9 Ways to Relax in The Digital Age

 

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In todays society, we are constantly online – digitally and mentally. When you add the continued pressures of balancing your work, home and social commitments, while ensuring your finances are in order, it can be difficult not to feel stressed and overwhelmed!

Research carried out by the Health and Safety Executive even found that stress accounted for 43% of all working days lost due to ill health in the UK.

This poses the question, what’s the antidote to technology related stress and is there anything we can do to manage it? How can we possibly find a way to relax alongside this consistent online connection? Here, at OfCourse, our team has put together 9 different methods to help you relax and manage stress in this hyper-technological era.

1. Catch More Zs and Improve the Quality of Your Sleep

 

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As sleep is something second nature to us, it can be so easy to forget how much it impacts our stress levels. When we are not relaxed, we struggle to get the sleep we require. When we are sleep deprived, we feel unfocused and tense. And so the cycle continues…
Getting enough good quality sleep at night is fundamental to helping us function at an optimal level as well as cope in stressful scenarios.

Luckily, there are lots of simple, practical techniques you can try to improve your sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and revitalised. By making some small and simple changes to your bedtime routine, you will find yourself
more relaxed and able to drift off into a blissful sleep more easily.

Some simple and effective techniques include:

  1. Start by turning off your phone and putting away all electronic devices at least an hour before bed.
  2. Try not to eat rich or heavy meals after 7.
  3. Stick to a routine and go to sleep at the same time every night.
  4. Read a book before bed.

 

2. Break a Sweat with Regular Exercise

 

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Exercise is not only beneficial for your physical health but working out also improves your mental wellbeing too. Psychologists have shown that regular, moderate exercise can increase your resilience in moments of stress and anxiety! Start off by doing easy exercises or something mellow like swimming, and then move on to more intense routines when you’re ready. You can even do workouts like plyometrics and crossfit training from the comfort of
your own home, meaning you don’t have to join an expensive gym to reap the relaxing rewards of exercise!

3. Eat a Healthy Diet (But Still Enjoy Food!)

 

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When we’re stressed, it is incredibly tempting to turn to our comfort foods like chocolate or takeaways. Unfortunately, these unhealthy foods only make us feel better in the short term. A better alternative is to follow a healthy, balanced diet to get all the nutrients you need, while still allowing yourself to enjoy food! Learn how to sustain your energy from breakfast through to the evening, without feeling deprived and combine your new diet with a regular exercise routine to achieve the full effects. You’ll improve your mental health and find it much easier to wind down when you need to!

 

 

4. Find Out What Yoga Can Do For You

 

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It appears that everyone is trying the ancient art of yoga these days and with good reason. As well as strengthening the muscles and increasing flexibility, yoga is an incredible technique for reducing stress, improving sleep patterns and generally enhancing our well being and quality of life. This is due to powerful meditation practices, which bring both your body and mind into a relaxed state.
Yoga is also accessible to everyone, with no special equipment required! There are tailor-made introductions for beginners, specialised programmes to help busy professionals, and 14-day challenges to help you make progress quickly and reap the benefits of relaxation.

 

 

 

5. Focus on the Present with Mindfulness

 

While you may have heard of mindfulness, you only have to give it a try to understand why it is now so popular. Drawing on findings from positive psychology and using a range of meditation techniques, mindfulness encourages us to focus on what is happening in the present.
By being mindful of the subtleties of our experiences, we learn to slow down and let go of our worries. By redirecting our attention elsewhere, mindfulness reduces the effects of stress and allowsus to relax. As mindfulness also has many other benefits, such as improving concentration and reducing the experience of pain, trying it out will not only help you relax, but can also positively impact other areas of your life!

 

 

 

6. Take Relaxation to the Next Level with Massage and Aromatherapy

 

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The relaxing effects of soothing massage and aromatherapy extend from regulating your breathing to reducing the production of stress hormones and promoting positive well-being. They provide  instant and long term benefits for both your physical and mental well being.

However, professional treatments can be pricey, so why not learn the secrets of the spa and give your own? Get a friend or partner involved in an “I’ll massage your back, if you massage mine” situation and everybody wins!
You can learn everything from hot stones massage and aromatherapy to reflexology, and you’ll be transported to relaxation heaven in no time!

 

 

 

7. Lose Yourself in the Music

 

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It is well known that listening to soothing music helps us effectively manage our stress and calm our minds. But what each of us considers “soothing” varies massively from person to person, so it may be hard to find your perfect relaxation music. A simple solution to this problem is to play your own! Learn to play an instrument, get creative, and find what works best for you. Perhaps you’ll be most relaxed by gentle piano tunes, or by acoustic guitar and upbeat blues? Maybe you’ll find release by singing your favourite songs? Whatever it may be, music is definitely a key to relaxation!

 

8. Explore Your Creative Side

 

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Creative expression is all about letting go and allowing ideas to flow, so it is no surprise that it has wonderfully relaxing results. Scientific findings show that drawing and creating art can help relieve stress by providing balance to our lives and distracting us from our worry-filled thoughts.
To start your creative journey, why not learn to draw or give colouring for adults a try? Maybe try your hand at acrylic painting, or get crafty with woodworking! If you prefer to use your words creatively, learn to put your ideas into writing. Remember: it’s the process of being creative that relaxes you, not the quality of the end product, so don’t be scared to engage your creative brain!

 

 

 

9. Treat Yourself!

 

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We’re willing to bet that part of the reason you’re stressed and needing to relax is because you haven’t been giving yourself enough “me time”. You need some TLC every now and then so treat yourself every once in a while! Whether you enjoy cooking up a tasty Italian meal, giving yourself a complete makeover or trying out your exciting new camera – a great way to relax in this technologically dominated society, is to do something that makes you happy. Just for you.

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