HOW TO UNWIND NATURALLY

WE LIVE IN TRYING TIMES. THE WORLD SEEMS TO BE ACCELERATING AT BREAKNECK SPEED AND WITH WORK, RESPONSIBILITIES, SOCIAL LIVES AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN, IT CAN BE HARD TO KEEP UP. GLOBAL STUDIES SHOW THAT IN GENERAL, STRESS LEVELS ARE ON THE RISE.

By Renee Fortune, Lifestyle Content Creator

I have many days when I feel like I simply don’t have enough time in the day to do what I need to do. Recently, a series of life events really opened my eyes to the negative effects of stress and I knew it was time for a change. I began making subtle changes – introducing practices into my day that help me to unwind with minimal effort and very little time. I’d like to share some of these practices with you.

Breathe

How do you breathe? Have you every thought about that? Because breathing comes naturally to us, we rarely stop and notice the breath. Normally, we breathe shallowly, into our chests, but I’ve been practicing deep breathing at regular intervals throughout my day to become more present to the here and now. The results have really amazed me. All you need to do is stop, and breathe deeply, feeling your stomach expand and lower with the breath. It’s how babies breathe. It’s the way we’re supposed to breathe. It takes a while to get used to feeling the breath on a physical level but becoming more aware of it as a natural process, may help you become more present and relax when you’re feeling overwhelmed. 

Meditate and Use a Mantra

There are many misconceptions around what it means to meditate. There are also a number of theories on the subject. For me, meditation is simply focusing on one sole task for a period of time without allowing my mind to drift. It sounds much easier than it is, but what I’ve learnt is that meditation can mean different things to different people. Some people find cleaning to be a meditative experience, some people sit in lotus position and close their eyes to meditate, while others find chanting to be extremely effective. Whatever it is that makes you feel single-minded and focused, try that on a consistent basis – it has made a big difference in my life. 

Ritualise Your Sleep

I have trouble sleeping at times because I can’t seem to still the mind. I’ve found that what really helps is to turn sleep into a ritual. Now, I start the ritual at the same time every night with a small cup of chamomile tea, then I massage some lavender essential oil into my feet. After that I use an app that plays ambient music and nature sounds as a way to relax. Sometimes it takes over an hour to fall asleep. Other times it takes minutes. The most important lesson I’ve learnt is that I need to be patient with my body – it will adapt to the circadian rhythm if I just act consistently and consciously. 

How do you unwind?

Share your thoughts with me on Facebook and Instagram – I’d love to connect with you.

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