So, you’ve had a long-ass day, you’re tired, a little (okay, a lot) grumpy and the weekend seems more than three light years away (yep, it’s only Monday). Well, good news because I’ve compiled a list of the things I do to de-stress and to regain my happy, care-free attitude and I’m going to share them with you (ya workaholic warrior).
Firstly, I must stress, that you must not stress (ironic right?) as stupid as that sounds – if only it were that simple, right? *Eye roll* Well it can be, with practice! Yep, soon enough you too can be manifesting your way to a happier life, the trick is to pay attention. To what you ask? To your mind. Our minds are incredibly complex, with incessant thoughts and an all-day commentary. We all want some peace and quiet but have you ever realised it’s your own darn brain that won’t stop talking?
Last year, I picked up a copy of, The Power of Now by Elkhart Tolle(click the link to get it for only £2!) – if you’re not familiar with it it’s basically a very straight forward way of teaching you to live in the present and how to practice control over your mind. Yes, you can become the master of your mind! The first time I tried it I found it pretty difficult but also very liberating, a feeling of detachment from the mind, as if you were sat in a room and your mind was in another. The trick is to focus on something, an object or an action and look at or pay attention to it in explicit detail. You’ll probably notice things you hadn’t before. Now you’ve brought your mind back into the present, you need to clear it. Start by keeping still, sit down and close your eyes, let all thoughts that come to you just drift away. Stay present, stay focused.
Practise for just a few minutes at a time, gradually you’ll find it gets easier and these ‘quiet times’ will last longer until you are an expert! It’s like switching off a light-switch or stepping into the next room, it’s okay to leave your mind behind sometimes!
When you’ve mastered your mind, learnt how to loosen up and let thoughts float by having no attachment to them, it will change your life in a number of ways:
- You’ll feel less stressed; knowing when to switch off and stay present will reduce any oncoming anxiety.You’ll feel a sense of inner-peace.Clearing your mind of all the ‘brain debris’ means you’re no longer focusing on the negative; this will help to raise your vibration, resulting in higher vibrational thoughts – win, win!
You see, once you start work within you, everything good will come to you as a result – you are a magnet, attracting your very own essence (whether good or bad) to you! That’s why putting yourself first is the first step towards a better, happier life – you’ve gotta start within you first.
Only good can come from this.I’m going to be talking about the Law of Attraction in another post – I think that’s enough homework for now! It’s also better you start your inner work gradually, (you don’t wanna run before you can walk, right?) master your mind and then you can practice mastering your thoughts. Just remember that you create your own reality, whatever is causing you stress has been created by your own mind, you attracted it to you, it showed up in your life because you gave it enough thought.
Good news is, you can change that and you will!
Whilst it all starts with inner work, you can make good changes in every part of your life. Now, I’m no expert, but if these things work for me they can work for you too, right?
So here goes:
- Catch your ZZZ’s – Whilst this is kind of obvious, you may not be aware of how much sleep you’re actually getting. Some of us function better on 7 hours whilst a full 8 does wonders for others. It’s about finding what works best for you. I personally make sure I get at least 8 hours sleep every single night – and yes that does mean going to bed a little earlier. Once you get used to your new sleep routine, you’ll find yourself getting tired around the same time every night and will sleep much easier (our bodies like routines too). To keep track of your sleep pattern, you can use your phone. I’m sure many of you already use the alarm (and the snooze button!) but have you ever used the ‘bedtime’ function on your iPhone? I find this invaluable and it’s free! Just adjust the dial to the time you’re going to bed or the time you want to wake up and in the middle of the dial it will tell you how much sleep you’ll be getting.
- Meditation – I’ve talked about this in my previous post, but meditation can really change your life. This can be a 5 minute breathing exercise upon waking up (really sets you up for a positive day), listening to meditative music (I listen to a lot of Hindu mantras) or full on guided meditation – these are super fun and work really well with earphones in. I listen to a lot of Paul Santisi’s videos on YouTube, he has a meditation for everything! Whatever type of meditation you prefer, you’ll find something that works for you on YouTube, just have a browse. Diet – A good diet = a happy, energetic you! Whether your diet includes meat or you’re vegetarian or vegan, it’s important to keep everything balanced – I can’t tell you how many times I read that somewhere and didn’t listen! I never used to eat breakfast, like ever. Switch it up every few days, try something new and different – whip up a breakfast that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning!
- Exercise – It doesn’t have to be awful! If you’re not very active, why not try adding a walk to your week, maybe walk to work now and then (if you work close to home) you’ll save fuel money, contribute to a cleaner environment and feel healthier – see how much good can come out of it? There are also plenty of exercise videos and apps so you can workout from home! If you’ve never tried it, yoga is a fantastic way to keep fit and stay present. My personal favourite app for yoga is called, Asana Rebel which is full of intense yoga workouts you’re gonna love – just ease yourself into it! How about the gym? If you’ve never been it can seem pretty intimidating at first, but don’t let your mind talk you out of it – once you start, (and realise it’s not the hell you’d imagined) they’ll be no stopping you! Maybe you’ve got a friend who’s a bit nervous too, go together – the gym can be a real laugh with a friend!
- Hobbies – Remember those paint brushes you bought two centuries ago? Or the guitar that’s collecting dust? Whatever your passion is you should definitely dedicate some time each week to doing what you love! Sometimes we take life too seriously and forget to have fun – that’s when life becomes boring. You’ve gotta find joy in something every single day, we’re not just here to pay bills and go to work ya know! So schedule in some time to do something you love, whether it’s staying in bed all day binge watching every show on Netflix or going to the cinema, incorporating things that make you happy will increase your mood and you’ll find yourself making more time to do the things you love.
- Time Keeping – If you’re sat there wondering how the heck you’re going to fit all this in, you needn’t worry it’s really simple once you become better at managing your time. If you’re like me and keep schedules for everything, you’ll find this no problem. If you are terrible at time keeping and never keep track of anything, start by writing down your tasks for the week – working hours, food shopping, school or uni hours, assignment deadlines; start keeping track of everything. Once you know what’s got to be done you can work out how much time you have to spare for extra things, the things you wouldn’t normally ‘have time for’ or so you think! Get yourself a planner (I use a Filofax – would be lost without it!) or even just a scrap of paper and plan out your week – make it doable, don’t go writing down things you know you’re not going to do. Once you get used to doing this you’ll realise how much free time you actually have!
Again, these things are just what I do after a long day at work, you may like the sound of some of them, others you may not be interested in but the point is to show you ways you can relax without spending £££ on a weekend spa retreat!
Once I’m home from work or the gym and I’ve prepped my lunch for the next day, (you can make time for this too!) it’s time to relax (or else I’d go insane!):
- Before you do anything else; stick that kettle on girl! I always enjoy a warm cup of herbal tea in the evenings – my favourite brand is Pukka and they do LOTS of great flavours. I drink Vanilla Chai (heaven.) and their night time blend.Get that bath running! Bubbles, bath bombs, those funky bath salts your aunt bought you last Christmas – now is the time to chuck them in the tub! Make sure you’re not sensitive to any of the ingredients! You can add a drop of essential oil in too – works really well with the heat so not only will your body absorb the oil from the water, but you’ll be breathing in the aroma too! I like to put Himalayan salt into my bath instead of bubbles, Himalayan salt has many wonderful properties and literally draws the negativity out of your body. Epsom salts work great too!
- Time to get ‘lit’! Light tea lights, scented candles and even incense sticks (maybe crack open that window a tad too). If you have an oil burner you can add a few drops of fragrance oils to that instead – as it’s October I love using cinnamon scented oil, it smells wonderful! Choose some calming music to play, (not so loud!) maybe something you use for meditation (just don’t fall asleep – please!). I normally play some Hindu mantras or stick Peter Gundry on on Spotify – If you haven’t already, go check him out, his music takes me far (far) away! You might prefer to watch something instead if you’ve got a tablet or iPad handy, (just don’t drop it in the bath…) you might even prefer to read, whatever relaxes you most!
- Scrub the day away! Cleanse, tone and exfoliate your face and then apply a soothing facial mask! Now’s the time to use that hair mask! Once you’ve applied it to your hair you can leave it on as long as you want as you relax in the bath. Now sit back, relax and let all your cares float away. Practice your ‘quiet time’ for a few minutes.Get into your comfiest, fluffiest pyjamas and get cosied up in bed for the night – I normally read now for a little while until I get super sleepy.I like to stick some earphones in and listen to a guided meditation to help me drift off to sleep, you can just lie down and you’ll be asleep before you know it!
That’s all there is to it – just finding what works for you and making time for the things you want to do, quietening your mind and staying calm, all these things will inevitably result in a happier, more care-free you!Did you find this post helpful? Let me know in the comments – I’d also love to hear what helps you to relax!
Have an awesome day,