Learn How to Relax

It seems as though relaxing is something everyone should be able to do, but very few people are truly able to fully relax. It’s not as simple as having an off switch, although that would be great.

Being able to relax is something we actually have to learn and practice and learning to relax is extremely important for your health and well-being. The Wall Street Journal notes that about one-quarter of the population could be classified as workaholics, and about 3% of the population become ill when they attempt to relax on vacation. Being stressed has become a habit and it’s no wonder, as many of us wear a multitude of hats. Between being a mother, a manager, a girlfriend, a volunteer, a community member, a woman, an athlete, a comedian (self-proclaimed), a daughter and a human being, when does one actually get to unplug fully and completely relax?

I’ve practiced these 3 suggestions (sometimes successfully…other times not so much) and would like to share as they have worked for me:

  • It might sound silly, but schedule time to worry about things that are bothering you. Doing that kind of compartmentalizing is said to reduce overall stress and anxiety. That being said, address the worry, make a plan to fix it, solve it (or not) and move on. Moving on is key.
  • Make sure you're taking care of the "three pillars of health"—nutritionexercise, and sleep. If one of these are being neglected in your life, then your body will be out of sorts and you'll be less able to cope with stress. Go to bed early. Make healthy food choices. Eat regularly. Get your body moving once a day even if it’s for a short period of time. I have a 7 mins work out app, which is great when you’re highly scheduled. Quick, east simple and fast!
  • Taking breaks is the key to avoiding burnout. On a work day, go for a 15 mins walk around the block. The fresh air will do you good. A change of perspective, fresh air and your body moving allows you to re-set, re-focus and return to the job at hand. This suggestion, of taking breaks can also extend into your vacation time. Use your vacation time and use it wisely. Actually, go away, unplug, change your scenery and do something new.

Stay tuned for recommendations on trying new things and the benefit to your brain.