Friday, July 10, 2015

10 Ways to Relax

Just relax. Sounds pretty simple, right? 

I was reading a magazine article about relaxing and it said the first thing to do when you realize you are tense and are trying to relax is to accept how you feel and stop trying to change it. Putting too much pressure on yourself is generally a cause of stress. 

I know I've definitely been stressed and anxious lately. So...

What's better than a five day vacation? A 10 day vacation! I've never taken 10 days off, but I think I needed it. It was amazing and I wouldn't change a thing. I didn't have a car this time, so it kept me from running all over the state to see people and I decided to not have a plan. Just go with whatever happens. Don't plan out my day at all. I was a little apprehensive about this idea at first. What if I end up wasting my vacation? What if I don't get to see anyone? What if it's not any fun?

You know what happened? I turned off my phone for 36 hours, saw more people while not trying to and got to do a lot more than I thought I could ever fit into a week and a half. I ended up having more fun than I have in a very long time. Once I stopped trying to control everything that was happening, other people seemed more relaxed around me too. 

Now that vacation is over (we all have to come back to reality at some point), I decided to take some of the very things that helped me chill out on vacation and incorporate them into my every day life. They've made a huge difference! If you're feeling a little tense or anxious, they might help you too. 

1. Put down your phone. I never realized how glued to my phone I am. I'm always checking social media, email or texting someone. It was making me anxious, so I turned it off for the first 36 hours I was home. What did I miss? Two text messages. Were they important? Nope. 

2. Conquer your fears. I've found that if something is making me anxious or nervous, I should probably do it so I'm not afraid of it anymore. I was afraid of guns until I finally decided I needed to learn how to shoot a few months ago. Lucky for me, my brother was excited to teach me how to shoot his shotgun! It was a blast! Seriously, so much fun. I wasn't that bad either. I only missed one of the clays. 

3. Spend more time living your life than documenting it. Yes, put down the camera and the iPhone. Snap a photo or two then go enjoy it.

4. Learn a new skill. Granny taught me a few new crochet stitches, my brother taught me how to shoot a shotgun and mom taught me how to make jam. This resolution to stop putting my life on hold and do everything I want to do now is really working!

5. Stop overthinking everything. It doesn't matter why someone did what they did. It likely has nothing to do with you so don't worry about it. Learn from the past, but learning how to let go and go with the flow is very freeing. Let go of your own expectations of what should be happening and go with what is happening and make the best of it. Everything happens for a reason. Trust that.

6. Don't apologize for being picky. Jobs, dates, etc. there's something to be said about taking the time to get it right and not just jumping into something to kill time.

7. Worry less about other people. Their problems are not yours, so don't adopt their problems. Be more concerned about doing what makes you happy. 

8. Say 'no' more. I'm bad at saying no. I like to please people, but often this leaves me not so happy. So, now if I don't love whatever it is, I say no. Or atleast I try to. Old habits die hard, but practice helps. 

9. Breathe. A lot of people told me yoga would relax me, but I disagree. It doesn't relax my mind. However, the stretching relaxes my body, which makes me feel less tense. Ironically, going to the shooting range relaxes my mind. Never saw that one coming. Do whatever slows your mind and heart rate down. 

This is my favorite part about Sunday mornings...standing on my head
10. Do nothing. Just sit and do absolutely nothing. No magazines, books, crochet hooks, coffee, phones, anything. The first time I did this, I sat there for the first 10 minutes almost freaking out. What do I do now?!??! I think I found the problem. I couldn't just sit still and relax. It's been getting easier the more I do this. 

I'd say it was a successful week!

What are some of your favorite ways to relax? 

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