Everyone has their own way to relax, and I am always full of curiosity about each one. I love to learn new ways to unwind and take care of myself, so I collect thoughts and rituals about de-stressing whenever I can. It’s relaxing just to know that there are so many different ways you can let go! The biggest has got to be meditation and rest. Giving yourself time to stop, take a deep breath, and pay attention to your body and the movements of the world around you are essential to slowing your heart rate. Connecting with friends and people you love is another way that you can recharge, and can give you room to share frustrations and then focus on the good times you have together.
Scents can also be powerful for setting your heart at ease. It’s so beautiful to me that scent is tied so closely to memory, and a familiar smell can take you right back to a peaceful moment in a safe place. Whether you prefer incense, perfume, scented candles, or oils, or anything in between, taking a moment to prepare an herbal tea or take out a sachet that reminds you of another time can take you out of a dark or overly busy place and into the moment of simply breathing in.
Tea often seems to me like the best magic potion of all. It’s been proven that even just envisioning or looking at a picture of a cup of tea has the power to soothe, so imagine what it can do to make yourself a cup, fully engaged, paying close attention to the color of the water as it changes, the rising of steam, the seconds counting down until it’s time to remove the leaves. The way the light reflects off the water, the scent as it climbs through the air, so many aspects of making tea seem so blissful and quiet, and require your full patience and attention to really observe. Tea takes time to be enjoyed. I think all of these things are a part of why tea can be so calming.
When all else fails, I just want to get away. I want to go to a cottage on the coast. I want to hear the sound of the waves, see the clouds roll gently across the sky, the grass flap in the wind. While living near the sea has been proven to be good for your mental health, it’s rarely possible for us to run away to a quiet cottage on the water. I like to do what I can, though – go to a park, get in some activity (exercise has been shown to improve mental health and function as well as mood), loll about in a sunny room, and… look at pictures of Norway on tumblr.
What do you do to relax?