Finding the time to relax
By Sarah Lucassen
You’ve recognised your stress! You finally admit to yourself, “I have a problem”, and you know how important it is to take time out of your day to relax. One of the first steps you can take in relaxing yourself is realising you can’t do everything, and you need a break from work. This modern world is very fast paced and frankly, overwhelming and to counteract this something needs to change, and change requires action.
You need to intentionally create a weekly plan of when you are available to cool off. This includes ensuring your sleep schedule is appropriate! As explained previously, ‘lack of sleep’ can seriously impact the way you learn through out the day, and is a leading health problem in todays society. Some would find it helpful to spend the time to prepare a weekly planner, blocking out times in the day to refresh and refocus their mind. This ultimately affects overall motivation and attitude towards each day. Furthermore improving relationships and how you interact with work colleges, family members and friends.
It starts with you!
In this relaxation time its important to find what will most benefit you to calm down. Whether it’s an activity, an easy game or reading, the relaxation time should begin with a small amount of self examination and meditation. A closer look at your own thoughts and actions, “Why do I react like that?”, “What is something I’ve done well today, so far?”, “What can I improve on?”, “Why do/did I do that?”. I believe this to be an integral part of anyones day, and this mediation time is an excellent opportunity for self improvement. Of course this only has to be for a short period of the time you’ve set apart, and then you can continue on to something else. Although personally, using the whole time for meditation is most effective.
If you do decide to go into something else afterwards try and make sure it’s something you don’t do regularly, and something that isn’t too fast paced. Warning: Avoid ‘screen time’, e.g. watching something or going though your phone. This is not a relaxation technique. You may have been classifying this as your ‘break’ in the past, but please know, it will not help, especially if you already use technology regularly (e.g. during work or school). In fact, it might be adding to your stress!
I encourage you to be active, through some trial and error, find the best way you can personally relax and force yourself to spend this time relaxing, even if it feels like you can’t ‘spare it’ over your workload… You usually have more time than you think, and taking out some to relax will ultimately give you more time than if you don’t. You will have a better attitude towards people and jobs, additionally working faster and more efficiently overall!