by putting a unique spin on these classic techniques. You could try hosting a theme party for your friends, dressing up as one of your favorite characters as you watch a movie, or acting out scenes from your favorite book rather than just reading it. Take traditional advice, and add your own flair. A fresh perspective is always relaxing.
#4 – Say Thanks
Chances are that you have a lot to be thankful for, and identifying those things is a good way to renew your spirit, which can bring you calm in the midst of a hectic day. Start by making a list of the things you’re grateful for, whether it’s a good relationship with your in-laws or something more tangible like your reliable car. Next, take it a step further by writing out thank-you notes or letters of encouragement and sending them to the people you love. Writing out your gratitude will help you feel better, and positive notes will improve your relationships.