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How to Incorporate Relaxation and Stress Relief Into a Busy Lifestyle

With the pace and demands in Western culture and the ever changing tides of work-life balance, it is becoming increasingly challenging for individuals to find ways to escape and tune in to tranquility and solitude. Medical studies are emphasizing mental health as an ever increasing priority that people must be able to learn to adapt with a full plate of obligations in our lives.

We are all becoming “busier” every day, but in the midst of making ends meet, taking care of families, social activities and obligations and just living life, we seem to also be collectively slipping on one of the most important core essentials of our essence – ourselves. With a few minor tweaks, and just a few moments to yourself in a day, you will notice leaps and bounds in your mental health and well-being.

Connect With People Directly – Instead of on Social Media

Social connectivity makes it easier than ever to become tuned in to everyone else, but tuned off from your own thoughts, and more recently, has been linked to having a negative impact on mental health. While it can be a wonderful way to keep up with  old friends from high school and long-distance family, it can be an easy way to sneak into your daily routine and eat away at productivity for other tasks at hand. Accessing your screen time can put into perspective just how much time you spend on social media instead of energy to other significant things in your life. As an alternative, you could spend the time connecting in person at community events, community meetups, or any social setting close to you that allows you to build or nurture the meaningful relationships you have away from the screen and in-person.

Seek a workplace that stands for wellness

An increasing and promising workplace trend for the future involves the incorporation of lifestyle services to work-life balance.  To stay competitive, many companies are beginning to offer services and amenities to their employees like fitness classes in their building, or sponsored gym memberships, on-site daycare, or even allowing people to bring their dogs to work. Employers are finding that investing in the wellness of their employees as a whole is leading to less turnover and more productive, genuine input, furthering the improvement of the company overall.

Meditate – Even just for five minutes a day

Have you ever experienced waking up from a dream or sleep with a sudden resolution to a problem? You might be surprised to learn you can produce the same results just by quieting the mind without being in complete sleep state. On top of this, meditation can also be effective on lengthening attention span, increasing focus, energy and even reducing memory loss. In addition to providing clarity and solutions to problems, Meditation can be one of the most effective tools to allow your mind peace and relaxation from life’s struggles. An even better way to explore the possibilities mediation can open for you is by connecting with others through a meditation class. While there is technically no ‘right’ or exact way to meditate, many forms of meditation exist and exploring and talking through it with others can be a great place to start a healthy habit.

From Bootcamp to simple breathing exercises – It’s all acceptable

Perhaps the most obvious way to de-stress is through exercise. Whether it be personal training or group fitness classes, finding time for as little as 3 – 4 sessions out of your week is significant not only to your physical, but your mental and emotional well-being. And it doesn’t have to be a Bootcamp class – Harvard Health suggests something as simple as Auto-regulation Exercises like deep breathing practices can go a long way, even when practiced for as little as a few minutes on a busy day.

Whether it be deep breathing practices, yoga classes, more intense physical exercise, reduction in social media, or as little as 5 minutes of meditation a day, it can be easy to start weaving in relaxation practices into your life. The hardest part is the commitment. There are days where it will be hard to fit in a moment for yourself, and you might even skip a beat. But the most important thing is to never stop trying. You have just one body – to truly live life to the fullest you must make it count.

Catherine Rotman