Our lives can seem overwhelmingly busy and hectic at times, and it can be difficult to switch off and destress, even in the comfort of our homes. It isn’t always easy to shut out all the stresses and strains of modern living, but there are many ways to foster a sense of wellbeing and encourage relaxation of body and mind. Whether you enjoy generating endorphins with exercise, getting in touch with your spiritual side with meditation, or simply settling down with a glass of wine and a good book, being able to relax in your home is something we should all be capable of. Here are some tried and tested ways to unwind and recharge, without having to step outside.
A wildly popular way to engage your body and mind is yoga. Stretching and breathing consciously is a great way to keep you limber and focused, and all you need is a mat and some comfortable clothing. Many instructors give classes online, or there are countless resources on the internet to get you started. There are also many types of yoga, from the purely physical to the spiritual, so you’re bound to find a style that suits. Even beginners can feel immediate benefits, and yoga is a great way to start or finish your day.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully aware of, and fully experiencing, events of the present moment. Learning to be present without judgement is a skill that can be developed in many ways, but most often through meditation. And it is easy to get started, with countless apps and websites offering guided meditation. Many find that as little as two minutes a day can make a real impact on your mental wellbeing. And if you want to keep it even simpler, there are many breathing exercises, such as slow breathing, that are proven to have a calming effect on the central nervous system. Perfect for those with busy schedules.
Keeping the mind both active and relaxed is essential for our mental wellbeing. Puzzles are a great way to keep your mind limber, and you can find sudoku and crosswords in any newspaper or on countless websites and apps. There are specific brain training games available to download, with logic tests, visual memory games, numeracy tests and much more, and you can track your progress as you go.
OK, not technically in the house, but gardening is great for the body and mind. Being surrounded by plants, trees, birds and insects is extremely relaxing, and if you are growing your own veg, your labours will be rewarded by more than endorphins. Digging up crops and putting them on the table is one of the most satisfying experiences we can have, not to mention delicious. And if you don’t fancy too much back-breaking work, you can even set up a no-dig garden. Whether you want to work sowing crops, or merely just want to relax in the outside world, a garden is a great option for relaxation and mental health.
An excellent way to unwind is to listen to music – preferably soothing sounds, but if you need a bit of catharsis, maybe something loud and raucous. Good speakers are increasingly affordable and well worth it, or if you have children in your household, perhaps invest in some noise-cancelling headphones. Music speaks to our soul and engages us in a profound way, so make it a part of your daily routine, whether you are sitting and listening or using it as a background to another activity, such as having a bath, cooking a meal or meditating.
Baths and Showers
Getting warm and wet is comforting and soothing. If you have a bathtub and enough time on your hands, having a long, relaxing bath is a great balm for the body and brain. It may seem cliched, but candles, music, bubbles, maybe a glass of wine, all these ingredients will serve to destress and relax your mood. And aromatherapy can help you sleep better. A shower can be equally relaxing, or invigorating. Steam away the stress!
There are plenty of ways, some of which we have already mentioned, to release endorphins. These provide a natural sense of wellbeing in the brain, and as they are often generated by exercise, it’s probably good for your body as well. There are many exercise classes you can take online, and a multitude of videos on YouTube to follow. Or if you’re in the mood, sex is a great way to release endorphins and relax – physical closeness is beneficial for both body and mind.
Modern life seems to get more hectic all the time. Taking relaxation seriously means that you will function better, and be healthier and happier in the other areas of your life.