Life can whiz by at great speed and before you know it, the days, weeks or months have flown by and you barely had time to notice. We are always so busy rushing from one thing to the next just trying to keep up with what life throws at us that we forget to look around us and enjoy the world we live in. So, why not take some time to step of the speeding roller-coaster of life and give yourself a little break – stop, slow down, relax and just enjoy being alive.
Here are some ways that can help you take a mini break from the hectic world and breathe. These can be done alone or are also a great way to enjoy time with loved ones.
Schedule Time in Your Calendar
First things first, get your calendar ready and, depending on what you choose to do, block out the necessary time – try not to postpone or move it once it is set.
Go For a Leisurely Bicycle Ride
Alone or with others. A leisurely bike ride somewhere scenic where there is no traffic (or very little) can do wonders. If you have a basket on your bike great (very handy things bike baskets) otherwise grab a backpack and add a few items; blanket, snacks, some drinks, a book if you are alone or a frisbee if with others. Try to plan a route with somewhere you can stop for a break and lay out your blanket and enjoy the outdoors.
Take a Mini Road Trip
Going somewhere in the car? Plot the scenic route rather than the quickest. Listen to some favorite music or an audio book. Allow extra time for your journey and look to see if there are any sights to stop and see along the way or on the way home.
Pampering yourself is a great way to relax, so choose your favorite and get ready to unwind. Some easy ways to pamper yourself (although some will need the assistance of another person) could include: a bubble bath, a massage (head, neck and shoulder or full body), foot rub, manicure/pedicure, relaxing in a hot tub. Or even a mini spa break if you prefer to get away from it all.
Staring up at the night sky looking at the stars can be mesmerizing. The world truly is amazing, if we stop and take the time to observe what happens around us in nature it can feel like life slows right down. Grab some blankets, wrap up warm and find a nice comfy spot to lie outside under the stars. Then just look up… Try to clear your mind from any chatter so that you can give the stars your full attention. Look out for shooting stars.
Listen To Something
No matter where you are you can always relax by tuning in to some good music, an audio book or podcast.
Have A Sleep In
Sleeping in, mmm… if it’s possible to squeeze this in then it is a lovely feeling when you drift off to sleep knowing you don’t have to get up for a set time. You can wake up when your body is ready without being shocked awake by the sound of an alarm clock demanding you get up and get moving. If sleeping in is not your thing then maybe you prefer to just wake up and relax for a bit in bed rather than actually sleeping for longer than usual.
Meditation is one of the best ways to still your mind. The mind is always busy with thoughts of things you have done and still need to do, or things you said, or didn’t say but wish you had, there is a constant chatter in your head. Meditating really is a great way to experience deep relaxation and can be done anywhere quiet. Give it a go.
Draw, paint, sculpt, knit, make something – anything. There are so many ways to create something, decide what you want to make and go for it and once you finish you will have something to show for your efforts. You don’t have to be a pro and you don’t have to show anyone the finished product so don’t over think it.
Choose a movie, make some popcorn and settle down. Get comfy with blankets, a cushion, whatever makes you feel content and comfortable and let yourself become immersed in another world.
Tech Free Day (or hour)
Sometimes finding a way to relax can be as easy as disconnecting yourself from your phone, pc, tablet, tv etc. In this day and age it seems like everyone is always ‘switched on’ and sometimes this leads to the expectation (from others) that you will answer any email, call or text as soon as you receive it. Technology is there to help you and make your life easier but you really don’t have to be at everyone’s ‘beck and call’ all the time. Try and switch off even if it is just for an hour.
Immerse yourself in a good book. Reading helps take your mind off whatever is happening in your life. The great thing about reading is it can be done anywhere, a nice comfy chair with a cup of hot chocolate or outside under a tree in the summer, even reading on a train during your commute to or from work.
Candle Lit Dinner At Home
Alone or with others, a dinner at home may not be anything unusual or out of the ordinary but make it a little more special. Make one of your favorite dishes or order a take away, set the table and add candles, the soft lighting of the candles really helps to make it more relaxing. Really enjoy your dinner, don’t rush it – savor it. If you prefer a more relaxed dining experience then eat at a low table whilst sitting on cushions, it doesn’t have to be a formal affair.
Float Around A Swimming Pool
There is something about floating on water on a warm summers day that just evokes an air of calm and tranquility. The best way is by using an inflatable and drifting around the pool. Not everyone has a pool, but this can also be achieved in a paddling pool if you have one as long as there is room for the inflatable and you can let you hand trail in the water, close your eyes and relax.
Watch A Sunset Or Sunrise
Choose which works best for you (or do both) and find a spot to sit and watch the sun rise or set. This is something that happens day in, day out but how often do you ever stop and watch the beauty, the way the light changes and how the world either starts to wake up or notice that everything around you starts to slow down.
Find those pens or pencils and grab yourself a coloring book (there are so many adult coloring books available now). The act of coloring in has been recognized as a good way to relieve stress and has become extremely popular but if coloring is not really your thing, try an adult dot-to-dot book, or a maze book. It seems all the books that were enjoyed in childhood are being recreated for adults, take a look next time you are near a bookstore.
Relax In A Hammock
Lying in a hammock is the very epitome of relaxation. Gently swinging on a lazy summer’s day, taking a nap, or reading a book. Find two trees and tie your hammock securely and enjoy.
Take A Walk In Nature
Walking in nature is a great way to get some fitness in as well as relaxing. Being in nature and away from the hustle and bustle of life, take your time and look at everything around you, the things that you may be too busy to notice in everyday life. The birds singing, look out for any wildlife, the way the trees sway in a gentle breeze. Even the sound of your steps on the ground. Take it all in and marvel in how truly wonderful being outside in nature really is.
There you have it, 18 simple yet effective ways to relax and take a bit of time to yourself. Life goes by so quickly, so as the saying goes – don’t forget to ‘stop and smell the roses’.