For a while now I’ve been thinking about writing more posts that’s not just about… food. Showing you another side to The Greenerer, ya know? Stuff that only those closest to me get to see. I will share everything from my own personal interests to adventures with my husband. Obviously, food-related things too. So every last Thursday of the month, I’ll post a blog on my curiosity’s, memories, and everything in between.
What better way to start off this series, by sharing my top five ways to relax. These are the ways that help me relax, I encourage all of you to experiment to find what works for you. Humans are such interesting creatures and what feeds one soul may be completely different than what feeds another soul. Which is something I learned throughout this whole pandemic. This understanding that what nurtures each person can be completely different from one to the next and we should not judge one another, is something I hope to carry with me in my everyday life when this is all over.
Give these relaxing tips a try and let me know in the comments what you personally do to relax!
- Take a warm bath.
I have been a bath lover from a child. When I was sick, heartbroken, needed to unwind I always went to have a bath, which always seemed to help. I find water very soothing and feel water has the ability to wash away energy. When I feel exposed to someone’s negative energy, having a bath or shower always helps rinse it away, literally. Instead of a bath, I also like to lie in the bathtub with just the shower pouring on me. I also like the sound of water. Why not elevate your bath experience by adding Epsom salts, essential oils, and body scrubs to help you delve into further relaxation.
- Read a book.
Those who have read a book that you cannot put down, knows, books can be the ultimate escape from reality, and thus, help you to relax. Reading at night always helps me to sleep too. The hardest part though, is finding that perfect book. My favourite book of all time is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The entire book is so poetic to me, every sentence is an inspirational quote and metaphor for the greatest meanings in life, yet is told through a simple story. I highly recommend this book as a good starting point. The easiest way to find a book that interests you is to understand what you’re interested in. There are love stories, ghost stories, crime, fiction, non-fiction, memoirs and biographies, try to find something that suits your needs. I personally like ‘chick lits’, like a chick flick movie but a book. They’re an easier read, little love story in there, a plot twist is always welcomed. My favourite author for ‘chick lits’ is Taylor Jenkins-Reid, I have read every single one of her books and recommend them all. Leave a comment below on what your favourite book is so I can check them out!
- Practice yoga.
I was going to put ‘exercise’ for this one, but exercising can cause anxiety and exhaustion sometimes and that’s not the purpose of this. The purpose is to relax, and yoga does just that. There are so many different types of yoga; hatha, restorative, yin, and many more. If you’ve never done yoga before or are new to some of the different types I highly recommend restorative yoga for relaxation, it can be defined as a ‘guided nap’. It is the ultimate yoga to do before going to bed, best not to do this one first thing in the morning because it may just put you back to sleep. Yin yoga is also another amazing yoga, actually it’s my favourite type. It is about 5 poses in an hour or so, so you are holding the poses for much longer. This really helps me relax as you hold the poses you have to take deeper breaths, emotions start to pop up and its better than therapy for dealing with my shit. I have an online yoga membership from Yyoga, it’s a cheap monthly subscription with tonnes of different online yoga classes, you can also find a bunch for free on YouTube.
The ultimate goal of meditation is to relax and/or focus the mind. Meditation comes in many different forms; walking meditation, mindful journaling, breath work and much more. Meditation can seem daunting if you don’t know where to start but all you need to start with is one minute a day, then go to 5 minutes, 10 minutes etc. It takes time and work to build up your ability to meditate and the longer doesn’t always mean the better. This can be a short practice at any time of day (first thing in the morning or in the evening works best for me). Sometimes my practice of mindful meditation is writing the top 3 things in a journal that I am grateful for that day. Other times I practice 5-10 minutes of pranayama breathwork in the evening. There is also an app called ‘Insight Timer’ that is free to use and has different types and lengths of guided meditations no matter your mood. Also doing certain activities where you ‘zone’ out can be a therapeutic form of meditation, I really relax when I do puzzles. Find something that relaxes you maybe that’s painting, or cleaning.
- Eat well.
I saved the best for last. Food can have such a huge impact on your mood. If you are fueling your body with processed fats, oils, sugars, your body may not physically be able to relax. Eating a colourful diet full of fruit and vegetables can really make you feel better i.e. more relaxed, happier, less anxious. There are also foods that promote relaxation such as, lavender tea, chamomile, magnesium rich foods, turmeric, walnuts, and fermented foods like coconut yoghurt.