Welcome to Day 11 of the 31 Days To A Less Stressful Life Challenge. Today your task is to find a moment during the day to stop, chill out and relax.
None of us can keep going full -tilt the whole time. In fact, that’s a recipe for burn out. It’s really important to build in periods of rest a recuperation when you kick back, chill-out and relax.
Find Moments Of Calm
I will talk a bit about the importance of planning and taking breaks later in the series but you don’t have to wait until a designated block of annual leave or holiday to chill out and relax, however.
Some of my best moments of relaxation come while I’m meditating each day for instance. I will discuss how to build a meditation later in the series too. The great thing about practising mindfulness is that you do get better at it with time. I can now take a ’micro-break’ from my busy day while travelling to and from a meeting or while waiting in line for a coffee.
It’s possible to soothe your racing mind during these moments quite easily with a little practice.
Choose A Location
Another important element in learning how to chill out and relax is to identify places where certain activities either will or won’t take place. Sleep experts, for example, advocate limiting your use of your bedroom for sleep-related activities. They say it’s particularly important to do this if you’re struggling with sleeplessness.
Your mind is good at seeing patterns and making associations, so if you habitually work while in bed, you’re not creating an association with sleep.
I make sure that when I come in from work I always take off my work garments straight away. This is to reinforce the fact that my work persona has been left in the office. I can now relax at home, knowing that my work issues will be there waiting for me in the morning.
I find this a good way to compartmentalise — which helps to keep work-related stress or anxiety at bay while I'm at home, relaxing.
If there are occasions when I do have to work at home, then I make sure I have a designated area where I do this. I don’t want to ‘pollute’ non-work relaxation areas with my work-related activities.
Create A Boundaries
I try to create a boundary between activities which are duties, responsibilities and tasks and those which are leisure, hobby or fun ones. My boundaries include signals like the clothes I wear, the place I do them in and the time of the day. I generally avoid working after a certain point in the evening because I know that my mind will keep racing when I’m trying to get to sleep.
I discuss the importance of creating healthy boundaries in Day 5 of 31 Days To A Less Stressful Life.
We are all different and what works for me might not suit you. What I think’s important however is that you understand what kinds of activities are the ones which you do when you’re relaxed.
- Listening to music.
- Watching a good film.
- Reading an absorbing novel.
- Taking a gentle stroll at the end of the evening.
- Watching the sunset.
- Listening to the dawn chorus.
There are many ways to chill out and relax. Your task today is to make a list of the ones which you can do each day and then commit to doing at least one of them today.
Leave A Comment
Let us know how you get on and whether there’s a tactic that you’ve found helpful in finding time to chill out and relax.