How to relax at home
Part of my job involves me listening to people and I all too often hear that my clients don’t actually know how to relax or the idea of relaxation doesn’t even occure to them. The root of a lot of health problems is caused by long term stress, we are over stimulated by technology and our busy lifestyles leave us feeling frazzled and disconnected from ourselves and others. If we are unable to relax on a regular basis our mind and body are in a state of high alert or ‘flight or flight’ mode. This can result in a ‘dis ease’ in both mind and body with symptoms such as poor breathing, anxiety, rapid heart rate, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome and much more.
Tension is who you think you should be
Relaxation is who you are
– Chinese Proverb
Stress makes us disconnected from ourselves which can also make us unaware of holding in our muscles. When muscles become so tight they can clamp onto nerves, joints become stiff causing pain, fatigue and impaired muscle function. By incorporating relaxation into our daily routine, we have the power to let go of such holding preventing ‘dis-ease’ and rebalancing the body back into emotional and physical realignment.
We feel happier and healthier when we are in a state of relaxation, therefore make it a ritual and part of your daily routine.
It is free to relax, you just have to breathe deeply…
1 – Leave work at work
Above all, you need to make sure you switch from work mode to home mode. Spending a few minutes with a herbal tea, without the use of the tv, phone or other distractions is a way to wind down and leave the chaos of the outside world behind.
Switching your phone onto ‘night mode’ is a must, this switches off the blue light used in smart phones and other devices which tells the brain it is time for activity. Try to avoid using your phone altogether in the evening, we are addicted to them! Leave your phone in a designated area where you wont keep checking it, remember your free time is precious.
2 – Cleanse mind and body
Physically removing yourself from work mode, includes getting changed out of your work clothes. Take a shower and listen to the sound of the water, tune into the feeling of the water on your skin and imagine it cleansing negative energy. The effect is very rejuvenating and it also removes pollution.
If a bath is calling you, Epsom salts and baking soda are excellent for relieving achey muscles. If you have some essential oils such as lavender and rosemary, adding a few drops of these to your bath will take your relaxation to the next level.
3 – See your bedroom as your sanctuary
Sleep is invaluable for optimum health. When we sleep the body repairs its tissues and cells which prevents us from illness and disease.
Use an alarm clock instead of your phone, you may find yourself a bit lost without distractions but this is a good thing. Take the time to relax, read a book, or if you share a bed it creates the opportunity to reconnect with your partner.
Also making sure your bedroom is well aired, not too warm and clutter free provides the right environment for a place to rest and sleep well. Be mindful of your use of evening lighting. Soft lighting reminds us of comfort and sitting by a fire as cavemen, so lighting candles and using small lamps without white light bulbs are recommended.
4 – Unwind to music
Listening to relaxation music sets the tone that it is time to slow down and with the help of guided meditations or listening to sounds of nature such as rainfall or birds you can find yourself relaxing in no time. There is an abundance of great music online, when you find something you like, dim the lights, lye down with a blanket and place a pillow under your knees. Once you are comfortable close your eyes and take some deep breaths, feel your body becoming heavy and gently tell each area to relax. You may notice a certain area feeling tense, try to send your breath to that area and tell it to let go.
Whilst on your daily commute listen to meditation, affirmations or ambient vibes, look out the window and relax, you’ll be saving your neck from craning forward staring at your phone and it will make you more aware of your surroundings.
Deepak Chopra – The secret of healing
Moby – Long Ambients
February Four – Sparks
5 – Relieve achey muscles in between treatments
Most of my clients have office jobs, over time sedentary desk life will take its toll on mind and body. Sitting for long periods of time stiffens muscles and joints, inhibiting blood flow and oxygen making us feel stressed and sluggish.
In between massage treatments, you can relieve over used muscles at home, by using a tennis or massage ball. It can be useful to place it into a long sock so you can reach the back a little easier. Leaning against a wall or on a yoga mat you can use it to massage your upper back, shoulders, glutes and feet. Be sure to breath steadily and build up the pressure gently. You can slowly move around so the ball moves in circular movements. If you experience pain, particularly shooting pain, stop! Pain is not good, apply less pressure until it feels more like a pleasant release. Or better still, seek a professional massage to relieve those stressed neck and shoulder muscles.
The following self neck massage video is excellent. It only takes a few minutes and has an immediate therapeutic affect.
6 – Massage your feet before bed.
Foot massages are deeply relaxing, it can help lift feelings of anxiety and depression and lowers blood pressure helping us relax before bedtime.
The feet work really hard to carry the weight of the body everyday, when massaged the release of stored tension feels heavenly, and you can do it in just a few minutes before you get into bed.
You dont need to know any techniques, just relax your shoulders and neck and make make sure you massage the whole foot whilst thinking about what feels good and variate your pressure accordingly.
Reflexology focuses on massaging certain points of the feet which have a healing effect on the the organs of the body, thus you can potentially help your overall health and wellbeing.
7 – Bedtime Yoga
I came across the following yoga video which has a short 10 minute gentle routine you could do on your bed! This is ideal if you haven’t had time to do a full yoga class. Restorative Yoga is a beautiful way for physically and mentally reconnecting with yourself, and the health benefits are felt immediately.
Have a look at these vloggers on YouTube – Yoga by Candice or I especially enjoy Namaste Yoga with Dr Melissa West.