Relaxing can often sound like a long-forgotten fantasy, especially when life gets in the way. Sometimes we get so busy working, completing things and running around to make sure we stay on top of things that we forget to breathe sometimes let alone make the time to relax. Well, today I’d like to talk about this ‘relaxing’ thing that we all forget to do because as much as it can sound like a waste of time when your to-do list is building up, it is absolutely essential. We all deserve to take some time out every now and then to relax because we are not robots. We cannot work all day every day for eternity – if you can that is both terrifying and impressive, please share your secrets. So, for all of you who work too hard and have forgotten what relaxing feels like, this blog post is for you. Today I will be sharing ten ideas for having a relaxing day but also why it is essential to have one. I hope you enjoy it and by the end of it, are inspired to treat yourself to a day of peace and relaxation.
Before I get on to the ideas for having a relaxing day, I’d just like to talk about why it is essential to have one. I know what it is like to be very busy – where every second could be spent doing something productive and any time that isn’t being spent towards getting something done is a waste. This has been me for a long time. At school, I was completing projects as soon as they were assigned, signing up for activities and volunteering, and basically doing as much as I could. I was part of many extracurricular activities and spent any free time that I had studying or doing extra homework. I had forgotten how to relax because it didn’t seem important enough to me. The problem though is that to keep up this high productivity level, I started forfeiting things. Sleep, spending time with my friends or even just taking a break to destress, and it started taking its toll on me. By the end of high school, I was absolutely exhausted, and I knew that there was no way I could keep this up if I wanted to still enjoy my life. So, I made it my mission to take my Christmas holiday as a work detox and truly relax and let me tell you, it is the best thing that I ever did. When I got back from my vacation in January, I felt refreshed and ready to take on the world again. I started working, but every now and then I reminded myself to take a small break . I had to admit defeat that I wasn’t a superhuman who could function at that level for that length of time. Taking time out to relax was crucial because it helped me reset and refresh my energy so that I didn’t collapse from exhaustion or burnout again. It also helped me stay on track with my health, both physical and mental, because when we’re too focused on work to do anything else, our health can slip and that is not a good thing. So as busy as you are, remember that it is essential to relax every now and then. You need to give yourself time to just reset and replenish energy, and by doing this you will not only be able to work far better in the long term, but you will be able to hold on to your health and sanity too. As important as work is, it is also important to know when to step back and take a break, so without further ado, here are ten ideas for having a relaxing day, once you decide to treat yourself to one.
Sleep in until you’re ready to get out of bed
If you’re taking a day to relax, sleeping until you feel prepared to get up is the best way to start. When we are busy and continually working, sometimes sleep gets away from us and the time we go to sleep starts getting later and later but the time we need to wake up doesn’t change, or might even get earlier. Sleep is often the first thing we sacrifice when we are busy so now that you are taking some time to relax, it is time to catch up on that sleep you’ve been missing out on. This is a day for you to recuperate. If you allow yourself to sleep in and relax in bed until you feel ready to face the day, you will feel so much more refreshed. You have the time, so treat yourself and sleep in.
Wear comfy clothes
Nothing says ‘relaxing’ quite like wearing comfy clothes. Instead of pulling on your jeans or whatever you usually wear if you have to get up and get going with your day, pull on a pair of your favourite sweatpants and a nice cosy hoodie. Or why not just stay in your pyjamas? By wearing comfortable clothes, you’ll be more prone to relax because you are wearing clothes that you usually relax in. It will put you in a relaxing mental state. Also, comfy clothes just feel a lot more comforting. It will be far easier for you to get into ‘relax’ mode when you are wearing loose, cosy clothes (like sweats or pyjamas) as opposed to your regular everyday clothes.
Stay away from your phone
For most of us, our phones are a big part of our lives, and no matter what we use our phones for, it usually has at least a small thing to do with work. If you truly want to take full advantage of your relaxation day, then try to stay away from your phone. We always spend so much time on our phones that it has become a crucial part of our day. We almost can’t say no to checking on all the notifications we get, but the problem is that we usually feel worse after checking and can make us feel stressed or anxious. All those alerts we see can make us feel stressed, anxious, jealous, depressed or simply annoyed, all of which are counterintuitive to relaxation. So, to fully embrace your relaxing day, try doing a technology (or just phone) detox. You may find that, even though the first few hours might feel a bit strange, you actually feel a lot more at peace without checking your phone regularly.
Go for a walk
When I say walk, I don’t mean a walk where you are doing it to get to your 10 000 steps a day or as part of your exercise routine. By ‘walk’ in the relaxation context, I mean taking a leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood, or through a park, or just somewhere where you can get fresh air. The reason why a walk can be a very relaxing activity, especially when it is at a more leisurely pace, is because it can help you clear your head. Getting out the house and away from work is already going to help you relax. You also get to enjoy the fresh air, and the scenery and walking can be a great way to clear away all thoughts of work and focus on the little things like the environment around you. I’ve always loved walking because it helps me clear my head and stop focusing on things that are stressing me out but unfortunately I don’t get the opportunity to do it nearly as much as I want to. So, if you have the chance, try going for a walk and see if it helps clear your head.
Do a mini-marathon
Grab your fluffy blanket, pop some popcorn and grab a cup of hot chocolate and treat yourself to a little movie-marathon of your favourite films or tv-shows. We never have time to just sit down and watch a movie anymore, and sometimes this builds up to a point where we haven’t actually sat to watch a whole movie in a long time. Well, now that you have the time, it’s time to catch up on all the movies you’ve been missing out on. You can’t say that it isn’t relaxing when you are just cuddled up with a blanket watching movies, without worrying about doing anything else, so stop not relaxing, grab your snacks and start your mini-marathon. There is nothing more relaxing than sitting and watching movies where the hardest choice you have to make is what movie you want to watch next.
I find baking to be really relaxing because I can focus on something that has nothing to do with anything work-related, I am surrounded by smells that put me in a good mood (come on don’t you just love the smell of cinnamon or vanilla?), and I get something warm, fresh and delicious to eat afterwards. If you are in the mood and have the ingredients, why not try it out. Bake something simple like chocolate chip cookies, cake or muffins. Not only will you get to do something that can be quite therapeutic, but you will also fill your kitchen with mouth-watering smells and be able to devour whatever you have just made. Personally, nothing makes me feel more relaxed than sitting down with a couple freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk in front of a movie after I got to clear my head baking them.
Cosy up and do something passive
When was the last time you curled up in a comfortable spot and did something passive like reading a book? I’m guessing that it has been quite a while no matter what you spend your days doing. Well, another great way to relax is to grab your fluffy blanket again and find a comfortable spot to curl up and do something peaceful. I’m not including movies in the list of passive activities here because it’s basically the same as the mini-marathon I mentioned earlier, but there are many other relaxing things you can do once you’ve found a comfortable spot. You can read the book you’ve been meaning to read, or journal or just sit with your headphones in and listen to music. All of these activities are peaceful and don’t require much energy, so they are perfect for helping you relax, depending on which one you prefer. Personally, I’m the type to curl up in an armchair with a book, and I usually won’t move until the book is finished. My boyfriend, on the other hand, can just sit for hours listening to music and at the end of the day, both of us feel incredibly relaxed, peaceful and ready to face the world again once we’ve had our relax time.
Bottomless tea or coffee
Having the right beverage can be critical to getting your relaxing on. Another idea for having a relaxing day is to have a bottomless cup of tea or coffee – in other words, endless and unlimited refills. Maybe it is just me but sipping on a hot beverage, particularly tea, is almost like taking a deep breath out, and it can make me feel relaxed even when I am juggling 50 different tasks. Perhaps something that can help you enhance your relaxing experience is to ensure that your tea or coffee mugs stay full for the whole day? I mean all of those picturesque Tumblr pictures of people relaxing seem to consist of them staring out a window in comfy clothes, wrapped in a blanket and cradling a steaming mug of something. It must do something for relaxation, right?
Have a long bubble bath
Now if this doesn’t sound like heaven on earth to you … then I don’t blame you because I know quite a few people don’t like baths, but if you are like me and love sliding into a hot bubble bath, then I hope this idea sounds like heaven to you. Soaking in a nice, hot bubble bath can be a very relaxing activity because it is peaceful and somewhat of an at-home spa experience. This is honestly my favourite way to relax – I light a few scented candles, run a hot bath filled with bubbles and grab a book and a cup of tea and I usually only get out when the water has gone from steaming to chilled. If you like to just kick back and soak for a while and haven’t had the opportunity to do so, why not take this chance when you are actively relaxing and enjoy a long bubble bath. I certainly would.
Eat some comfort food
Nothing quite rounds off a day or even an evening of relaxing like eating comfort food. There is just something about eating a comforting, delicious meal that releases all the tension and just makes you feel good. Well – that is my last suggestion for finishing off your relaxation period. I use the term comfort food loosely because I know that everyone has different ideas about what comfort food is, but the idea is just to have a meal that you may not always get, is not necessarily too healthy and just puts a smile on your face when you eat it. We all know that the quickest way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, right? So apply the same logic to yourself and treat yourself to some comfort food. You deserve it, especially while you are relaxing.
And so there you have it. I hope that this blog post has been helpful to all of you and that you have been inspired to find some time to treat yourself and relax. I also hope that at least one of these ideas has appealed to you and you’ve added it to your list of things to do when you have some free time to relax and focus on yourself. You work hard, and life can get busy, so you deserve to take some time out to relax every now and then, and you might as well make the most of the relaxing time you get. For my question of the day:
- How do you relax? What is your favourite ‘relaxing’ activity?
Thank you all so much for reading. Again, I hope you enjoyed this blog post, and if you did, please don’t forget to hit that little like button at the bottom of this post and subscribe so that you don’t miss out on any future blog posts. I wish you all some happy relaxing when you can.
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx