LEARNING TO SLOW DOWN AND RELAX

Getting through January can be pretty brutal. In order to survive this month, which always seems to last FOREVER, it is vital to give yourself time to wind down. However, this isn’t always that easy for me. I find that I spend most of my time at work wishing I could be at home doing absolutely nothing… and then once I am home, can’t help but look for things to do. Of course there are those perfectly bliss moments where I am able to completely zone out and watch a trashy film without thinking of all the errands I need to do but, more often than not, I struggle to turn my overworked mind off. So… sometimes I need a little help to just sit down, do ‘nothing’ and relaaaaaaax. In case you do too, here are my top tips.

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I actually enjoy being organised and find it very therapeutic to tick off the errands on my never-ending to-do lists. But when I actually complete all of the jobs, I usually end up creating more for myself to do. It wasn’t until I moved out of my parents home and actually had to start ‘adulting’ that I became this way. I never used to struggle relaxing in the evenings after work, in fact every single second of those nights were completely precious and I wouldn’t dream of spending any of them doing boring errands. However, now I can’t help but think of ways to fill up my free time.

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Of course you can’t avoid errands and they have to be done at some point but I think it is important to make time to just recharge your batteries and chill. I’ve mentioned it before here but yoga really helps me relax. When I first began yoga, and would get near the end of classes – which is when breathing exercises take place – I was always itching to get home because it felt pointless to just lie down breathing for five minutes when I could be doing something useful. But then, I realised… all day I had been craving some time to just breathe, focus and readjust and I had it right there and then. So, I stopped wasting those valuable moments and I now always take full advantage of them. It really helps me gather my thoughts and let go of any stress or anxiety that I have built up through the day.

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JUMPER, TROUSERS – TOPSHOP, BAG – LAZY OAF, SHOES – CONVERSE

Putting down my phone has to be the number one rule for me when I need some ‘me time’. On my free nights I’ll often pick out a film to watch or read a book, but before you know it… I’ve gotten distracted. I’ll end up calling someone for a long hour chat, pointlessly scroll on Instagram or check my to-do list to see if there is anything I can tick off. Then I realise, I’ve been reading the same page over and over for the last half an hour or that I haven’t been paying attention to the plot of the film – and I don’t feel relaxed, I haven’t had my needed ‘me-time’ and the night has been wasted. I’ve found that when I don’t have my phone near me, I usually don’t miss it and it gives me the chance to just completely focus on whatever it is I am doing.

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For me to be able to relax, being comfortable is a must. I have to be either wearing pyjamas or a ridiculously cosy outfit, like this ginormous jumper that I’ve paired with some stretchy plisse trousers. This kind of look is what I will be sporting throughout January, so that I can feel comfortable without wearing judgmental jeans that make me realise how much weight I’ve gained from Christmas. A hot chocolate can’t hurt too, or a green tea – if you are way better at new year diets than I am!

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If you really do struggle to just have a full night of nothing, or if you simply have too much to do, I often allocate part of my evening to get on with chores/errands but as soon as that time is over, stop whatever I am doing and begin relaxing so I can wind down for a good night’s sleep. If you still want your time to feel productive, instead of binge watching Friends for the 1245346th time, why not watch a film that you have dying to see for years, or why not dig out the dusty book on your shelf that you’ve been trying to find the time to read? Making these small changes is a great way to feel like you’ve achieved something, without realising you have actually zoned out and relaxed.

If you have any other tips on how to wind down, I would love to hear them! x

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