With travel restrictions in place in many locations across the globe, taking a well-deserved break is proving tricky. But thankfully, there are many ways to unwind, reduce anxiety and boost our happiness without needing to jet off on holiday.
Yes, it may sound simple, but a lot of us forget to breathe properly, especially when working towards a deadline. Swap short, shallow breaths for deep inhales and you’ll quickly notice the difference. Breathing exercises are proven to help us relax. Why? Deep breathing is a sure-fire way to lower body stress, and when we breathe correctly (not many of us do), it sends triggers to our brains, reminding us to unwind.
Take a tech break
More time indoors has inevitably led to more time spent on our laptops, games consoles, mobile phones, TVs, and tablets. Instead of reaching for the remote or your tech device, try something different such as yoga, take a walk, complete a puzzle, read a book or try your hand at painting. Unplugging for a few hours is not only liberating, but it’s also good for our health.
Too much screen time can cause eye strain, headaches, and poor sleep cycles (especially if you spend a lot of time online before bed). If your job requires you to spend hours per day at your computer, try to take regular breaks and consider investing in a pair of anti-glare glasses.
Take some “you” time
Switch off from the world (and your phone) for a few hours by running a bath, filling it with calming bath salts, lighting a few candles, and indulging in a great book. Asides from helping you to switch off, there are ten proven health benefits to a soak in the tub, including improving heart health, soothing sore joints, muscles, and bones, helping to regulate our breathing, and calming the nervous system.
A bath can also help to regulate your body temperature, balance your hormones and enhance your blood flow, while also cleansing and moisturizing your skin.
Give your brain a break
A brain brimming with to-do lists, deadline dates, and worries is a brain that needs a break! Instead of storing everything in your head, write it down instead. Creating a to-do list will not only relax your mind, but it’s also extremely therapeutic – especially when you can start to tick items off the list as you complete tasks.
Go on a virtual tour
Several museums, art galleries, and far-flung destinations are all offering virtual tours for those stuck at home. From 3D interactive panoramas to Google Maps, these tech tools are allowing us to bypass our passports yet still embrace the culture.
Whether exploring the pyramids of Egypt, embarking on a safari in South Africa, touring Madrid’s gallery hot spots, or taking in the blue seas of the Caribbean, virtual travel and a little imagination can provide an escape from the same four walls.
Take a power nap
This is something the people of Spain have been embracing for many years – a siesta or midday nap is a great way to take a break from normality and provided that you don’t nap for too long, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and raring to go again.
Science states a speedy 20-minute power nap will leave you feeling energized and at ease. Nothing quite beats a short brain shutdown in the afternoon!
Embrace the great outdoors
If you feel you need a break, getting a dose of fresh air can make a real difference. Whether it’s a walk along the beach, a walk around your local park, or a jog along the esplanade, embracing the outdoors is another popular way to take a break without leaving the country. Being outside is proven to calm our bodies and our minds, while also heightening our focus, meaning we can return to our daily tasks with a fresh head.
Alternatively, you may want to bring a little of the outdoors in by investing in some house plants, many of which have air-purifying properties. A number of hardy variants are also incredibly easy to care for, meaning they can be forgotten bout for days or even weeks on end without watering.
From enrolling in an online painting class to making your own jewelry or learning a new trade, there are many ways we can take a break from our normal routines – and all from the comfort of our own homes. And you never know, you may even discover new talent!
Listen to music
Music and dance can help to energize our bodies and minds, but it also helps to relax us. In fact, many who struggle to sleep will often listen to calming sounds just before going to bed. Music also has the ability to transport us to a far-flung destination – whether that be via the native sounds of a certain country or a song that reminds you of a particular place.
As you can see, there is no shortage of options if you want to enjoy a break, which could be just what is needed with the world as it is right now!
Sources: tastingpage.com, uofmhealth.org, patient.info, forbes.com, sleepcycle.com
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