The idea that you need to be as busy as you possibly can be for as much of the time as possible is one that seems to have developed quickly over the past few years in some countries. Whereas European countries such as Spain and Italy prefer a more laidback way of life, in the USA, the UK, and a variety of other places around the world, that easy-going attitude doesn’t appear to be respected, and being busy is much more admired.
This makes sense, to a point. If you’re busy, you must be successful, or at least that how it looks. Of course, some busy people aren’t successful, they just have a lot to do. They’re carrying out plenty of tasks, but they’re not being overly productive with it, and that can lead to problems at home and at work.
Even those who are doing well and who enjoy being busy need to slow down from time to time. If they don’t take a moment or two to relax now and then they risk severe burnout and significant health problems, both physically and mentally.
The truth is, everyone needs to relax, and some need to relax more than others. Yet it can be challenging, particularly if everyone is expecting you to be busy at all times. Read on to find out what some of the best natural ways to relax are, and see how easy they would be to implement in your life. You’ll certainly feel better for it, and you might even become more productive. As Ovid said, “Take a rest. A field that has rested yields a beautiful crop.”
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is very relaxing, and the more you do it, the better you’ll feel. Adults are supposed to get between seven and eight hours’ sleep a night to be fully functioning the next day (although this will depend somewhat on the individual since this can vary from person to person), but many don’t do this. They go to bed late and then have trouble getting up when the alarm sounds, often snoozing it multiple times before staggering from the room to grab some coffee and begin the day already feeling tired.
It is far better if you can have a set bedtime and wake up time, and ensure you get enough hours of sleep in between. According to Mattress Insider’s sleep survey, 44 percent of Americans are not getting enough sleep, and if you fall into this category, try going to be earlier and see how you feel. This might mean switching off the TV or your laptop or tablet (or phone) earlier and changing your eating habits so you get to enjoy a meal a few hours before bed, but it will be worth it.
Get A Pet
Of course, getting a pet isn’t going to be suitable for everyone, and having one in your home might cause more stress than not, therefore destroying the idea that it might help you relax more. However, for animal lovers who have the money, space, and time for a pet, they can be perfect.
When you can focus your attention on your animal, whether it’s a dog, cat, fish, something small and furry, or something slithery, your mind won’t wander off and start thinking about all the other things you should or could be doing. Clearing your mind of everything other than the task at hand – in this case, caring for your pet, taking it for a walk, stroking it, and so on – can relax you in a short amount of time. When you go back to what you were doing, you’ll often be more productive overall.
Use Essential Oils
For those who want something a little less time consuming but who still want to be able to relax naturally, essential oils can be the answer. Since these oils, which help you to unwind and relax, can be used in all kinds of different ways, they are perfect for even those who have very little time to put aside to relax in. For example, you might:
- Put a little lavender oil on your pillow to help you sleep more soundly
- Drink chamomile tea
- Use your favorite relaxing oil as you soak in the tub
- Burn some incense
None of this has to take up too much time but will offer you an excellent way to relax. If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, essential oils can calm you.
How can exercising be relaxing when it takes so much effort and is physically exhausting (when done right)? It just doesn’t seem to add up, but in reality, exercising can be a brilliant way for those in need of relaxation to get it naturally. Again, it starts with focus. If you can concentrate solely on reaching your target or winning your game, you won’t be stressing about everything else, and we’ve already seen how relaxing this can be.
However, there is more to it than that. When exercising, your body will start to produce serotonin. This is known as the ‘happy hormone’ and it will aid in your relaxation efforts. Serotonin reduces the amount of cortisol (the ‘stress hormone’) in your body, and the result is after exercising you’ll feel good, relaxed, and happy.
What could be more natural than breathing? Since we have to do it all day, every day, we might as well make it something relaxing too, and this is where enjoying breathing exercises can be helpful. Apart from the fact that breathing exercises are ideal relaxation techniques, they are also excellent for those who don’t have a lot of time in their schedule since they can be done in just a few minutes – try just before bed or in the shower. You can multitask your breathing exercises, helping you out even more.
Stressed people breathe shallowly, and that means less oxygen can get into their bloodstream. This in turns causes problems with brain functionality, making even the most straightforward tasks much more difficult. What does this do? It causes stress. Therefore, by taking a few minutes to breathe deeply and fully, you can get more oxygen, have more brainpower, be more productive, and relax.