It's really important to take some time out. All work and no play, makes Jack a very dull boy! You don't neccesarily have to play as such, but taking some time out for yourself is very important.
Sometimes it's just good for us to enjoy our own company for a while. It helps us to relax and helps reduce stress, as well as helping us find resolutions for problems after coming back to them that would not have been found if it wasn't from stepping back from it for a while.
I've often been guilty of not taking some time out. I think many of us have. It's so easy to sit down in front of the TV absent mindedly or lie awake at night thinking of all of the things that need to be done or all of the problems you currently have. It's hard to relax when there is so much to be done, but if you take some time out and come back to it later, you can often find a solution to other problems, or see them with a different perspective and feel generally more positive about a situation.
I'm going to share some tips with you for taking some time out and helping you relax, hopefully they will help improve your mentality about some things. There are LOADS of things you can do to help you to help yourself, it makes the world of difference to just re-establish your own position in your life. YOU are important and you need to look after yourself. Without this time to "resurface" and re-evaluate, you often get buried and struggle.
Firstly, self-pampering! Women are more prone to this one, but men can do it too even if it does seem "feminine"! Draw a nice hot bubble bath, or have a hot shower if you prefer, slather on a facemask, lie back and relax, feel the heat soak away tension from your muscles. Put on some nice relaxing music, nothing with too much of a beat as that often gets your heart pumping as you get in to the music.
Alternatively, I recommend RainyMood. I don't know about you, but nothing has quite the soothing effect as the sound of heavy rain. There's even an Android and iOS app! I like to lie in the bath for ages, I often end up running more water in to keep it hot, candles lit, maybe a magazine, plenty of bubbles. Then I'll get out and slather myself in body butter, slide in to some nice clean bed sheets in fresh pjs and take it easy before going to bed. Alter as appropriate!
Secondly, excersize. It's an instant feel good. Even if you're tired, ache, and feel the burn, it still gives a feeling of elation. You don't have to go and crank it at the gym, you could just dance around your room, do a home work out, some cardio, or if that's not your thing, personally, I enjoy yoga and it's my favourite for relaxing, sometimes I'll lead on with some cardio after which helps me feel like I'm "venting" a bit and then cool down with some more yoga.
Focusing on deep breathing and relaxation, as well as stretching, it's not too intense and strenuous (well, it can be if you want it to, or you could do yogalaties!) I really like the app Daily Yoga for this. It's free, they have loads of workouts and even programs you can do, and it's available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone. They walk you through every step and you can do as much or as little as you like at whatever level you choose to. I've found it to really help and I've found myself feeling less tense and overwhelmed since taking it up.
You could also read a book, go for a walk; saunter or brisk, your choice! Watch some TV, preferably something funny. I remember reading that watching one funny thing a day can help happiness and overall wellbeing.. how true that is or not, I'm not sure, but it works for me. It's still proven that laughing is good for you. So give it a go, just inhale... and laugh. Go on, just chuckle. You'll either start to laugh genuinely, or end up smiling because you feel really silly for doing it. Either way, it's good for you.
If you find yourself feeling depressed (not just sad or a bit down) or feel too overwhelmed to cope, I urge you to contact your GP, they're there to help you. While they can't magic everything better, they can prescribe medications and help you find support. I know sometimes it's so hard to smile, and once you get past a point of feeling ovewhelmed, you might feel like it's not worth bothering, but it is. I promise you, it is. The world is a big place and there are so many directions you can go in, so many options, there is always a choice, you don't have to worry about which way to go, you can relax and think about it later. It'll benefit you more in the long run.
There's a whole lot of good in the world, a whole lot of beauty, just sometimes our eyes and hearts are too clouded to see it. Like the sky on a cloudy night; the stars are up there and always will be. Just because you can't see them anymore, doesn't mean that they don't no longer exist. In this infinite universe, there's one of you. Just one. You're special and unique and you should look after yourself and your health. Little steps can make a massive change, you just have to take them.
Written by Elizabeth Fleming of BeneBelle.