Taking some time to yourself to unwind, process thoughts and just generally only be around yourself, is one of the most important things. Being an introvert, time to unwind is vital for me and after being in large social environments I often feel mentally drained, almost like I need to spend a few hours in a silent dark room lying on the floor. Earlier this year, I had my switch set to ON for months, with exams, work, moving and countless social activities taking up the majority of my time. I didn’t make enough time for myself …. aaaand I am catching up on that now. I have realised that in order to keep a healthy work-life balance, I need to have a time for dedicated relaxation (how amazing does that sound, DEDICATED relaxation time…) and no matter how much your to-do list resembles the length of a skyscraper on the New York skyline, your productivity levels will be severely diminished if you don’t hit pause. But for so long I struggled to fully be able to rid the thoughts on my mind and simply relax so I have curated a list of little things I find really help me to switch off!!
1. Take that book our of bookshelf that you have been meaning to read for months… yes you know exactly which one I am talking about. I know that unless I make an active conscious effort to read, I won’t ever pick up a book. I am forced to do so much reading for university, that it has taken everything from reading for pleasure. But recently I have started to make myself a nice drink, either tea or fruit squash, open the biscuit tin, plump the pillows and sit down for a solid hour. Throwing my phone across the room.
2. Take a bath… and have technology no where in sight. Treat yourself to some bath bombs and scented candles, even on a monday… no wait… ESPECIALLY on a Monday!!!
3. Take the time to full listen to an album. Too often we use music as a background distractor or noise but we actually rarely just listen. For me this is one of the easiest ways to switch off!
4. This one has actually been recommended by friends and I am yet to get fully immersed in using this as a technique, but colouring in has this incredible way of shifting your focus from your daily stresses and things that are on your mind, to only thinking about what is on the paper directly in front of you.
5. This may seem like a strange one but it works for me. I love to do little jobs around the house which take literally no brain work… doing the washing, cleaning, tidying, watering the plants… you name the chore… I will be doing it when stressed. (hey don’t knock it until you have tried it!!!!) For some reason this switches my mind off from whatever little thing has bugged it for hours or days and puts all my effort into getting the current job done. So basically I always seem to have clean clothes… its a nightmare hahah!
So there are some little things I have been trying to do more of recently to have more “me” time and all these things must be done with your phone on silent, turned over on a table across the room. Or even turn it off… Whatever works for you but I always find that if I am glued to my phone, or even if it is quietly buzzing in the background, I am never fully disconnected and therefore never really relaxed. Only if your phone is switched off, can you begin to be too.