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Rest and Relaxation
These tips are about incorporating rest and relaxation into your day-to-day life.
Relaxation techniques take practice, be patient with yourself as you learn. If something doesn't work, try a new technique. Take this quiz, from Inner Health Studio, to recognize your own relaxation patterns!
Watching or doing things you liked as a kid can help to indulge your inner child, which can lower your stress and bring you a sense of relaxation. Check out some of our favourite childhood TV shows and see if you can remember yours!
Try a sleep journal to help you track your sleep and nightime routine. Look for patterns to see what routine suits you best! Here are some nighttime journal prompts.
White noise can be great for creating a calm, relaxing environment. Use a fan, app, or music to get an even better night's rest.
Take 5 minutes to grab a cup of herbal tea such as chamomile, lavender, peppermint, oat flower, or lemon balm. Focus on every sip and let the warmth relax your body and mind.
Having a short stretching routine can help you relax both mentally and physically when you feel the tension set in your body. Lie down on a soft surface and tense up one part of your body at a time, and then slowly release your muscles. Pay attention to the sensations.
Be intentional with your rest time. It's easy to work through the week and then rest on the weekend but this might lead to quicker burnout. Make sure to schedule rest time in small pockets throughout the week.
Rest and relaxation are an essential part of our day-to-day life. Rest is not something that is earned, but a necessity. Try to remind yourself of that!
Striving for the perfect rest routine might also lead to stress. Try to be patient and gentle with yourself when you rest, test out different routines and don't try to optimize them.
Take a five-minute break to peel, slice, and bite into a juicy mango. Mangos contain a compound called linalool, the main ingredient in lavender essential oil. And you know what lavender does... reduces your stress and anxiety and helps you to relax!
Instead of counting sheep to fall asleep, try counting and timing your breaths. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and breathe out for 8 seconds. Do this repeatedly and you will likely begin to feel drowsy.
Try to avoid electronics close to your bed time. The brightness and blue light emitted by the screens stimulates the brain and can disrupt sleep cycles.
Meditating is a great form of resting. Take breaks to close your eyes and just be. Or, if you prefer something to listen to, there are tons of free guided meditations out there!
Pick up some poetry and sit back. Not every kind will appeal to you, but the one that speaks to you can be life affirming as well as a great relaxation companion.
If you’re feeling stressed, find a song or album you love. Find a comfy seat, sit back and just listen.
Are you a daydreamer? Next time you're daydreaming and looking to relax, try doing some guided imagery: envision yourself in a calm and comforting environment, try to imagine all of your senses experiencing this environment, and create details as vividly as you can.
Not sure how to relax through your breaths? Check out this blog, 6 Breathing Exercises to Try.
Heavy meals, high sugar intake, and caffeine close to bedtime can often cause acid reflux and other bodily disruptions that can mess with hormones that impact your sleep. If you're planning to head to bed soon, try opting for a small but satisfying snack instead.
Taking a warm bath can be a great way to loosen up tension and provide relaxation. Treat yourself to some bubbles while you're at it!
It's hard to relax when you're trying to keep track of all the to-dos in your head! Making lists of them can decrease your anxiety and provide feelings of accomplishment when you check off tasks as you complete them.
It's a common myth that alcohol will help you sleep. It is actually more likely to disrupt your sleep and can cause a reduction in your REM (rapid eye movement) sleep stage. This often leaves you feeling tired the next day, so try to avoid alcohol before bed!
If it's safe for you to do so, making some time (approximately 30 minutes) for healthy movement in your day is likely to have a positive impact on your sleep. Just try not to do it within 3 hours of your desired bedtime so that you aren't too stimulated to sleep!
It can be hard to sleep when we have a lot on our minds. Sometimes we're better able to rest if we can write some of our thoughts out. Try keeping a notebook near your bedside so that you can write things down as they come up.
Try to be mindful of how much liquid you're having before bed, as this may cause disruptions to your sleep by waking you up with the need to use the bathroom. If you can avoid drinking within two hours of bedtime, you'll hopefully rest better!
Resting doesn't necessarily mean you need to be still. Sometimes using our hands for activities like colouring, painting, building things with modelling clay, puzzles, etc. can also provide much needed rest for our nervous system.
Recite a helpful mantra or quote before bed. Going to bed with healing thoughts can have a positive impact on our dreams and make for a more restful sleep.
"Forest bathing" is a Japanese relaxation method of simply being present in nature. Green spaces and our mindful observations of them can have a powerful impact on our minds and bodies. Give it a try and observe your surroundings as your body relaxes.
Reading fiction is said to have significant relaxation benefits, among others. Look for a fiction novel that piques your interest and let yourself unwind as you get lost in the story.
On average, a healthy amount of sleep for teenagers is between 8 to 10 hours a night. For an adult, it's best to get an average of 7 to 9 hours a night. It's different for everyone, so if you still aren't feeling rested, seek advice from your family doctor.
If you find yourself tossing and turning, see if you can get out of bed and go to a different room to try a relaxing activity. Activities like reading or doing a word search may help you to feel sleepy enough to go back to bed and try again.
Don't wait until you're burnt out to get some quality rest and relaxation - take a proactive approach and try to prioritize downtime regularly, you may even ward off burnout that way.