Holiday time: it’s meant to be relaxing, but often it can be more stressful than time spent at work! When you’re worried about organizing travel plans, coordinating events with family and friends, and trying to squeeze in last-minute arrangements such as buying presents, you can be left wondering why you feel more stressed than ever! We’ve discovered a few relaxation techniques that you can use if you ever feel overwhelmed:
1. Notice where you are, at this exact moment.
When you feel stressed out, take a minute to look at your surroundings and, as you do, take a deep breath. This may seem like a somewhat silly, obvious tip, but don’t underestimate its effect to bring you back to the present and put things into perspective. When you’re anxious or tense, you’re usually lost in your own worries and this simple technique helps put things into perspective for you. Whether the sun is shining or if you’re in good company, you’ll usually find something to appreciate that helps you relax.
Okay, so here’s another tip that may seem slightly odd but which is really effective. Grounding teaches you to notice how you’re connected to your environment, and awakens you to your senses. Notice where you’re standing, how your T-shirt feels against your skin, or what your view is, and we guarantee you’ll be temporarily distracted from your worries.
3. Slow down your breathing.
Here’s where you take notice of what’s happening inside your body, in particular your breathing. When you slow down your breathing a message is automatically sent to your brain that tells your body to calm down. Inhale for four seconds, and exhale for seven seconds. Do this for about a minute and you’ll feel a whole lot better.
This tip is all about treating yourself as you would treat a friend. If a friend were stressed out, you’d offer them words of comfort to make them feel better. Why wait for a friend to do this for you, when you can just do it for yourself? Offer yourself words of encouragement such as “I can get through this. I’ll be okay.” Give it a shot – it works.
Give these tips a try, and we guarantee your holiday will be more relaxing and enjoyable! We’ve also found an app that you’ll love, which is available for your Android phone or via the Google Play Store. It’s called Relaxation Techniques, and offers you simple relaxation tips which help you decrease muscle tension and improve your approach to stressful situations.