We are all superheroes but even Superman had his Kryptonite. We’re capable of handling a busy day at work, exercising afterward and still fitting in time to study, all while maintaining our relationships. But be aware – too much for too long can lead to brutal burnout. It’s important that we remember to fit in some serious me-time for deep relaxation.

Exercise

When we work out vigorously, yes we build and tone muscles but we are also straining the body, which leads to fatigue. In the end this is counter-productive.

Work

When we take on too many projects at once, it’s can feel like we took a bite too big to chew. This, too, leads to mental, emotional and physical exhaustion.

Play

Even when we’re having fun we can overdo it. Too much of anything is never a good thing. If you party all the time like Eddie Murphy’s girl, you are totally throwing your body off balance. This leads to a less effective work out and poor performance with projects.

What Can You Do?

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favorite song. You go ahead, let your hair down.

Take a Bath

This is one of my latest favorites. A bath is relaxing, cleansing and useful – You need to bathe everyday anyway, right? So skip the shower and relax with a hot bubble bath instead.

Tips:

  • Add Some Salts Bath salts (such as dead sea salt) are great for increasing blood circulation and releasing physical tension. They are also good for exfoliation and removing dead skin cells, in turn purifying the pores and leaving your skin super soft.

  • Add Scented Soap Go for relaxing scents such as Lavender or Coconut. Slowly pour the soap directly under the tap as the tub fills for glorious bubbles.

  • Add Candles Treat and pamper yourself with some comforting candlelight. A dimly lit bathroom will help you let go.

  • Make it Hot Soaking yourself in your own personal sauna will do the trick. Heat will melt away all of that tension you’re holding.

Listen to Music

Sound has a huge impact on our moods. Listen to some tunes that help you reach relaxation. Obviously, we want to skip on the stimulating techno and power-pop; opt instead for minimal and ambient music.

Tips:

  • Use an App It’s easy to find relaxing music with certain apps such as 8tracks or Pandora where you can search by genre. My favorite genre to search by is “ambient + chill” or “Zen.”

  • Create Your Own Gather all of your favorite chill-out songs and create a playlist on your iTunes you can go back to whenever you want to relax.

  • Nature Sounds You can create your own mix of birds, rain or even purring with sites such as http://naturesoundsfor.me. Sit back and relax or add these to some ambient music for an extra magical experience.

Aromatherapy

Certain scents have the power to completely calm and soothe us.

Tips:

  • Essential Oils
  • Scented Candles
  • Scented Steam Pot

You can easily make your own relaxing concoction by placing fresh ingredients with a calming scent such as chopped coconut, chamomile, vanilla extract, cinnamon sticks or Ylang Ylang (if you live somewhere tropical) into a pot. Add three cups of water and bring it all to a boil. Place the pot in any room letting the steam fill the space.

Food

Snacks can also have a soothing effect on us because of their calming properties.

Try:

  • Dark chocolate
  • Chamomile Tea
  • Peanuts or Peanut Butter
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Almonds
  • Oatmeal

Massage

Have your partner, best friend or a professional give you a long massage. Take the time and treat yourself to this – You deserve it.

Tips:

  • Add aromatherapy to the mix by using scented massage oils
  • Use warming massage oils

Breathe

Ah, yes – the easiest and simplest way to relax – Pranayama. This ancient practice also has many other benefits amongst relaxation.

Tips:

  • Use a Counting Technique Remember the ratio of 1-4-2 while breathing. For example, inhale fully for five seconds, retain the breath for 20 seconds and exhale slowly for ten seconds.

Yoga

Yoga forces you to let go of your daily life and the outer world. With Yoga you bring awareness back to yourself and away from the day’s shenanigans.

Tips:

  • Practice with a slow and steady pace.
  • Keep it short and simple.
  • Go with the flow.
  • Stay in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) for at least ten minutes at the end of your session.

Meditation

Apart from sleep, there’s no better way to relax and re-energize the body. Meditation physically relaxes you and stills a busy mind. It also has great psychological benefits as it clears and calms mental noise, in turn exposing great insight. Meditation can be done almost anywhere, anytime.

Tips:

  • Sit Comfortably Chose a stable position you feel comfortable in such as legs crossed or in a chair.

  • Sit Straight Maintain a straight spine or sit with your back placed flat against a wall. This is done to keep you alert in awareness and prevent you from slumping your way into sleepiness and improper posture.

  • Follow Your Breath Focus only on your breath and ignore all distractions and thoughts.

  • Stay Seated Meditated for at least 20 minutes a day for life changing results.

Let Go

It’s important that we remember that we’re still humans while we’re accomplishing God-like feats on a daily basis. But you need to relax – it’ll make you more productive in the end. Feel free to mix one, two or maybe even three methods together. A candlelit, Yoga session with aromatherapy and ambient music followed by meditation sounds absolutely perfect to me right now. Just go for whatever appeals to you most, have fun with it, let go and enjoy!

Silvia Rodrigues

Silvia Rodrigues is a Yoga Instructor, Graphic Designer and artist who is currently completing her 500-hour Yoga Teacher Certification Course. She is a Portuguese native who was raised in Santa Cruz, California but decided to go back to her roots and is now enjoying life in the beautiful town of Cascais, Portugal. Silvia believes in keeping the body fit by staying active... Read More

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