Let’s face it, life these days is generally pretty hectic, fast-paced, unorganised, and in some instances, just downright stressful. Many of us find ourselves struggling to find enough hours in the day to fit everything in that we like, and as a result we’re constantly on our toes, rushing from A to B, not really having the time to relax and unwind. Before we know it, the sun has gone down and it’s time for us to climb into bed and repeat the same hectic process all over again the next day. In these instances, many of us struggle to get a good night’s sleep because as we haven’t had chance to relax and unwind, our minds are racing, our brains won’t shut off, and we find ourselves tossing and turning. Sometimes it’s important to just take a step back, re-evaluate things, and take a little time for ourselves so that we can simplify things, relax and de-stress before things get on top of us. For many however, being able to relax and de-stress is easier said than done, and if that sounds familiar to you, take a look at the following 8 ways of helping to simplify your life, to beat stress, and to relax and unwind.
1. Simplify your finances – Let’s face it, for many of us, money and our finances are one of the biggest causes of stress and sleepless nights, so getting your finances in order is absolutely crucial if you wish to benefit from a little extra peace of mind. One of the easiest ways of doing this is to basically simplify them as much as possible. By this, we mean reducing the amount of various accounts you have, not having multiple store and credit cards that you have to manage, and basically sitting down so that you have a pretty accurate idea of how much money you have coming in each month, and how much you have going out. If you set up standing orders, rather than having several ones set up on different dates, if you know you will have all the money in to cover the bills at a certain point, set them so that they leave your account on the same date, for example on the 1st of each month.
2. Meditate daily – As far as beating stress and relaxing is concerned, you’ll be hard-pressed to come up with a better activity than meditation. All it takes is a few minutes each day to help beat stress and anxiety. The main reasons for this is that meditation has been found to help make your mind far more resilient to stress and stress-promoting hormones such as cortisol, as it helps to alter your brain’s natural neural pathways.
3. Exercise regularly – For beating stress, exercise is another great stress busting activity that provides numerous benefits to us in the process. Exercise not only makes us healthier, it also makes us look better, and feel better in the process. What’s more, exercise has also been proven to help increase the release of endorphins in our systems, which are referred to as “happy chemicals” as they make us feel happy, confident, and relaxed.
4. Eat healthier – Numerous studies have linked poor dietary and nutritional choices with elevated levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and various other negative conditions in the process. Rather than consuming processed junk foods packed full of artificial chemicals, trans fats, salt, sugar, and other harmful ingredients, instead try to eat fresher and healthier foods instead. Look for lean sources of protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. On top of that, drink plenty of fresh water each day as well, and cut out sugary sodas.
5. Try to be more organized – Another great way of not only making your life easier, but also of helping to relax and unwind is to become as organized as you possibly can. After cooking, don’t leave the pots, get them cleaned, washed and put away. Don’t let your laundry pile up for days upon days, keep on top of it, wash it, get it dry, and fold it neatly. Don’t leave clutter around your home, stack or store things neatly; keep on top of the cleaning etc. Each night take a couple of minutes to plan your outfit for the next day, and get everything out neat and tidy so you’re ready to go the next morning. Try to get into the habit of forming routines and you’ll be amazed by the difference it makes.
6. Relax before bed – Before you go to bed, take the time to relax so that your mind can slow down and begin to shut off slightly. Avoid watching violent and stimulating TV shows, don’t listen to loud and aggressive music, and instead try reading a book, listening to calm and tranquil music, and/or taking a long soak in a warm bath so that you can rest your tense, stiff, and aching muscles. Add simple aromatherapy by diffusing a few relaxing essential oils such as Lavender, sandalwood or a speciality relaxation blend using an essential oil diffuser to release an aromatic scent to help you relax and quieten your mind.
7. Focus on your day’s achievements – Whilst in bed, or just generally sitting and contemplating, focus your mind so that you picture everything you achieved that day. This can be absolutely anything you like, no matter how big or small it may be. If you cooked a delicious dinner, remind yourself how great it tasted, how it was made, and how much everybody else approved of it. If you had a productive day at work, again, focus on everything you got done there. Even if you cleaned the house, focus on that and how much better it looked after you’d done a little tidying and cleaning.
8. Share your worries with friends or family – We all have worries from time to time, and we all have problems. As the saying goes “a problem shared is a problem halved” and so if there is anything troubling you, share it with those who you hold near and dear and once you have got any issues off your chest, you’ll feel instantly better.