Life can be hectic, so it’s important to consciously make time to slow down and pay attention to your wellbeing. This precious downtime reduces the physical and emotional effects of stress, leaving you feeling healthier and ready for anything. Here are 10 ways to find peace in the present, and improve your future health.
Even 20 minutes of meditation each morning can help to improve your concentration. You may find it tricky at first, but you should improve with time as well as seeing a reduction in anxiety and stress. Try downloading meditation apps that can guide you through the process, allowing you to take five wherever you are.
Take a walk
Get back to nature and take a walk in the park or an open space whenever you can. Besides benefiting your cardiovascular health, walking can help to boost energy levels, improve your mood, balance and coordination. It’s also a great way of having a good chat with a loved one or friend.
Cook from scratch
Cooking from scratch is a great way to wind down after a long day, and also ensures that you know exactly how much salt and sugar is in your food. Choose recipes with fresh, nourishing ingredients with a good balance of protein, grains, healthy fats and fresh vegetables, and enjoy treats such as alcohol and chocolate in moderation.
Book a massage
Sitting at a desk, especially when under pressure, can store a lot of tension across the back, neck and shoulders, resulting in aches and pains and general discomfort. A massage can help to alleviate this as well as putting the body into deep relaxation mode. Choose from a range of treatments such as aromatherapy, deep tissue, or Swedish massage and enjoy the time to be completely and utterly pampered.
Take time to breath
Sometimes our schedules can become so relentless that we forget to take the time to sit and breathe. Even just five minutes of controlled breathing a day can really help to manage stress levels. Try beginning your day with a Pranayama (breath control) session, and use simple apps to help get you started.
Give yourself a day off work
With emails and technology at our fingertips, it can sometimes be hard to truly leave work behind. Make a concerted effort to forget about it for a day; turn your phone off, catch up with tasks that have been bugging you, make time for relaxation, and enjoy the company of friends and family – without interruption.
Pop on a beautifying facemask
What could make that long soak in the tub extra luxurious? Try a face mask packed with antioxidants and minerals and let it work its magic while you relax. You could also try dropping essential oils such as lavender and rose into the water, and lighting a scented candle in a complementing fragrance.
Take a tech break
*According to new research, the average person touches their mobile phone 5,400 times a day. While these portable pieces of tech make life easier, they’re also highly addictive and can increase stimulation and stress levels without us even noticing. Try and even out the balance by turning off your phone, laptop and other devices in the evening, and leave them in another room so you aren’t tempted to log back on.
Keep a diary
It’s all too easy to focus on the negative parts of our lives, so keeping a daily diary can help to reflect on the good, while helping to balance perspective, solve problems mindfully, and treasure good times. If you don’t have time for a full diary entry, why not do as author Florence Servan-Schreiber does and note down your daily three joys?
Crafty past times such as sewing, baking, jewelry making and painting can help to relax the mind and enhance positive thoughts. If you aren’t too gifted in such artisanal areas, get outdoors and take photographs instead. Doing something completely different can really put a spring back in your step.