Why is it important to Relax and Tips on How to?
We are living times where everything is happening so fast. We are bombarded with media, messages, emails, constantly and it feels that everything carries a sense of urgency.
I got used to having to respond to every message or email I got almost immediately, having to run from one task to the next and always feeling that I was behind and not doing enough. It can be exhausting and I’m sure you know what I mean.
If we are constantly pushing ourselves to do more, must probably our stress levels are high and with it our cortisol.
Cortisol is the fight or flight hormone. It was extremely handy when we had to run from a tiger chasing us back a few thousand years ago. However, nowadays the tiger is the phone, the bills to pay, the email, the unhappy boss yelling, and so on.
And because those stimuli nowadays are almost constantly on, our Cortisol levels are always up.
So, what happens when we are stressed and Cortisol is high?
When our fight or flight response is on, our body shuts down or compromises certain systems that are not useful when running away from the tiger, like the reproductive system, digestion, and detoxification.
This has multiple consequences for our health, especially when stress and high cortisol levels are chronically high.
Health issues related to high stress and cortisol are lower immune system, infertility issues, digestion problems, overweight, headaches, and many others.
This should be enough reason to consider reducing stress and add some relaxation during your day!
So, how to relax? In a smart way
For many, this can be challenging, especially when having to deal with the feeling of not doing enough or staying behind.
But, please consider that you are doing it for your health. Also, I have found that relaxation done smartly can make you even more productive and certainly smarter.
Here are my 4 tips to relax during your day.
Start your day with a Morning Routine
I’m a big fan of morning routines. I like to start my day with 20 min of breathing practices and 5-10 min of visualization and mental preparation of my day. I follow it with a good breakfast high in proteins and fat, which keeps me satiated for many hours and keeps my brain working at its best.
Consider having in your morning routine some movement, meditation, hydration, good nutrition, and don’t check your phone for at least 1 hour after you have woken up. You can check my article about Best Morning Routine for a Great day.
Take Breaks During Work
I have found that working for around 1,5 hrs is the perfect time for me to stay inspired and productive. So, I try to take 15 min breaks in between. I go for a walk, have something to eat, tune into nature, or even go for an exercise session.
Choose something nourishing, calming, and relaxing. Avoid looking at the phone or any other screens. Connect with somebody, have a chat, distract yourself.
This way, when going back to work, you’ll be refreshed, filled with ideas, and ready to give it your all for another 1,5 hrs.
Keep nights for calming down and sleeping
During the night is the best time to let your body recover and restore. And if we do a few things, we can ensure to make the most out of it.
First, start by slowing down at least 3 to 4 hrs before going to sleep. Do things that you enjoy. Share quality time with your family and friends, read a book, stretch, take a bath, etc. Minimize phone usage and blue light in general, especially 1 hr before going to sleep. Use dim lights and create a calming atmosphere at home.
At home, we like to put calm music and use dim lights. We also start talking at a lower volume and avoid playing active games with our kids 1 hr before putting them to sleep. We take showers, go to the sauna, use comfy clothes, and spend quality time together as a family.
And to ensure a good quality sleep check my article on How to Improve Sleep Quality?
Schedule unplugging time
Make sure to make time for longer breaks from the routine. It can be called holidays or unplugging time.
The main thing here is that you take yourself away from the day to day routine, keep the phone and computer away and preferably go somewhere else than your home.
When we change scenery our brains automatically let go of the ongoing day to day tasks and it becomes much easier to relax.
Try to choose a place that brings you calmness, nature is great. And make an effort to be mostly with yourself. These are precious moments to reflect, reconnect, get inspired, make decisions, and so on.
Follow these tips and keep in mind the effects that stress has on your body, and make sure you carve time to relax. This will not only improve your health but will make you a more productive, inspired, and happier person.
I hope you find this useful and if you need any help to make your Healthy Habits stick please contact me. I would be honored to guide you in your journey to a longer, happier, and smarter life!
Until next time, chill!