In today's fast paced environment full of distractions in the form of screens, social media, endless streaming services, and the feeling of needing to be productive all day every day, the art of relaxation has dropped to the bottom of our to-do lists.
This week, we’re bringing you 5 easy ways to incorporate a little more relaxation into your life on a daily basis. So grab a hot cup of Decaf, unclench your jaw (yes, we’re talking to you) and settle into our 5 minute read, with a bonus reading list at the end if you want to take your journey to chill to the next level!
Pick Your Soundtrack
The music that soundtracks our life is unique, we all have different tastes so there’s no right or wrong answer here! In our office, the relaxation sounds blaring from our headphones range from Aussie Rock, to White Noise, to Classical Jazz. Whatever works for you is A OK! Our tip, have a custom chill out playlist set up on your Spotify, and drop in any songs that make your shoulders drop, and your breathing regulate when you’re on the go.
Get Back To Nature
We’re not talking about a 5 day off grid camping trip in the middle of the rainforest, we’re talking about embracing those 5 minute bursts of sunshine walking to the letter box, or taking your shoes off and curling your toes into a lush patch of grass in the park down the road on your lunch break. Set a weekly nature date into your schedule, find your nearest beach, lake or stream and dip your feet in on the weekends, or take your book outside to catch some sunshine instead of staying on the couch.
Read A (Proper) Book
Bonus points if you pick one from our reading list and take it outside! While devices are convenient, nothing beats the feel (and smell, but maybe that’s just me!) of a traditional book. By going back to the old school paper novel, you won’t be distracted away from the narrative by notifications pinging on your phone while you’re trying to zone out. Like music, taste in books is subjective, so find a genre that allows you to fully disengage from reality and let your brain go on a journey!
Focus On Your Breathing
At a recent physio session, I was reminded about the importance of some good, deep belly breaths, not just while exercising but all throughout the day. Focusing on breathing deep into your abdomen helps push more oxygen into your lungs, and in times of stress and anxiety (hello peak hour traffic), can help distract your mind and avoid shallow or anxious breathing. We can’t think of a better example of a quick and easy way to incorporate conscious breathing into your daily routine, than the method used by our friends over at @cool2beconcious. Make sure you wear your comfy pants, fashion loves a high waisted pant, but they’re not conducive to a proper belly breath!
As much as we love a high intensity workout and the endorphins that it brings, we also love to slow down and reconnect with our minds and bodies in a gentle movement session.
Yoga and Tai Chi are super accessible workouts for experienced athletes and beginners alike! Check out your local community page for a class that fits in with your routine and vibe. Whether you prefer an instructor-led class at your local gym, a YouTube tutorial at home, or want to take the flow to the beach, or even try yoga with goats, there’s an option for everyone.
Bonus Reading list:
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Adams
The authority of the authors alone should be enough reason to want to sit and devour this uplifting read. This meeting of the minds of two of the greatest spiritual leaders of our time is sure to bring some insight to every reader.
Sukey and Elizabeth Novogratz
Designed for the sceptic, this is a great guide to help beginners overcome their reservations around meditation, and tap into the multitude of benefits it can bring when practiced regularly.
How to Change Your Mind
A controversial inclusion, but a fascinating insight into the up and coming use of psychedelics in the space of rewiring your mind, embracing your spirituality and overcoming trauma and mental health challenges.