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Top 10 Ways to Relax and Practice Self-Care

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another blog post. While we tend to focus more on the technical side of things around here, today’s post is just as important as all the others. We’re talking about self-care actions you can take and why this seemingly small thing matters more than people realize.

Self-care is something often neglected but shouldn’t be. Not only do relaxation techniques help to clear your mind, they also bring about better general health and wellness. Even if a person takes just an hour a day or one day a week to relax and care for themselves, the benefits are well worth the time.

Every year, individual companies lose thousands due to burnout of employees that could’ve been avoided. This amount is over $100 Billion across the United States. That’s a lot, and it’s only including the expenditures of caring for those employees during their illnesses. If loss in productivity is added, according to the WHO, that number climbs into the trillions.

Three symptoms of chronic workplace stress, as identified by the WHO, are:

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • Increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings negative towards one’s career
  • Reduced professional productivity

It’s obvious how this can be a major problem, so when you have a day, or an hour, to yourself, it’s wise to take steps to alleviate stress. We’ll list just ten, but we’re positive you can come up with more.

  1. Have a Personal Spa Day – We’re not talking about going to a spa for a mani/pedi or a massage. This is more along the lines of setting up a relaxation space and tending to yourself. Put on a robe, grab some snacks, and either pop in some headphones or grab a book to read. Maybe even do your nails or give yourself a facial. Let everyone know they’re not to bother you. If this isn’t possible at home, find a quiet place elsewhere. When you’re more relaxed, you’re better able to interact with the people who share your space.
  2. Treat Yourself – This can be a favorite movie, book, or food. Heck, maybe you enjoy walking or running but can never “find the time.” Take it and approach it as a treat. Revel in it. Truly enjoy what you’re doing.
  3. Unplug – Too many people are attached to their electronic devices. You don’t owe anyone your free time. If someone sends you a message, it can wait until you plug back in. Turn your phone OFF (I know, sounds crazy, right?) and do something else for a while.
  4. Call a Friend and Chat – Just a phone call can have amazing health benefits. You get a chance to listen and speak. Talk about things other than work or politics. Take that time for yourself. This is also considered self-care.
  5. Play – So often, as adults, we forget what it’s like to simply play. Playtime has amazing health benefits because it helps to relax the body and mind. Engage in imaginative play or just dance around the living room for a while. Laugh, joke, and have fun. If you have kids, employ them to help. Ask what they like to do and join them.
  6. Stop and Smell the Flowers – We know this is an old adage, but what it means is to slow down and enjoy the little things. Take pleasure in the way the sun looks when it hits the grass, go splash in a puddle in the warm rain, or just breathe deeply and fully for five minutes. It’s rare that you’ll have a job where your brief inaction will bring about the end of the world. You DO actually have a minute to smell that flower.
  7. Practice Yoga or Meditation – Both of these things help to clear the mind and center the body. If you have a hard time turning your mind off, put on headphones and play white noise.
  8. Make Art – Art is fun and relaxing as long as you don’t take it too seriously. You can paint or doodle or draw on ANYthing. A box works, as does a scrap of paper. Just the act of moving a pen in a random direction has been shown to reduce stress. Make circles. Who cares? Just put a medium on a substrate. It helps.
  9. Get a Babysitter – This is for all of you with small children. Even if it’s a family member who takes the kids for an hour or two. Get them tended to, and DON’T clean the house while they’re gone. Take a nap, take a bath, or binge a show you’ve been wanting to watch. Above all else, don’t do chores during this time. You need a break.
  10. Get Out of the House – You can totally do it. Just go for a walk outside. Fresh air and sunshine both help to reduce stress. Oftentimes, as writers, we take walks or coffee/tea breaks and just relax our minds so the ideas come. If we don’t, we’re plagued with overthinking. If you struggle to walk, sit on a chair in the yard. Just get out of the house.

As we said, these aren’t the end-all-be-all solutions. There are more things you can do to refresh your mind and check out for a while. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to change it. Scheduling time for yourself has also been proven to reduce stress, and it gives you something to look forward to as you work through the day or week. We have tips on that here:

Thank you so much for reading, and if you have thoughts, we’d love to hear them! We hope you hang around and check out some of our other posts while you’re here. Until next time!

Contributor

Jo Michaels

Marketing Coordinator

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