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Everyone needs a break and time to relax!

How to Relax

Sadly, a study reported that 40% of people don’t take out time in their day to relax.  Even more alarming, is that an additional study also demonstrated that 45% of people report that they do not know how to relax! Building in time for relaxation (and knowing how to fully let go of the daily stressors) is a work in progress. The truth is, self care and relaxation are not easily fit into the work day. We all put so much pressure on ourselves to take care of our patients, families, and pets, however, that constant level of stress creates mental health problems and burnout. Surely, we don’t want any of that! 

Identify an activity to help you relax and unwind. Can’t think of any offhand? Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered with a potential start up list!

1. Liven up your day with laughter! Laughter releases endorphins and decreases stress – which in turn, releases muscle tension, decreases blood pressure and heart rate. Watch a few minutes of a funny show or movie to get those chuckles started. 

2. Listen to music. Sometimes, listening to (or singing way too loudly to) your favorite song releases dopamine and breaks down the cortisol you carry with you. Create a playlist of music that either makes you smile, or relaxes you (classical music, nature sounds, calming music - 1980’s and 1990’s mixed with some country). 

3. Meditate. Find a few moments to clear your mind, center yourself, and just be present. Focus on your breath, and if you find your mind wandering, bring it back to your breath. This is not an easy practice – but it is something that will relax you if it is a practice you enjoy.

4. Take a coffee/tea break. Personally, there is nothing like that first sip of coffee in the morning….until the first sip of my mid day Cup O’Joe. Not only do tea and coffee have a calming effect, but they also provide a well deserved break in the day and increase alertness and focus for the remainder of the day. Bonus point if you can share a cup of coffee or tea with a friend for some additional space from work, and increased laughter.

5. Draw a soothing bath. Toss in some bath bombs, bath salts, play some relaxing music or grab a good book (perhaps a nice beverage as well) and just unwind. It helps you to relax and, as a bonus, makes your skin super soft!

6. Read a good/favorite book. Is there anything more soothing and comforting than revisiting characters who have become friends? The ability to escape into a different world, even for a short while, helps to rejuvenate, reduce stress, boost your immune system and improve brain function. 

If none of the above feel right to you, here are a few other ideas:

  • Go fishing
  • Have a picnic in the park
  • Walk along the beach (or anywhere!)
  • Take a drive
  • Hit the Spa
  • Golf
  • Take some pictures
  • See a movie
  • Go window shopping
  • Share a meal with friends
  • Attend or watch a sporting event
  • Go for swim

Life is full of challenges and every individual experiences different stressors on different days. Like the founder of this day suggested, too much work can make us sick, run-down, and tired. We encourage you to Invest in Rest: kick back, put your feet up, and just let go!