Relaxation – Why bother?
There is a growing body of research that shows the importance of relaxation as an essential part of the overall jigsaw of optimum well-being. It is as important as a good diet and regular exercise and is perhaps the one thing we push aside or don’t give ourselves permission to do. I know I fall into that trap too often!
Overall improvements for your general health
Unlike exercise, it isn’t something we schedule, and although it seems odd to diarise relaxation, perhaps it is something we should do! In addition to helping reduce the feelings of stress in both body and mind, relaxation can also improve other elements of your wellbeing. For example, it can help improve your coping mechanisms and building resilience to life’s challenges, as well as helping you sleep better!
How to relax
How you choose to relax will be personal to you. Select something that is just for you, that is absorbing and takes your mind away from thoughts of your work or home life. Try reading a book or magazine, taking a walk in nature, taking up a new hobby, perhaps by way of YouTube tutorials, on how to draw or play an instrument. Why not try just stepping away from tech, sitting and looking out of a window for 10 minutes a day? Watching the clouds and the sky, while observing your breathing slowing down, would be an excellent place to start.
Bring back Bath-time
A simple and achievable option for many is to switch from a quick shower to a long relaxing bath at least once a week. There is nothing like that feeling of sinking into a hot bath, when you can feel your body and brain beginning to relax. It offers a total break from the sensory overload that we can meet during our busy days. Laying back in a hot bath can bring respite and relaxation to us all.
Bring the Spa Home
Take inspiration from Spa retreats. Personalise your bath time and create your own rituals. Reserve a special candle, curate a playlist, take time to choose a book or magazine that sets the right tone and – if you live in a busy house - make a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign and announce your intentions! It goes without saying to leave your phone out of ear shot.
Don’t go for bubble bath, which often contains synthetic foaming agents, which can wreak havoc with the skin. Invest in some indulgent, natural bath treats that will nurture your skin and wellbeing, like the No Secrets Bath Jelly which dissolves off your skin and into the bath water for a deliciously different, one-of-a-kind bath experience. Choose products scented with essential oils and not the synthetic catch-all blends listed as ‘parfum’ or ‘fragrance’. The essential oils will not only scent your bath, but also work hard to balance, restore and relax you. Bath salts containing magnesium, like the finely ground No Secrets Bath Sugar will be absorbed through the skin and physically relax your muscles, while plant-based bath oils will moisturise your skin.
Scent has a powerful effect on the memory. It can immediately take you back to a place you haven’t been to for years. If you commit to the same scent on your home spa nights, your brain will link it to the feeling of relaxation.
So why not make Tuesday nights bath night and, when we can finally go out again, don’t be afraid to use the phrase ‘Sorry can’t make it, I am washing my hair!’ as a legitimate excuse for choosing to support your health and well-being with some much-deserved “me time”!