This post was written before I understood the effect of neurodiversity on stress. Some of the techniques below will still help depending on your profile.
The principles of knowing yourself will help you know which methods of relaxation are most likely to work for you.
One antidote to busyness, stress or overwhelm is being able to relax. However, it’s easy to forget to relax when you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day.
When you are switched on all the time it’s difficult to turn all the thoughts off and to stop the twitchiness of needing to feel active or busy. Both your brain and your body will thank you if you fully relax from time to time. You will feel more energised.
What to do to Relax
Relaxation comes in varied forms. Some forms of relaxation suit some people more than others. For example, you may find you relax and recharge with a group of friends watching live sport. On the other hand, you may find that scenario drains your energy.
If you are always on the go it can be difficult to just sit down and switch off. I know that when I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed, I had forgotten how to switch off. If this is the case, then it is best if you find an activity that helps you relax rather than inactivity and expecting your mind to go quiet.
It’s important to know yourself and your needs so that you know how best to relax and recharge.
5 Relaxing Activities
You may have forgotten what works for you, here are five ideas to try out. See what helps.
- Have a positive conversation with a family member or a friend. Choose someone who can be positive, avoid even your best friend if it will lead to complaining or trying to fix the world. If you know someone you can belly laugh with, trust them with your time.
- Go to the cinema, or a live music or arts performance. Finding something completely immersive is a wonderful way of taking your mind out of any rut you’ve got yourself into.
- If crowds are not your thing, or you don’t feel fully safe in them, an enjoyable book can have a similar effect. Choose a novel or a biography that takes you away from your regular thoughts.
- TV can be good, but not all of it! Don’t just have it on in the background, choose what you watch and watch it mindfully by giving it your full attention. If you find yourself reaching for your phone or tablet, ask yourself why. The answers will be revealing.
- Go for a walk, alone or in company. What do you notice in the natural world or the urban environment? Think about what you see, or swap thoughts with your walking companion.
Whatever you choose, make plans for it. Don’t leave it to spontaneity, after all, if you are trapped in busyness, stress, or overwhelm, you will never think spontaneously about relaxing!