It seems like all you hear about on the news and social media these days is how stressful this past year has been, and for good reason: it is absolutely true. While the validation of your stress and anger levels is comforting in some ways, it does not help to constantly harp on these negative feelings.
Fortunately for you, there are still many months left in 2021, which gives you plenty of time to find peace and relaxation. With a little help from some useful relaxation tips and products (and a bit of time, self love, patience, and forgiveness), 2021 can still be one of the best, calmest years you’ve ever had.
It Starts with the Self
Before you can really get the most out of any new self care routines, it is important to do a thorough check in with yourself in order to take your temperature: mentally, emotionally, and physically. A relaxation wellness journey has to begin with a willingness to let go and unclench. For many, this is more difficult than you would think. People living under great deals of stress tend to adapt and live in a constant state of anxiety. Even once the need for that increased tension has been alleviated, you might find that you are still just as jittery and on edge as you were before.
This is incredibly common and can be a source of huge frustration for those who are just trying to move on with their lives after a particularly trying period. People suffer from the after effects of trauma every day without realizing it and so continue to run themselves ragged. Often all they need to start down the road to healing is forgiveness for themselves, from themselves. You may find that you are your own worst critic, and while self-analysis is important, you must also acknowledge when you go through struggles and give yourself the empathy that you would give any other person.
Once you have allowed yourself to realize and truly believe that you are worthy of rest and peace, you will find it much easier to accept the gift of relaxation. When you have the room to quiet your mind and listen to your body you will find that it provides a roadmap to the kinds of treatments that will be most helpful to you.
Get Ready to Get Well
You will be hugely relieved to learn that a journey seeing relaxation and self help does not have to be made solo. In fact, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to find support and suggestions through researching tips and techniques and talking to others for product recommendations. Here are a few key tools to get you jump started:
Get Moving on the Path to Relaxation
One of the best ways to get out negative energies and stress is to work them out of your body literally: with a workout. For many, just the thought of exercising can be a stress trigger, invoking ideas of high priced gym memberships, aches and pains, and the embarrassment of giving up when things get too hard.
But a workout does not have to be hardcore; on the contrary, you can give your body the exercise it needs while still promoting a sans stress physical regimen. A great example of a workout that offers amazing relaxation benefits for people at all levels of fitness is yoga. You can practice yoga in a group setting at a local studio or even do your sun salutations on your own front porch with a solo workout video found online (such as the at-home studio sessions offered through Alo Moves).
One of the best parts about yoga practice is that it teaches you to be comfortable in your own skin through stretching and self-awareness. To get the most benefits from the exercise, be sure to invest in some comfortable, supportive yoga clothing that fits your body and personality. All those yoga stretches will make stretching out in your hammock even more comfortable!
Keeping Sew Calm
Ever hear the expression “idle hands are the devil’s playground?” When we are stressed and do not have much to do (or can’t seem to focus on all the millions of things there are to get done), it is easy for fidgety hands to get into bad behaviors that add to our anxiety, such as overeating or obsessive social media scrolling. There is a better way to keep your hands occupied that is fun, productive, and also extremely soothing to the body, mind, and soul.
Needlework is not just for your grandma; handmade garments are back in a big way. Knitting, crocheting, cross-stitching, and embroidering are all awesome hand-held hobbies that can produce a calming effect and some beautiful clothes or gifts at the same time. If you are looking to get even deeper into the world of homemade fabric items, consider investing in a sewing machine and other accessories, such as those offered at Love Sew. They offer a huge variety of sewing products for folks who are just beginning to old school experts in the craft. An added bonus: the hum of a sewing machine is extremely soothing to the ear!
Get App-y and Get Happy
Thankfully you can still maintain a routine regimen of calming activity even when you are on the go. There are tons of different apps available for you to download on your mobile device that will be there to give you a soothing boost when you need it, wherever you are. One such app is Calm. The Calm app offers an incredible variety of options for those desperately in need of a method to deal with stress, such as:
- Music for relaxation and unwinding
- Video instruction on gentle techniques for taking care of your body that you can use
- Masterclasses led by internationally respected leaders in the world of stress and relaxation
- Scenes from nature to play in the background of your home or office
- Meditation information, advice, and guidance
With all the above benefits (and then some) in a handy app, Calm is a very worthy addition to the self care arsenal for today’s busy individual.
Catch Your Breath and Catch a Break
There are so many products and tools you can explore to find your perfect relaxation routine. Do not be afraid to reach out to trusted friends and relatives for advice and suggestions. You may also want to consider scheduling some time with a counselor or therapist who would be able to give you expert advice and objective feedback. Remember, admitting you need help is not a sign of weakness, but a show of strength.
You are absolutely worth the time and care it takes to get out of the mire of a stressful year and back into a comfortable, relaxed way of being. At the end of the day, you are the only one in control of your health and happiness. It can be hard to believe that you are deserving of the freedom to let go, but remember to try and practice that same forgiveness and love with yourself that you give to your dearest ones. So take a few breaths, take advantage of all the possibilities at hand, and take the plunge into a healthier, more relaxed 2021.