It's too easy to be on edge all the time these days. Technology addiction, political tension, being busy all of the time, consistent worry. Many of us are plagued with some or all of these things on a daily basis. More and more of us are reporting feelings of anxiety regularly. It's important we do things regularly to counteract feelings of tension, and let our minds and bodies unwind, chill out, and relax and remember we have the power to create peacefulness and well-being in our lives.
It doesn't always have to cost a therapy session, retail therapy, or big trip to feel better. There are simple things you can do, right now, that are completely free, that can help you relax and chill out.
Here are 10 free ways to relax, right now:
1. Journal. Put a pen to paper, and let your imagination run free. Journaling has been proven to reduce stress. There is no correct way to journal.
One way to journal is to make gratitude lists. I like to list the first 10 things I'm grateful for in a given moment, and have hundreds of these lists from over 10 years. Journaling can instantly boost your mood, so do it as often as possible.
2. Yoga. Okay sometimes yoga can cost a little bit (online yoga can be affordable). But for those of you with enough experience, rolling out the mat doesn't need to cost anything. You can get onto your mat, start breathing, and see what happens without the guidance of a teacher. There's nothing like the openness and ease one feels after a satisfying yoga session.
3. Meditate. Close your eyes and tune inwards. In fact, this free activity gives you so much back in return, from a calmer mind to better health. Meditation can lead to elation.
4. Go for a Walk. If in doubt, walk it out. Sometimes to get out of our own heads, we need to put motion into our bodies. Go for a brisk walk. If it's cold out, bundle up and enjoy the crisp air. It doesn't take long to change your perspective on a wander. Go for a walk without a destination in mind at the start, and see where you end up.
5. Make Tea. It might have cost you a little to have tea in the house, but a cup of tea can be the perfect antidote to stress. If you're feeling jittery, non-caffeinated teas, like peppermint, are your best bet. Take slow sips and feel the tea soothe your whole being.
6. Sing or Dance. Put on your favorite tunes, move you body, or give those vocal chords a good blast. There's nothing like letting yourself get lost and immersed in the beauty of music.
7. Call a friend. Bonus points if you pick up the phone (or computer) and call a friend you love that you haven't spoken to in a while. Even a video message works here. Pick people you love, and reach out to speak or spend time with them. It's one of the best ways to take us out of our own problems.
8. Have sex. Sometimes we all need a release, so there's nothing wrong with indulging. Enjoy time with your partner, or be open and magnetic to ecstatic sexual experiences that uplift your soul and well-being, and they'll come to you. You can make love to yourself instead if that is a better choice for you presently. Balance is everything and in yoga philosophy, retaining sexual energy is said to increase your superpowers (basically, enjoy yourself, but don't obsess or be desperate for anything)!
9. Read. Chances are there is something in your house that you've been wanting to read. If this one needs to cost you a bit, treat yourself. Otherwise, treat yourself with the time to something you've been wanting to read in your home. Reading is healthy for your brain and helps us stay present.
10. Nature time. Sitting in the park counts too. Fresh air, greenery, and time to reflect. Sometimes it really is that simple.
Remember, you're always a choice away from doing something to take you away from stress and anxiety and always being on the go, to being in the flow, present, calm, and enjoying yourself. Play with some of these ideas on this list, when you need to relax and unwind.
By Nicki Mateo
Nicki Mateo is an independent artist and author, who enjoys pushing boundaries, yoga and meditation, creative energy, and breaking down stereotypes.
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