How to take time out to relax

As I write this post I am looking across the Atlantic ocean as part of a weeks holiday and it has re-inforced to me that we ALL need to take a break from whatever we are doing for at least 30 minutes a day and (if we can) an annual trip to the coast or somewhere that we find relaxing.

With our lives so hectic these days it’s easy to rush your breakfast, go do your 9–5 then come home and sit in front of the TV before going to bed and doing it all again. This is especially important in the always connected culture we live in nowadays with social media and the lure of online video services.

For me I thought about relaxing more in two ways

Exercise

I don’t need to tell you that we should all be doing some exercise, especially as we get older. I started to walk between 3 and 5 miles a day in the morning or evening. This started out as a gentle stroll but turned into something that I monitor distance and pace now a few months in and try to beat my best times. Burning off that excess adrenaline is key and even with a brisk walk it will help, it’s also easy to start and get going

Mindfulness

I discovered Mindfulness via local courses run by Mindfulness-West and through the Headspace app on my iPhone. It has helped me stay focussed in meetings and stay in the moment rather than my mind wandering all over the place. Just 10 minutes a day is all you need to get started (using the Headspace Take 10 model) and if things get tough in the day use the SOS sessions in app or any 5 minute guided meditation you have available to you.

It’s also only really just dawned on me how important it is get away from your home to somewhere else, be it a week by the sea in my case currently or somewhere you really want to visit. Getting away from the day to day and away from your comfort zone really helps to take your focus elsewhere and keep your mind active on other things rather than dwelling on worry or wondering about the past or future.

To be honest, taking holiday away from home isn’t something that I have tended to prioritise but after this week I am scheduling a trip to the coast at least once a year to recharge and get things back in perspective.

Let me know how you take time out to relax.