How To Fit Relaxation Into A Busy Schedule

Unwind on your time

Jan 4, 2018
Man relaxing in hammock with hat covering his face

(Shuttestock)

Giving yourself some mental space to relax and unwind is just as important as visiting the doctor for a physical. Stress can have long-term effects on the body, so make sure you’re giving yourself the space to breathe and carve out some time to yourself, no matter what you have going on. Need a few ideas? Check out these 11 ways you can fit relaxation into a busy schedule.




1. READ

Get lost in a good book and leave your daily tasks behind for a bit. Not only is reading one of the more relaxing activities, it also improves your memory, expands your vocabulary,  strengthens your analytical skills, brings some tranquility into your schedule, and provides free entertainment.

2. SCHEDULE A NAP

Just 20 minutes could increase your energy levels when you’re feeling busier than ever. Set an alarm, get comfortable, and catch a few zzzs. Limiting your naptime could improve your memory and boost your creativity. Sleep.org suggests opting for either a 20 minute nap (so you don’t wake up groggy), or 90 minutes, so your body can go through a complete sleep cycle.

3. MAKE SHOWER TIME, ‘YOU’ TIME

Use your daily shower as a time to relax, take a breather, and enjoy some ‘you’ time. We all step in at one point in the day, so especially when your schedule is more packed than ever, it’s important to utilize the time you have for yourself. Take your time, practice mindfulness, and enjoy the quiet space.

A woman takes a relaxing shower

(Shutterstock)

4. UNPLUG

Reading your emails or scrolling through your Instagram does not count as relaxing ‘downtime.’ Even if it’s only for an hour, take an electronics break and do something that’ll calm or re energize you. Give yourself a break from the screen (for however long you can) and you’ll feel plenty refreshed.

5. BE SOCIAL

Humans are social by nature and thrive on genuine connections. Make some time to see your friends and catch up over dinner or a coffee. Spending time with those who lift you up could be the reset you need.

6. GO TO YOUR HAPPY PLACE

We all have those places we love that instantly calm us down and make us feel more connected to ourselves. Whether you can physically go to your happy place, or need to shut your eyes and visualize your spot, taking a minute to take in the sensations will help you remember your priorities and regain focus.

A woman meditates on the beach against a backdrop of the setting sun

(Shutterstock)

7. Do Some Yoga Stretches

Movement is good for the body. When you can’t carve out some time for your workout, go somewhere quiet, shut the door, and stretch out those muscles. Even 20 minutes will help reduce stress hormones.

8. LAUGH A LITTLE

Laughter triggers endorphins, which releases those feel good sensations in our bodies. It also helps you destress, increase infection-fighting antibodies, lower your blood pressure, and as a bonus, strengthen those ab muscles.

9. LISTEN TO SOME MUSIC

Music is always a good bet when we need a mini R&R session. Although softer, soothing tunes are a great bet, choose whatever soothes you the most. Hit play and let your mind wander. The tunes will take care of the rest.

A young businessman listens to music in his office

(Shutterstock)

10. BE SELECTIVE WITH YOUR TIME

Saying no to some outings and being protective over your time goes a long way when you need to practice some self care. No one can do everything at once. Prioritize the events and tasks that are most important to you, and give yourself permission to ask for a raincheck for the rest.

11. MAKE IT A HABIT

Some of us have a harder time stepping away from our busy schedules and taking time out for ourselves. Pick a set time (or at least have a general game plan for when you can wind down) and commit to it for a few weeks until the practice becomes a habit you look forward to each day.

REBECCA WOJNO, CONTRIBUTOR
Rebecca is passionate about reading, cooking, and learning about people doing good in the world. She especially loves writing about wellness, personal growth, and relationships.

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