What are you going to do this weekend? How about implementing a new strategy to de-stress like never before? Almost a year ago I mentioned how to use your breathing to help you unwind. Belly breathing, box breathing, and the 4-7-8 breathing are great options for relaxing on the spot. Exercise is definitely at the top of the list too. As explained in my previous post, you want to “build your day around movement.” You want to make sure you are engaging in regular physical activity throughout the day, each day.
So, here are 5 more restorative strategies (as defined in Ancient Remedies by Dr. Josh Axe) that you may find just right for you to start implementing:
Walking in Nature
If you immerse yourself in nature, be it a nearby park, a forest, or a body of water, it can help lower stress, enhance your mood, boost creativity, and even strengthen your immune system. This is a popular way to de-stress in Japan, where it is known as “forest bathing.” Immersing yourself in nature releases feel-good chemicals in the brain. Positive thinking and gratitude are sure to follow.
Relaxation and Downtime
To avoid burnout, you need to build calming and relaxing breaks into your day. At lunch, go outside and sit peacefully on a bench, just enjoying the present moment. Nothing else to keep your mind busy. And letting your mind wander relieves stress and promotes creative problem-solving. At night, read a book, knit in a quiet place, play an instrument, or listen to music you love, for instance.
Technology use has been associated with depression, anxiety, and insomnia. So do your best to implement a digital or social media fast every now and then, be it for an hour, a day, a weekend, or a week. This will allow your brain and body to enjoy a little restorative break and put you in a nice relaxing state.
Grounding and Earthing
Grounding yourself is to connect physically to the earth which emits electric charges that have a beneficial effect on the body. When you walk barefoot outside, lie on the grass or the beach, or swim in a lake or ocean, this promotes a number of benefits: increased red blood cell fluidity, decreased muscle pain after exercise, and lowered stress, depression, and fatigue.
Rain, Ocean, and Other Nature Sounds
Nature sounds have a tendency to give rise to a relaxing, parasympathetic nervous system response, and help with lessening heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels. The sounds of streams, birdsong, and fountains enhance cognitive performance, for example. So pick a playlist, app, or find a YouTube video that offers nature sounds and enjoy these whenever you get a chance.
Which strategy will you try this weekend?
Have a great Memorial Day weekend!
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Axe, Josh. Ancient Remedies : Secrets to Healing with Herbs, Essential Oils, CBD, and the Most Powerful Natural Medicine in History. New York, Little, Brown Spark, Feb. 2021, pp. 176-183.