Everyone needs methods to feel calm and relaxed. Life has a tendency to throw plenty of stresses our way, which is why self-care is critically important. These seven activities work wonders when you’re feeling stressed out.
1 . Creative Writing
Creative writing is an amazing practice to feel calm and to de-stress. There are many ways that you can practice creative writing whether it’s short stories, poetry, or creative journaling. Creativity can help us to release emotions, escape and unwind. If you’re not sure where to begin, take a look at some creative journal prompts online. Here you’ll find some great ideas to make a start.
Aromatherapy is a wonderful practice for relaxation, essential oils have so many different health properties. You can use essential oils when you feel stressed, or when you need an energy boost. Try using oils like peppermint, and lavender to relax your mind and body. When you’re looking to improve your sleep try chamomile. There are lots of ways to use oils, you can use a diffuser, or add oil to the bath. Alternatively, you might like to rub essential oils into your skin or inhale them. If you’re looking for a therapeutic activity you might consider making your own essential oil perfume? There are lots of recipes that you can find online that are super easy to make.
3. Read A Book
Research from Dr. David Lewis discovered that ‘reading as little as six minutes a day can reduce stress levels by 60% by reducing your heart rate, easing muscle tension and altering your state of mind,’ (MHFA England). To lessen your stress levels and learn new things, treat yourself to a few new books. Reading is all about finding out what kind of books you like. There are plenty of genres to explore from magic realism to thrillers or abstract poetry.
4. Candle Making
Looking for a calming activity that’s lots of fun? Why not try candle-making? There are lots of Candle making kits online that can help you get started. Once you’ve made some beautiful candles you can use these to relax at home. When you’re choosing a candle-making kit remember that soy wax is the most eco-friendly option. Traditional candles are made with toxins which can be bad for the planet and your health.
Research from Positive Psychology suggests that meditation can boost empathy, improve cognition, and reduce stress levels. When you meditate you can soothe feelings of anxiety, take a break from your daily responsibilities, and reconnect with your body. There are many different ways to approach meditation. Some people prefer to silently explore their minds, while others use a guided meditation track. You might focus on an idea, or attempt to clear your brain and slow down frantic thoughts. To make a start try apps like Unplug or Simple Habit.
If you have trouble sleeping, meditation is the perfect way to unwind before bed. For other options, try taking herbal supplements like valerian root or ashwagandha. Plants can boost your mental health in many different ways!
According to a study from the Royal Horticultural Society, ‘People who garden every day have wellbeing scores 6.6% higher and stress levels 4.2% lower than those who do not garden at all, (Sky News 2021).
There are so many health benefits, you’ll keep fit, learn about plants, and feel less stressed. Growing your own foods is an amazing way to become more sustainable. You might also enjoy teaching your children about different plants and flowers. If you’d like to learn more about gardening you can try podcasts like ‘Roots & All Gardening’ and ‘Epic Gardening’.
7. Wild Swimming
Wild swimming is great fun, before you head out ensure that you research the lake that you’ll be swimming in. Some lakes are more polluted than others, but your local authorities should provide info on pollution levels and safety. Water activities are a great way to feel relaxed and at peace. You’ll get to explore the great outdoors and improve your fitness levels. Swimming during the winter has many health benefits. Coldwater swimming can help to boost the immune system, (yet you’ll need to follow the appropriate safety guidelines).
There’s no one fits all solution, some people will prefer some relaxation methods more than others. Try out several options, and see which activities feel the most natural to you. Ignoring stress symptoms can lead to adverse health effects, so it’s important that you find effective relaxation practices.
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