When you’re stressed out, slowing down and taking a break sometimes seems impossible. It’s such a big problem, that April is dedicated to Stress Awareness by health organizations around the world. After the year we’ve all had, we definitely need to take a moment and work through some of the stress we may still be feeling. Here are 5 things we encourage you to try this month to lower your stress level, and increase your relaxation.
- Put Your Phone in Airplane Mode
For one afternoon or evening each week, try putting your phone into airplane mode or set it to “do not disturb,” and put it on the charger in a different room. Then, do another relaxing activity like going on a walk, sitting on the porch, or reading. “Unplugging” for an hour or two will help you break the bad habit we all can get – checking our phones every few minutes to see if any new notifications came in.
- Listen to a Full Music Album
When was the last time you took the time to listen to an entire album of your favorite music artist? With so many songs on music streaming services and choices at your fingertips, we sometimes forget the benefits of listening to an album from start to finish. You get to hear the intent of the artists, learn more about them and their art, and you get an hour or two of pure relaxation! Put on your most comfortable headphones and settle in for a listening session.
- Spend Time Alone Outside
Nature is the best teacher for showing us how to slow down and make the most of every moment. This month, make time to get outside, on your own, and see how refreshed you feel afterwards. You can visit a park, drink coffee on your porch, or garden in your yard. Just a few minutes outside can significantly reduce your blood pressure and boost your endorphin levels. Enjoy!
- Write Letters to Friends and Family
When was the last time you mailed someone an actual letter, rather than a quick birthday greeting card? It might seem a little old-fashioned, but everyone loves receiving special mail just for them. Take an hour or two this month to write letters to your loved ones. You could share your thoughts about the weather, or go deeper and tell them how grateful you are that they are in your life. In a world of instant access by text message, it means a lot when someone takes the time to send their love through the “snail mail!”
- Create a New Daily Ritual
Set aside time in your day to add a new element to your routine – a daily “ritual.” This is a short activity you do to clear your mind, take a breather, or start your day. Some people consider their morning coffee part of their morning rituals, but it could be anything – Opening the curtains to let in the sunshine, or doing a few yoga poses in the afternoon to get your blood flowing. It can be any activity that adds something special to your day, gives you a chance to calm down, and has you looking forward to tomorrow.