Take time out for you The world tends to weigh us down on a daily basis, whether you work in a stressful job, you have children or you're a student. Not everyone has the luxury of being alone. So take some time each day, just for you. My friends mum told me how she would lock herself in the bathroom for half an hour with a glass of wine, some candles and a hot bath. She would ignore the world around her and lose herself in fiction. I have a bath almost every night, it not only helps with relaxation but I also benefit medically. I thought my doctor was joking when he recommend I try a Jacuzzi a few times a week. It's a cliché but it really works. The hot water raises your core body temperature which acts as a trigger to help you fall asleep. Trust me a few drops of lavender and complete silence is my perfect mid week getaway.
Brew some tea I used to have an awful habit of drinking large mugs full of tea on a daily basis. I'm slowly reducing my caffeine intake in a bid to help me sleep. I invested in a variety of herbal teas from various places, we have more tea than we know what to do with it at the moment. I splashed out on a special mug and after each meal I brew up my favourite peppermint blend, this helps with digestion and is super refreshing. In the evening, half an hour before bed I am currently trying calming camomile, it's such a treat!
Meditate Now I'm not saying you need to practice this religiously but even ten minutes switched off has been proven to improve concentration and mood. Try finding a comfortable position, preferably on the floor (you can sit on a cushion or mat) focus on you posture first, align yourself correctly and then focus on your breathing. When I began this six years ago, I would simply count to ten in my head. Each time a thought popped up I would simply go back to one. Sometimes it takes a while to clear your mind and reach ten, but when you do, it feels great!
Exercise I have never been one to over exhort myself. You will never see me running and I hate anything that involves hitting a ball. But I've always enjoyed a good boogie. As a child I used to take ballet classes and even went to a performing arts college where I danced six hours four days a week. These days a local Zumba class or Pilates DVD gets me sweaty. During I feel like I'm going to keel over but I push myself, when I'm done I have bags of energy, I'm almost productive. How this helps me unwind by 9pm I'm flat out and sleep like a log.
Pamper yourself This to me is the most important. Every sunday without fail I run my nightly bath, a little earlier than usual. I drop in a Lush bath bomb, tie up my hair, apply my face mask and simply feel the stress ooze away. Afterwards I smother myself in body butter, paint my toenails, pluck my eyebrows, file my nails, the works. It's my weekly MOT just to make sure I can tackle anything the week throws at me.
Do you use any other ways to de-stress, I would love to try out something new this year.