Re-learning to relax (and my top de-stressing tips)

10 years ago if I had a quiet afternoon, you’d have found me curled up on the sofa with a book, a bar of chocolate and a really big smile on my face. There might also have been a cheeky, guilt-free afternoon nap once the sugar high wore off. Nowadays I seem to have completely lost that ability. A quiet hour leads to panicked thoughts of ‘shit, I should probably be dusting or something instead of sitting here’. Or more normally, I check my phone for two minutes, only to find that 37 minutes later I’m still stalking people on Instagram and accidentally liked a photo of theirs from 2 years ago. Epic fail.

Basically, I suck at chilling out. The 22 year old carefree me has been overtaken with grown up stuff like polishing skirting boards and other really fun stuff (note, really not fun stuff) and has lost the ability to sit and do nothing.

So over the past few weeks I’ve been attempting to get back into it, to turn off my brain and to really enjoy a bit of me time. I thought I’d share a few of my top tips for a successful de-stress. Especially if like me, it doesn’t exactly come naturally.

1. Turn off your phone. Like, actually power the damn thing off, shove it in a different room and pretend it’s not there for an hour. Don’t waste your valuable me time on Twitter updates and photos of other people’s babies/cats on Facebook. You’ve got 23 other hours in the day to do that.

2. Pick one activity and stick to it. Don’t flit around doing little bits of everything, you’ll end up accomplishing nothing. Do one thing, move on to the next.

3. Portion up your time. So you’ve got 2.5 hours spare. Take an hour for yourself (whether that’s Netflix, a pamper sesh or your favourite book), 30 minutes to do a quick tidy up, 30 minutes to make a tasty snack and 30 minutes for whatever else is playing on your mind. That way you can focus on one task at a time without the usual guilt that you should be doing something else instead of sitting on the sofa in your Moomin PJs.

4. Get outside. Fresh air can literally work wonders when you’re stressed out. Whether it’s a quick walk around the block, a trip to the local park, or a stroll at the seaside, get out there and do it. The seaside is my happy place, so I like to spend as much time there as I can. There’s something so calming about the sound of the waves and the wind in your face (massive cliché, but IDGAF). The ice creams also help nicely.

5. Be indulgent. Take that hour long bath with your Lush bath bomb (use a whole one and feel super extravagant and also slightly fizzy), get your favourite treat, make your ‘OMG it’s Friday’ drink – whatever it takes. You deserve it.

6. Smell nice things. I am a huge fan of pulse point oil things (there is probs a more technical term for these, but whatever). I’ve got ones for de-stressing and ones for a mood boost when I need perking up. This Works/Aromatherapy Associates are total winners in these stakes. A good scented candle is also a bonus – doesn’t have to be ridiculously expensive, just one that makes you smile when you give it a sniff.

What are your top tips for relaxing and de-stressing?


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