For many of us, the moment we jump the first hurdle of creating downtime in our day, a new hurdle appears: actually enjoying it. This post is all about how to relax faster so that you can actually spend that downtime on relaxing activities.
In a ridiculously efficient® world, you have a routine that you follow to get out of a focused state and into a relaxed one.
For me, my workday always ends with closing my laptop, packing my things up and leaving the officebar. Before I slowly walk back into the house, I take a lap around the backyard and make a point of gazing up at the sky. I notice how my lemon tree is growing, or what new flowers have bloomed since yesterday. I try and count the nests in the trees, and notice the clouds or passing planes. This relaxing, 10-minute activity naturally quiets my mind and causes me to breathe a little deeper.
Here are some ideas to help you relax faster. Try combinations of these and see what's most effective for you.
The Big List of Ideas to Relax Faster
- Stretch, with props or without
- Breathe deeply
- Make and enjoy a cup of tea
- Try progressive muscle relaxation
- Roll out on a foam roller
- Lay down on the floor (or a yoga mat on the floor). Stretch your arms and legs as far as you can in opposite directions.
- Count your breaths.
- Visualize an activity or place that makes you happy.
- Roll a golf or lacrosse ball underneath your feet. Use a bouncy ball or marble to hit pressure points.
- Give yourself (or your partner) a hand massage.
- Take a shower.
- Brush your hair or massage your scalp. (Better yet, have someone do this to you.)
- Spent 10 minutes "zoning out" in a relaxing place.
- Stare out the window and let your mind wander.
- Walk around the neighborhood.
- Have a solo dance party.
- Listen to music that makes you happy.
- Inhale a soothing scent like lavender, citrus or chamomile.
- Cuddle with a pet or your partner.
- Give an enormous hug.
- Watch something funny.
- Hang from a pull-up bar or sturdy tree branch.
- Let your head hang, chin to your chest. While breathing, allow the height of your head to pull you forward, lengthening your spine.
- Write a love note.
- Rest your eyes with slides of cool cucumber over your eyes.
- Put on a face masque.