7 Top Relaxation Techniques To Use For Self-Care

  *This is a collaborative post.    Life is stressful. Whether it's work life, school, home life, or a variety of other things, stress ...

 


*This is a collaborative post.

  

Life is stressful. Whether it's work life, school, home life, or a variety of other things, stress tends to creep in. Stress increases hormone flow in the body and causes the heart to beat faster. What’s more, breathing will become shorter, and gradually muscles will tense up.

Self-care has gotten buzzier and buzzier over the past couple of years, but for good reason. It can improve health and increase confidence levels. It helps folks build stronger relationships and minimize the effect of the stress response on well-being. Self-care can come in a variety of shapes and forms, whether it's a spa day of sorts, cutting out unhealthy relationships, a relaxing salt room experience, or taking time to do absolutely nothing, it can make life better in ways both big and small. Below are some different ways to practice self-care and alleviate stress from day-to-day life.



Take deep breaths

We breathe every day, so it seems wild that it can be a form of self-care, however it's an effective way to release stress and relax the mind. It's also easy to include in your daily routine. It's worth noting that different styles of respiring yield different results. For instance, you'll feel a bit dizzy, faint, and sometimes anxious if you breathe too quickly. But when you take regular slow breathes, you can control your anxious thoughts and feelings, ultimately inducing calmness.

To harness this self-care routine, you need to focus on your regular slow breaths. You can start by placing your dominant hand on your chest and the other hand on your stomach. The goal is to have your stomach move further than your chest as you breathe. This technique is referred to as abdominal or belly breathing. As a tip, breathe slowly and regularly through your nose if possible. Also, try not to move your chest while the hand on your stomach moves rhythmically with your breathing and breathe out slowly through pursed lips. You can repeat this routine ten times in a row and twice daily.

Many wearable devices make this easier. My Apple Watch taps me a couple times a day to remind me to breathe deeply, and supplies the lightest touches to sync my breathing with, which is super helpful.



Have tea or coffee

Tea constitutes 80%
of US households’ beverages, as it has many benefits aside from being a beverage in many homes. A cup of warm tea can enhance your sleep and emotional health. Sometimes it may be used to help calm anxiety and settle a rumbling tummy. Therefore, taking a cup of tea with herbs for relaxation can be a simple self-care routine to adopt. You'll want to select tea from brands with herbs that aid in relaxation to benefit from this technique. Make it a point to prepare the tea yourself. This is because the whole process of preparing the tea and drinking it adds to the self-care routine.

Coffee can often increase anxiety, so it's important to be moderate, but I do love a big ol' cup in the morning and typically an afternoon cup. I like to make mine with oat milk and a bit of sweetener. Blueberry or lavender syrup always makes it much more of a peaceful option. I love trying out different roasts through Trade Coffee, which makes it super easy with a subscription to fit your needs.



Take a bath


Although bathing is part of our everyday routines, a hot tub bath will help relax your muscles and release stress. Therefore, it will be prudent to add this technique to your self-care routine. According to Dr. Bobby Buka, a dermatologist based in New York, it is both reinvigorating and therapeutic to submerge yourself in a hot tub because it increases blood flow into the skin. He further explains that the human skin releases endorphins as a reaction to the effect of the relaxing warm water, which is similar to the body's response to the feel of the sun.

Also, a hot tub bath may come with additional health benefits, including improved breathing and calorie depletion. The warm water and the mild pressure on your chest will also increase lung capacity and oxygen intake. Researchers suggest that hot tub baths or saunas can also reduce the risk of heart attacks and lower blood pressure. Spending an hour in a hot tub or sauna can help burn 140 calories, which you burn after a 30-minute walk. A hot bath can be a relaxation self-care routine, but it can also help improve many aspects of your health. I love to take a nice bath with lavender bubble bath and read a nice book. And lately I've been incorporating CBD bath products into my routine, like bath bombs and salts. If you're new to CBD, you want to consider what to look for when choosing products for yourself.



Get a massage

Prolonged sitting at the desk for hours on end can cause muscle pain. Not to mention one out of five working adults in the US suffer mental issues like anxiety, depression, and sometimes insomnia. On the whole, 20% of the working class in the US experience chronic body pains each day at work. Gradually, most corporate people are accepting the concept of incorporating health and well-being in their self-care routines. A massage from a qualified masseur can reduce headaches, anxiety, and stress. There is so much research to support this, many companies provide a massage plan in their benefits or have regular masseurs in-office to provide mini massage therapies to employees.

Opting for therapeutic massage can allow muscles to repair, unwind, and relax. The catch with this technique is that it leverages a personalized touch. You will have the chance to adopt which massage session fits your challenges and best relax your muscles. For instance, you can leverage deep tissue and neuromuscular massage therapy to relax your mind and body.

Before you go in for a massage session, you should know massage is not a painful procedure. Even though different massage sessions apply different pressure levels, pain is not accepted since the massage is supposed to relieve and not inflict it. You can speak extensively with your qualified massage therapist on what type of pain you need relief from. Your therapist will be able to meet your massage needs based on the information you give.



Guided imagery

Guided imagery is another relaxation technique to leverage for a self-care routine. It's cost-effective and straightforward to master. With guided imagery, you can select pictures and scenes that you find soothing. A good Googling can help you find what works for you. It's important though that selected images have a special meaning attached to them. You can print the image and paste it into vantage points that make it easy to practice each day. Practice is easy - close your eyes while sitting quietly and picture the soothing image in your mind. You may also imagine a serene environment where you view it as the ultimate relaxation point. Your choice of location should help you rest, calm down, stay safe, and feel happy. You'll find this technique super relaxing if you move into a serene environment rather than imagining it. Guided imagery isn't for everyone. Those who find it a challenge to conjure mental images may not do well with guided imagery.


Quick muscle relaxation

Quick muscle relaxation is a simple technique to include in a self-care routine. This muscle relaxation focuses on revealing the built-up tension in your muscles and how to reduce it. The technique helps to relieve tension in any part of the body by simply tensing and relaxing each muscle. You may start by settling in a sitting position in a chair. You have to close your eyes as you gently breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth and clench your fist tightly.

You should also hold your breath and your clenched fist for a few seconds to feel the tension building up in it. Then release the breath and unclench the fist. You'll experience a gentle washing over as the pressure gradually leaves your body. You will eventually feel much lighter and relaxed than when you started.



Yoga, Tai Chi and Qigong

Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong are three ancient arts that focus on combining rhythmic breathing patterns and a sequence of flowing movements. The physical exercises in these arts help you focus mentally, providing a perfect distraction to racing thoughts. Tai Chi, Yoga, and Qigong can help you improve your flexibility and balance. I find that yoga works wonders for me - honestly, I almost always cry during savasana because it feels so wonderful to practice such immense love and care for your own body and mind. Yoga With Adriene is a wonderful free YouTube channel that allows all levels of yogis to practice accessibly.




Indeed, relaxation is a crucial component of self-care, making it imperative to achieve. Fortunately, there are so many practices to choose from to fit all comfort levels.

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