There’s no denying that our days are relentlessly busy. Before you know it, your head is hitting your pillow, and you are not sure where the day has gone.
These seven simple tips will help you work moments of calm and reflection into your day, slowing down the pace and helping you find ways to relax more and rush less.
Take deep breaths
Sounds simple, right? But it takes practice to be aware of our breath. Slowing down and taking three deliberate, deep breaths is a great way to relax your whole system and find some mental clarity. The trick is to make yourself as comfortable as possible and take a long, deep breath in through your nose. Exhale through your mouth slowly, counting to eight. Repeat until you are feeling more grounded.
Have you ever noticed how loud your surroundings are? Probably not until you’ve found yourself in a moment of unplanned silence.
Simply waking up a few minutes before the rest of the house will allow you to embrace a moment of silence. Take a few deep breaths, pause and intentionally slow your pace. Resist the urge to fill the quiet with music or other distractions and enjoy this rare moment of peace and quiet.
A daily meditation practice can have huge health benefits and is something we would all benefit from trying. But it’s easier said than done.
Headspace Meditation can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be hours of silence spent examining our innermost thoughts. You can start with as little as one minute. And don’t worry; it’s not something you have to figure out on your own. There are many apps – like – that will walk you through a guided meditation.
Or if you’re looking for something short and sweet, you could try this:
1. Close your eyes and gently shake out your limbs.
2. Be aware of any tension you are holding in your body and consciously try to let it go.
3. Focus on your breathing and take five deep breaths.
4. Clear your mind and feel your body grow heavier into your chair, bed or the soles of your feet.
5. Slowly open your eyes, and you’re good to go.
Meditation works best when done regularly. Taking a few minutes to ground yourself before your feet hit the floor each morning is a good way to work it into your routine and start your day well.
Get some fresh air
The value of a big gulp of fresh air shouldn’t be underestimated. Getting outside can help clear the cobwebs from your brain. It’s easy to lose track of time and spend all day in front of your desk. So why not make a habit of using your lunchtime for a brisk walk in the great outdoors. That way you’re getting fresh air, and hopefully, a bit of sunshine and vitamin D too.
Stage a digital detox
The digital age has helped us to be more connected than ever, and while that can be a good thing, it can also be a problem. Work, friends, and family can reach us anywhere, at any time and sometimes that infringes on our ability to unwind.
A technology detox is a good way to relax, to step out of the digital rat race for a few hours or days. You may feel refreshed and renewed and probably find yourself with a lot of extra time.
Try working an annual detox into your calendar, perhaps over the Christmas holidays. Or build up the habit of putting your phone in a drawer on a Sunday for a regular break.
Write a to-do list
There’s nothing worse than fighting off churning thoughts and endless to-dos when you’re trying to get to sleep. An excellent way to combat this is to write a to-do list before you go to bed. Some call it a ‘brain dump,’ but in theory it’s just a way to help get those thoughts out of your head and onto paper. This way you’re not dealing with the underlying stress of trying to remember everything you have to remember while you’re trying to sleep.
Get a good night’s sleep
Talking of sleep, one of the best things you can do for your well-being is to get a good solid eight hours of it. It improves your energy levels and can boost your immunity and mental performance. Struggling to drift off? Keeping your room dark, avoiding screen time an hour before bed, having a warm bath can help.