Rest & Relaxation

When was the last time you took time out for yourself?  With all the demands and expectations placed on people today I think is very important for everyone to take time out for themselves. I make it a point to prioritize time for myself every single day and the results have been immense.  

I find that it is important to just relax so that your mind and body can function at the very best it can. I will admit there have been times I have not taken time out for myself and for years I could go for very long periods without doing this and I would literally run myself into the ground ending up with more hospital admissions and more time off studying/work. Looking back I realise I could have avoided quite a lot of that had I taken one or two days off when I first noticed I was getting small symptoms (tiredness, aches, more irritable etc) and just simply taken the time out to rejuvenate.

When I first started to do this and I will admit at times small doubts crept into my head and I felt slightly bad as I knew I wasn’t that sick and I probably could have gone to work. At times I did second guess myself and I would say that is the hardest part. On the one hand I knew I wasn’t that sick that I couldn’t do anything but on the other hand I knew if I continued sooner or later it would result in weeks or even months of me being so sick that I would be unfit for work and unable to participate in the things I enjoy taking part in.

When I had any doubts I simply reminded myself that rest & relaxation is just as important as my daily medication, it is there to prevent more serious problems occurring. As long as I didn’t use it as an excuse to not do things I didn’t want to do, then there was nothing wrong with it.

I quickly began to notice that when I didn’t have any rest and time for myself for more than 3 days I was:

  • More irritable
  • Always tired
  • Had poor sleep
  • Had a constantly aching body
  • Had a short-temper
  • Felt constantly drained

It made me realise just how different I felt and how differently I behaved when I didn’t prioritise it.

Schedule in Me-Time

I now schedule 3 hours every day for Me-Time as I have found it to be an excellent preventative measure and something that has completely transformed how I cope with daily situations.  I have been doing this for the past 3 years and I tend to only need 1 hour or even less however I decided 3 hours was the best thing for me to do because if I have had a particularly stressful or energetically draining day, then I may spend a lot longer on certain areas.  My me-time usually consists of 2 stages:

  1. Meditation

I use journaling as my form of meditation.  The important thing to remember is there is no right or wrong way to meditate.  I found for me writing is therapeutic and from a young age I have always used writing to express myself so journaling has proven to be very effective for me.  It feels like I am literally taking out what is in my mind and I always feels lighter when I have finished writing.  I like to listen to relaxing music to heal & balance my chakras whilst journaling.

  1. Pampering

I love anything to do with pampering.  It makes me feel loved, warm & fuzzy, cosy and lushious.  It is a great way to boost my mood, unwind and just relax.  I will either:

  • Have a hot bath with bubbles/dead sea salt/Himalayan salt/bath bomb
  • Wash & Style my hair with deep conditioning treatments
  • Have a homemade, natural facial
  • Have a foot soak & pedicure

I also listen to relaxing music to heal & balance my chakras or I might listen to a podcast, it all depends on how I feel at the time.

Results

What I have found is that by doing this every day I function a lot better and there have been a lot of benefits:

Mentally

  • Improved concentration
  • Less mental clutter – I no longer have a million & one things running through my mind as my thoughts are written down on paper rather than taking up unnecessary room in my head.
  • Improved sleep quality

Emotionally

  • Feel more calm & peaceful
  • Improved communication – I can articulate my feelings better as they are no longer suppressed so it doesn’t come out in an overly emotional angry confrontation at unwanted times (no more crying over spilt milk!)
  • More emotionally stable

Physically

  • More energy – improved sleep so I wake up more refreshed.
  • Less aches & pains

Spiritually

  • Less judgmental – I am able to process my thoughts a lot better and see situations from a different/wider perspective rather than viewing things as a personal attack.

The beauty of rest and relaxation is that it is unique to you. You decide what you want to do. It should be something that isn’t too taxing on the brain or the body, so if meditation isn’t for you but a pyjama day in front of the TV is perfect for you then I say go for it.  Create your perfect me-time and block out space in your diary for it.  I preferred to do it in the evenings as it is the perfect wind down before bed and allows me to reflect on the whole day but that may not be right for you.  You may find that you don’t want to do it every day (although I can’t see why you wouldn’t) and that is absolutely fine.  It is important to remember this is about you and being consistent with your me-time is key so whether it is once a week or once a day schedule it in & see how much better you feel.

Let me know what you do for your me-time in the comments section below.

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