Relaxing, Done the Easy Way
Being in North America, we are constantly on the run and stressed. However, finding the time to relax is important for the mind, body and soul. Bellow are 5 easy and affordable ways to relax.
Aromatherapy at Home
If you can’t go to the spa, bring the spa to you and relax. You can go to a spa and pay over 100 dollars on aroma therapy, or you can do it yourself, in the comfort of your own home. Smell is one of the 5 senses. I personally find that when I activate my sense of smell, depending on what i’m inhaling, it can change my mood. Sweet scents help me relax. Floral scents help me start off my day fresh and awake. So recently I’ve been buying candles from anywhere and everywhere. You can buy these amazing, affordable Febreze candles from the drugstore. Believe it or not, I also buy some of my candles from IKEA. Their vanilla scent is my absolute favourite at the moment. However, if you’re afraid that you might sleep while your candle is on (a safety hazard) then better to err on the side of caution in stick to essential oils. Some essential oils need a candle, but I’ve recently discovered these Airwick essential oil packs at Coscto.
Did I mention there’s a bonus to all this? Your place will be left smelling aromatastic !
The thought of sitting in a bathtub for half an hour to an hour, always made me feel uneasy. I would take a shower and then prepare to take my bath. But honestly, every time I was preparing to enter my tub filled with water, I felt like I was about to marinate in my own filth- not to say I’m a filthy person. So why did I feel uncomfortable? Well, truth be told, I just don’t think I was doing it right. I used to try turning off the lights and placing my head back in an attempt at relaxation… but my mind would always race. How about if I fall asleep and drown? Can I drown in a bathtub ? What am I doing with my life?And countless other useless thoughts that raced away. All because I wanted to relax like the ladies and gentlemen in the movies. I eventually figured out what I was doing wrong. In order for me to relax, I need to smell something sweet and have the right music on. I tried it again- I turned off the lights, lit a vanilla candle, put some tea tree oil in the bath and some epsom salt. I put on some relaxing music and sipped on my favourite relaxing tea. Yes, tea. Not a glass of wine….but do whatever floats your…tub?
Remember the good old days in kindergarten where quite time consisted of a quite activity? I used to love colour in and/or drawing. Last year, I needed to find ways to keep my mind active and yet relaxed at the same time. I picked up an activity I never thought I would, at this age at least. I started colouring in an adult colouring book. I loved it so much that I started telling my friends about and little did I know, it had plenty of benefits. It calms down the amygdala, which is:
“part of the brain that controls our fight or flight response, and keeps individuals in a heightened state of worry, panic, and hyper-vigilance, when it is active. Coloring and focusing on this harmless and calming activity can actually turn that response down, and let your brain have some much needed rest and relaxation.”–
I was gifted this awesome travel size colouring book and next thing I knew, I was colouring everywhere. I would colour on my commutes to work on the subway, on my lunch break and at home when I was sad or stressed. Don’t be afraid to tap in to the simpler days, you might find that the nostalgia brings up a sense of happiness and relaxation.
My phone, my laptop and my android box are typically what I look at before bed. However, we all know that the light keeps us up at night. We all know that the time we spend scrolling on Instagram and Facebook or binge watching a show, is time that can be spent doing something more productive. These days I’m trying to spend less time on my phone before bed (unless I have to for work related purposes) and more time reading. I’m trying to physically hold a book in my hands and read a few pages before bed. It allows me to take my mind off things and dive in to a whole new world. If reading a book isn’t for you and listening to someone else tell you a story is more relaxing, then try a podcast or audiobook. If religion is something that brings you peace of mind, maybe after praying before bed you can read a few pages from your holy book (i.e. Bible, Torah, Quran, Shreemad Bhagavad Gita,Tripitakas, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, etc.)
Last but not least, doing some sort of activity. I know that probably sounds strange and not relaxing at all. You can enrol in a yoga class, get a gym pass, join a sports team etc. I find that anytime I work out or go to a yoga class, I come home so relaxed and after a hot shower, ready to knock out. When you work out endorphins are released. If working out isn’t for you, try going out for a walk in the park , at a mall or around the block, even if it’s for 20 minutes. The benefits of keeping active are many and allows you to love yourself, which is always a great bonus. Whatever you do , make sure you stay hydrated and to always breathe in and out !