by Kate Kendall
Easy-peasy relaxation techniques to reset your nervous system and promote calm wherever you are.
Before I give you the goods, let me explain why relaxation is so important for health and levels of productivity.
The long of the short of it is so that we can restore, heal and refuel. Think of relaxation as a way of brightening up our whites as they fade and stain through every day. Relaxation brightens you up, makes you ‘sparkier’, more productive and alert and allows you to be your best self.
Here are my favourite relaxation techniques for various situations, day and night:
1) AT HOME, MORNING: Start the day right. You may not feel stressed when you wake up but think of this one as ‘setting the tone’ for your day. Sit cross-legged on the floor or in a chair/edge of bed with your feet flat on ground. Inhale and take your arms up above your head so that your palms touch. Exhale bring palms down through your centre. Repeat ten times.
2) IN OFFICE, BREATH WORK: Push yourself away from your desk and place your hands onto your abdomen. Take five deep breaths, focusing on ‘filling’ your hands with breath. Relax your face and shoulders. Close your eyes if the situation allows you to.
3) ON THE GO, Essential Oils: I swear by oils. Choose one that feels soothing for you – relaxing ones are lavender, rose or chamomile, and drop some on something that you can take with you out and about like a scarf or handkerchief. Give it a good old sniff anytime you feel the urge.
4) ON THE GO: Mantra: There’s a mantra I use anytime I feel stressed or anxious and the coolest thing about it is that I don’t actually have to do anything like strike a yoga pose or whip out my oils – it’s something I tell myself. My mantra is ‘Ease & Flow’. Choose one that resonates with you like ‘Peace’, ‘It’s all Good’, or simply ‘Relax’. If you use it enough it becomes like an instant message to your nervous system that it’s time to relax.
5) AT HOME, night time: Legs up the wall & unpack: Perfect to do after a long day on your feet. Lie down with your bottom as close to a wall as possible, take your legs up it so that they rest. Arms are out by your side or however feels comfy. Stay for a good five to ten minutes and digest or ‘unpack’ all that’s happened in your day. Whatever comes up – put it down – like you’re pulling the content out of your bag for the day.