“Relaxation is the prerequisite for that inner expansion that allows a person to express the source of inspiration and joy within.”
- Deepak Chopra
Today is National Relaxation Day and a perfect reminder for us to put on the brakes, stop and unwind, not just today but every day.
How often do we really prioritise our own rest and relaxation over juggling the stresses of our busy lives?
I have struggled In the past with feeling guilty if I am not devoting myself to someone or something every moment of my day, but this has caused me to crash and burn, leading to stress and health issues from taking on too much.
When we are feeling stressed, it triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal glands in our body, and this can really take a toll on us, and may even manifest into health conditions.
Ever heard that saying, ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’?
Our body is our best friend and is the vehicle that carries us through life. We must allow time to nurture and correctly fuel our mind, body and soul.
I read a brilliant book called ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ by Robin Sharma some time ago. This book gave me an insight into how important it was to take care of myself and get my life back in balance. I realised that I had forgotten how essential it was to take care of myself with acts of self-love, decent rest and relaxation.
The first change I made was to wake up a little earlier in the mornings. I set my alarm about an hour before the rest of my household wakes up so that my space is nice and peaceful.
I start my day with some gentle stretching or light yoga to wake up my body, ironing out any niggling pains and easing it into the day. I then sit in meditation whilst listening to some relaxing music - I swear by this step as it sets my positive tone and vibe for the day.
After this, I will make myself a healthy and delicious breakfast and I will make sure that I have time to sit down and enjoy it in peace, without the distraction of e-mails or scrolling through social media. I do the same with every meal now, avoiding eating whilst on the go or in a hurry and allowing myself to digest everything properly.
In the evenings, after work, I make sure I commit to at least one or two other activities daily which I enjoy and make me feel good and relaxed.
This can be anything from running myself a nice warm bath with some relaxing essential oils, going for a walk in nature with my friends or family, or listening to one of my favourite podcasts.
I try to get into bed at a reasonable hour, making sure that I turn off all electronics at least an hour before bedtime and that my bedroom is as dark as possible since exposure to room light before bedtime suppresses melatonin.
In addition, I take an adaptogen daily called Ashwagandha, which is a herb that is used to support energy and better handle stress. Research shows that adaptogens can help to reduce fatigue, amplify mental performance, relieve depression and anxiety, and help you to flourish, rather than just power through life.
The above breakdown is an explanation of the things I personally do to help with stress and relaxation. I urge you to explore what you love and write it down if you like, then begin to incorporate some relaxation rituals into your day! Listen to the signals that your body is sending you and follow them.
The point is, life does not have to be a stressful whirlwind of tasks and problems. You simply need to remember that your body and your health are number one and you deserve to rest and do the things that you enjoy!
It's time to reframe relaxation as an everyday essential in life.
Love, Sophie - Nutravita's Relaxation Expert
~ Grounding in Nature
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