Do you ever wonder how people find time to relax when they are overwhelmed? Don’t we all wish we had a whole day to do nothing but relax and recharge?
In an ideal world, we would be able to sleep in late, make ourselves a healthy breakfast, head to the spa for the day, and then relax with a movie we picked out. Is this not happening for you? Yeah, me either.
In reality, life intrudes all over the place and our plans for relaxing and taking care of ourselves fall by the wayside. So, rather than trying to save up all of our relaxation for one mythical special day, we need to weave it into our every day lives on a regular basis.
How to Find Time to Relax (the Overwhelmed Women’s Guide)
If you have 5 minutes:
If you only have five minutes, you need to make the most of it. Choose the one thing that will make your stress level plummet the most.
Drink a glass of water with lemon/lime juice
The water will keep you hydrated and a little lemon or lime juice will make you feel special (like they do at the spa).
Listen to some spa music
While you are at, find some spa like music to listen to as well. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you have access to a lot of spa music for free. Just search for Spa Music or Relaxation. If you use Sirius XM – they actually have a Spa Channel. It is lovely for stressful car rides. You Tube has many spa videos with music and images that are relaxing. Just type “spa” into the search.
Check your comfort level
Notice your body currently and see if you need to adjust your body position to be more comfortable. When was the last time you got up and stretched?
Stretch your head and neck
If you haven’t discovered the magic of the Genie Head/Neck stretch from Healthy Movement, you need to. It takes less than 5 minutes and works wonders on a tight neck.
If you are feeling anxious, this is a great place to start. Spend 5 minutes practicing the 4-7-8 calming breath. I first discovered this practice through Dr. Andrew Weil, in his book “Spontaneous Healing“. It has been very valuable to me in reducing my anxiety, having an easier time falling asleep, and generally making me a less stressed person.
Light a candle you like and/or put on some scented hand lotion
A tropical candle that reminds you of the beach can transport you there for a few moments. (WoodWick’s Island Coconut is one example). Give yourself a mini hand massage with some scented lotion you like – Rose, Lavender, or whatever is your favorite.
Visualize your minute vacation spot
My yoga teacher taught me this technique. To relax, take a minute and close your eyes. Remember and visualize in your head your favorite vacation spot. Pretend you are lying there. For me, this would be at the beach. What do you see and hear? I’d hear the waves on the beach and feel the wind in my hair and the sun on my face. Picture all of the colors you’d see as well – blue from the ocean, red from the beach umbrella, yellow from the sun, green from the palm trees, etc. This is a quick way to rejuvenate yourself.
If you have 15 minutes:
Now, we are talking! If you have 15 minutes, you could do three of the above or you can indulge in one of the suggestions below.
Believe it or not, but even a 15 minute meditation can make you feel like you just had a good nap. If you have never tried a meditation app before, two to check out are the Calm or Headspace apps. Both have free trials to see if you like them before purchasing. And, it is nice to have these available on your phone to go wherever you may go.
Taking 15 minutes to give yourself a mini-massage can make you feel more relaxed instantly. You can treat your Head, Face or Shoulders to a quick massage and see how you feel after. You might even decide to extend the time another 15 minutes. Here are some to try out from the Today show.
Writing about your stresses or even just listing all of items on your to-do list, gives you an opportunity to feel like you no longer have to carry it around with you. Try writing for 15 minutes about anything you want and see if you feel better after. The series by Knock Knock is a great place to begin with their humorous one page per day journals.
Talk to a trusted friend
A 15 minute chat with a good friend is long enough to share what is bothering you and let them share what is bothering them as well. Whether it is in person or over the phone, either one will work. Venting about your day or sharing your triumphs with someone who cares is much more satisfying than spending time on Facebook.
Indulge your face with a mask
There are so many masks to pick from, who knows where to start? However, most drug and department stores have options for all skin types. If you are interested in sampling a few, here are some options from The Face Shop on Amazon for less than a dollar each.
If you have 30 minutes:
After seeing what you can do with 5 or 15 minutes, 30 minutes is going to seem like a total luxury. Will you string together a series of the above or choose one of the longer options below? You have options – nice!
Watch a funny TV show
Everyone has their favorite ones. My favorites would have to include anything with Tina Fey (“30 Rock”, “Saturday Night Live”), “Arrested Development”, “New Girl”, “Parks and Recreation”, and “The Office”. 30 minutes or less is the right amount of time to watch a funny sitcom and get some laugh therapy. Here are more ideas for funny TV shows to check out on your next binge watch.
Go for a walk
Taking a 30 minute walk can be just the thing you need to redirect your thoughts and refocus on something positive. Prevention Magazine lists “7 Incredible Results You’ll Get from Walking Each Day”. Definitely worth your time to put in the 30 minutes and reap the benefits! Whether you go by yourself or with someone you love, walking can help to relax you in many ways.
Read a self-help book
There are about a million self-help books out there to choose from. But, choosing just one to read for 30 minutes will get you going. Some of my favorite self-help authors: Julie Morgenstern, Jennifer Louden, Brian Tracy, Cheryl Richardson, Brene Brown, Timothy Ferriss, Barbara Sher and Gretchen Rubin (her book “The Happiness Project” is one to check out).
Listen to an inspiring podcast
There are so many to choose from in this category as well. Player FM has narrowed down the field to these self-improvement podcasts to listen to in your car, on your walk, while you are doing chores, etc. 30 minutes is the perfect amount of time to dive into one of them and find your new favorite.
Plan ahead a week’s worth of mini indulgences
Time to grab your planner of choice and plan out a week’s worth of YOU time. See where you can find 15 minutes, 30 minutes, etc. and make a date with yourself to do at least one of the items on this list every day. Make some notes after on how you felt. Repeat this process the following week and see how you feel.
Take an awesome bath
Want to create the perfect bath at home? Here is a list of what to include to take it over the top.
From Stressed to Relaxed
If you have larger blocks of time at your disposal, string together some of the above to make a mini-relax routine. We can all find the time to weave some relaxation into our day. And finding this time will pay off in large dividends as your stress won’t accumulate during the week leaving you so overwhelmed.
Looking for more ideas on how to find time to relax? Click the link below for your FREE Self-Care Kit – Relax:
What is your favorite from this list? What is your best way for how to find time to relax? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2018, but has been recently updated to ensure comprehensiveness.
While you are here, make sure you grab your copy of the "Self-Care Mini-Guide" to help you figure out how to add self-care to your daily life. Just click the link Loveselfcare Self-Care Mini-Guide to download your guide!