HOW TO TRULY RELAX
in our work-driven culture, we perceive relaxation as nonproductive-it often becomes are ward for getting stuff done. Trouble is, the tasks are never-ending. add ina jam-packed schedule and it’ s no wonder leisure time morphs into ch ore time.
Research shows that regular heart de-stressingdisease and can obesity,help wardact as offa buffer against depression, and even boost immunity against colds. Plus, when you’re calm, you perform tasks smarter and more efficiently, leaving you with time to-wait for itrelax. Check out these strategies and inspiration for R in R: relaxing in reality.
1. First, relax your body It’s hard to sink into a state of zen if you’re one big ball of knots. “When you live a life full of demands, your body regularly releases adrenaline and cortisol, increasing energy expenditure that can result in muscle tension. Try progressive muscle relaxation: Tense the muscles in your toes for at least five seconds, relax for 30, and repeat, working your way through the muscle groups up to your neck and head. 2. Downshift during your commute Do you take public transportation home? Resist the siren call of email and try a meditation app. Call a friend or loved one, listen to music or of your normal train of thought should help. 3. log off social handles The more often people check social media accounts, texts, and email, the higher their level of stress. Women are particularly vulnerable to stress from social media due to being aware of lousy stuff happening to friends. 4. tame your taskmaker An urge to continually tidy up the house or yard may be a response to chaos all around you. One sane way to tame that life-is-outof-control feeling: Quit scattering tasks among your calendar, notepads, emails, sticky notes, and memory. Decide on a single, reliable system, and it will help turn off the ticker tape of to-dos in your brain. 5. ask yourself this. When people assume that if they don’t get to their to-dos, their world will fall apart, that needs to be questioned. Reason with yourself: What’s the worst that will happen if you don’t declutter tonight? Five years from now, will you be happier that you excavated the closet or that you had coffee with a friend? Exactly. 6. Make a joy list. Even when free time falls into your lap, you may have no clue what to do with it. Think about what truly mellows you out, then make a list on paper or in your phone. We often get stuck during leisure time because we try to choose the exact perfect thing to do-so if one thing on your list doesn’t appeal, pick something else! 7. Not exerciseDo the a that’ll sit-and-zen-outwalkingget you meditation.in the type? moment Here’s andan out of your head: As you stroll, engage your senses. Note what you see (buildings with interesting shapes), what you hear (the rustling of leaves), and what you feel (the breeze on your face). Bonus points if you’re out in nature; it’s more likely to decrease rumination than being in an urban area. 8. get creative. help you achieve flow, a state in which you’re so mindfully immersed in what you’re doing that all else recedes into the background. Try your hand at knitting or check out one of those ubiquitous adult colouring books-and resist the urge to simultaneously ‘ZeeWorld’. 9. Wonder and wander. As kids, we’d lose ourselves for hours poking around in our backyards. As adults, we get stuck in routines and miss out on how captivating discovery can be. Exploring is the opposite of making todo lists, where you know exactly where things are headed. 10. Don’t give yourself an out. Commit to a regular enjoyable activity, like a monthly table-tennis game or cooking class, with your partner or friends. You're more likely to follow through on a commitment to someone else than to yourself. It leaves you nop choice but to relax.