It’s the final week of April, which is Stress Awareness Month. If you missed any of the previous posts, here’s what we talked about on the blog and on YouTube:
Week 1 – One tip to reduce stress
Second week – Time management and productivity tips to get things done
Today, I’m listing the top 5 relaxation activities that research shows you use and love. And then, I’m going to give you a 4 step formula to make time for them in your life. Because consistency is what makes them effective.For the final week of #StressAwarenessMonth, I'm sharing the top 5 relaxation techniques and a 4 step formula to make time for #SelfCare Click To Tweet
Top 5 relaxation techniques
A massage, a bubble bath, spending some time on your own or watching your favourite show on Netflix, an activity that makes you feel good can help you cope with stress if you make it part of your life.
2. A hobby
I love my crochet hook and knitting needles, it’s almost a form of meditation for me. Don’t underestimate the power of a hobby; it’s designed to make you happy.
The physical side of the practice has a positive effect on our bodies – it stretches the tight muscles that hold tension and the stress of the day. If you don’t know how to start, my 20 min video for shoulders and hips is a good option.
Yoga can be as dynamic as you want it to be, there are many types you can choose from. So give yourself the opportunity to try a few different ones before dismissing it. All teachers and all classes are different.
If you prefer a quieter and less active practice, meditation and breathing are perfect for you. They clear the mind and help increase focus like nothing else out there.
Oh, yeah! I can guarantee you this one works! And nowadays, the “I don’t like to exercise” excuse is just that – an excuse. Because you have a million things to choose from, and I’m almost sure a million is not an exaggeration. You can dance, jump, roll, skip, run, lift, stretch, box, and many combinations of these. At the moment I’m doing PIIT28, and you can read my previous review here, but a new one is coming soon ;).
A 4 step formula to make time for self-care
1. Know why you need it
One of the main excuses we have for not taking care of ourselves – with a hobby, exercise or any self-care routine – is guilt. The feeling that we need to be somewhere else, for someone else or working more. But here’s the truth: if you’re sick, overwhelmed or burnt out, you can’t be anywhere for anyone.
The best thing you can do is to consistently keep your energy levels up and yourself healthy, so you can show up and give 100% to anything else you do.
Your family, friends and co-workers prefer a happy and relaxed you, rather than the low energy and irritable you. Being there all the time, but yelling at everyone, is much worse than being there for less time but spreading positive vibes.One of the main excuses we have for not taking care of ourselves is guilt. The feeling that we need to be somewhere else, for someone else or working more. But if you're sick, overwhelmed or burnt out, you can't be anywhere for anyone. Click To Tweet
2. Schedule it on your calendar
At the beginning of the week, I schedule all my runs and gym sessions in my calendar. First, I have a look at my work meetings, my Yoga studio schedule and my blog tasks, and then make myself available for 1 full hour, about 2-3 days a week. I talk about this in my Time Management Video, so give it a view if you haven’t already.
If it’s on your calendar, you know you can’t (SHOULDN’T) schedule anything else over it.
3. Have a support system
By a support system I mean 2 things: accountability and help.
Accountability is having an exercise buddy, a trainer or a friend that you’re sharing the activity with. Because if someone else is counting on you, you’re more likely to see it as a proper meeting.
Help means having a helpful mom or partner that can give you a hand when you need a nanny or a pet sitter. Someone that can make a free hour happen when it seems impossible. Believe me, many people are willing to help, but we can’t read minds, you have to ask.
4. Show up
Maybe THIS is the hardest part. But if there’s something I learned in the last few years, is that keeping promises to yourself if one of the most powerful and life-changing habits. It builds self-confidence and self-love, and it’s the secret to becoming the person you want to become.
Your turn. Tell me, what relaxation activities do you practice and how often? Do you think you should take care of yourself more?