Unwinding at home is a common topic in our recent blogs. The benefits of dedicating a part of your day for some relaxing you time range from improved mental health, to better sleep quality and decreased stress, but working in care can mean you have very limited time to do this. Putting others’ needs before you comes with the territory, especially if you have other personal responsibilities. Getting your work-life balance to a good place is difficult but doing some of these everyday activities can help your day become more enjoyable.
Give your eyes a break and reconnect with your other senses by having someone else do the work for a change. All you need to do is listen. Discover new music from your favourite bands or reminisce over nostalgic classics. Learn about interesting topics from podcasts, be transported to a different world in an audiobook, get sucked into an entertaining radio soap opera. Regaining control of your identity by making time to appreciate the things you love is important, and you can do it with your eyes shut.
All levels of exercise can be relaxing depending on how hard you like to push yourself – everyone is different. If running or weightlifting doesn’t sound like your kind of workout, a light yoga, stretching or walking session can be equally fulfilling and calming. On the surface it’s physically demanding and might not seem like your ideal way to wind down, but exercise takes us out of the moment and forces us to focus. The only person who matters when you’re trying to push through the pain is you, and coming out the other side is a great feeling of accomplishment combined with mood-boosting adrenaline and endorphins. Ending the day on a high is a perfect way to unwind.
3. Rediscover a Hobby or Try Something New
Most of us have dabbled in some kind of activity we’ve really related to over the years. Writing, drawing, painting, baking, gardening, sewing, swimming, playing music, puzzles or games – the list goes on. It’s a shame when talents get pushed aside by our daily responsibilities. Expressing ourselves is a hugely important way to release built up energy and strengthen our character. Alternatively, take the time to experiment and find new ways of being creative.
4. Herbal teas
There is an abundance of different tea out there to try. There seems to be something for everyone, like Peppermint and Liquorice, Green Tea and Salted Caramel or a mysterious packaged mix of bags simply labelled as Night Time or Immune Defence. Walking through the aisle in the supermarket can be a bit overwhelming and we don’t always bother taking a closer look, but many basic ingredients in tea have different health benefits.
Start small and work your way to the more interesting selections. For example, chamomile tea is known for having calming and anti-inflammatory properties, peppermint can enhance stamina and improve breathing and ginger can help with nausea and ease muscle pain. Take some time and research all the different benefits of teas and spend ten minutes on an evening to sample and discover your favourite. Herbal teas don’t have caffeine so won’t affect your sleep.
5. Clear Your Mind
This may be both the simplest yet trickiest method on the list. Simple in the sense you don’t need to buy anything, and anybody can do it. It’s tricky because clearing your mind is a skill that needs to be learned and mastered. There are a few different ways to do this with the most well-known probably being meditation, which has several potential benefits like reducing stress, improving sleep, managing anxiety and promoting self-awareness. There are numerous free resources online to help you learn meditation.
Another option is practicing mindfulness, also known as living in the moment. The idea is to not think about the past or future and focus entirely on what you’re doing at the present time. Many consider this another form of meditation. Your focus could be on something as basic as taking a breath or enjoying a walk, experiencing what you normally take for granted on a deeper level. You do this by blocking out all distractions. The more you practice it throughout the day, the more headspace you should have leading to clearer thinking. This helps us to deal better with any problems or stress life throws our way, whilst little everyday annoyances become insignificant and not worth your time.
Our tips may sound like they require a certain level of effort to make a habit of and you may be thinking you don’t have any extra energy to spare. However, compared to sitting down in front of the TV, which although relaxing, drains our energy, the above should have the opposite effect. Self-improvement brings accomplishment and growing your skillsets can reinvigorate you. Don’t think of winding down as getting ready for bed, think of it as a time to reflect and switch off from the real world.