Relaxation and switching off should not be a once-a-year objective, we all need one day every month (ideally every two weeks) to recharge our mind and body. Here’s a guide on how to do it, incorporating mindfulness and meditation enhance your wellbeing:
Set the intention
Choose the day in the month. It could be the 3rd Sunday. Better still the 2nd and 4th Sunday. This day is about re-charging you, reducing anxiety, lowering blood pressure and improving sleep. It all starts with being present in the moment and not dwelling on the past we can’t change nor the future that’s yet to happen. This day is dedicated to your self-care.
Begin the day with 10 minutes of mindfulness practice. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Be fully present, acknowledging any thoughts or feelings without judgment. Feel your chest rise and fall as you breathe. Allow yourself to let go of any tension or worries.
Disconnect from technology for the day. Turn off your phone, computer, and any other electronic devices. Avoid checking emails or social media to minimise distractions. Be surprised how good it feels not to be clutching your phone and staring at the screen every 5 minutes. Detoxing is also about replacing sugary drinks and coffee with green and white teas.
Try to Balance and Stretch your limbs
We often forget the importance of balance and stretching. Of course, yoga combines these and more. Lift each leg so only one is on the ground and hold for a few seconds. It’s even harder with your eyes shut. Gently stretch your legs and arms. Also, rotate your head gently clockwise and anti-clockwise. , practice gentle yoga, or do some stretching exercises.
Make yourself a light breakfast and enjoy it mindfully. Food should be eaten sitting down in a relaxed environment and chewed well to aid digestion. Softer food should be chewed 10 times and harder food 30 to 40 times. Pay attention to the tastes, textures, and smells of your food.
Use the late morning to engage in a creative activity that brings you joy. Whether it’s drawing, writing, or crafting, allow your creativity to flow freely without judgment or pressure.
Have a healthy and nourishing lunch, but not too much – just enough to feel not hungry. Think about the balance on your plate. Half should be vegetables and the greater the variety of colour the better – note potatoes aren’t a vegetable. The other two quarters should be divided between whole grains and protein.
Mindful nature walks
In the afternoon spend time in nature, such as at a local park or forest. Take a mindful walk, paying attention to the sights, sounds, and sensations around you. Physical activity can help release endorphins and improve your mood. Why not stop and hug a tree?
Practice a longer meditation or relaxation exercise during the latter part of the day. You can follow a guided meditation focused on relaxation or try progressive muscle relaxation to release physical tension.
The news is invariably bad and does not aid relaxation. We can do without it every now and again. Instead, escape into a good book or read something that inspires and relaxes you. Reading can be a great way to unwind and escape from the stresses of everyday life. Try to see what the author is describing.
We should always be thankful for what we’ve got. Remember comparison is the thief of joy. Take some time to reflect on the positive aspects of your life and write them down in a gratitude journal. Focusing on gratitude can shift your perspective to a more positive and content mindset.
The best sleep is achieved when you’ve properly switched off and your room is dark, cool and free from distractions. Sleep is an important part of allowing the body to recharge and should include enough to include REM and deep sleep. Alcohol and sleeping tablets sedate us, that’s not the same as sleep.
Remember that the key to switching off for a day is to be present and gentle with yourself. Embrace the opportunity to relax, recharge, and let go of any expectations or pressures. Allow this day to be a gift of self-care and rejuvenation.
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