This week I am writing this newsletter from sunny Queensland. Although it’s not been sunny all the time, it’s great to get away from Melbourne’s cold and very wintery weather. We’ve been lounging around the pool, body surfing at the famous Noosa beach and topping up our vitamin D when we can.
We booked this trip to relax. Life has been busy for us this year, my husband has been flat out at work, and we’ve been navigating our eldest starting school (the school year runs from February to December here in Australia). Normal, everyday busy, but busy nonetheless. We, like most people, forget to stop and take stock.
It usually takes us a few days to adjust to not having to do anything. So conditioned to the rush of normal life, ‘relax’ doesn’t come immediately. When we finally do relax into the holiday vibe, we often discuss how we are going to make everyday life less urgent and stressful.
Relaxing is not just in our heads. It’s a state of being that encompasses our entire selves. Allowing ourselves to relax releases any anxiety and tension that we hold in our bodies. Freeing ourselves of this enables us to de-stress and greatly improve our overall wellbeing.
Being relaxed improves our health in many ways, from improving our mental clarity and productivity to balancing our emotions and reducing stress pressures. I’ve been doing some reading this trip to understand better how we can create this relaxed state of being and have found a huge amount of ideas of things we can use to help. A few recurring ideas that seem simple and easily achievable are as follows.
Meditation and breathing work can significantly improve our sense of being relaxed. They help us focus on singular things, eliminating the jumbled and chaotic thoughts that can crowd our minds and cause stress.
Having hobbies can also help. Creating a focus point and allowing us to be distracted in a bit of personal time can give an outlet for releasing stress and anxiety built up in everyday life.
Exercise can help us relax by reducing the amount of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, in our bodies. At the same time, it stimulates the production of endorphins, which are the body’s natural mood elevators.
We can also use certain nutrients like L-tryptophan and B vitamins to help support our normal stress response, especially during times of prolonged or heightened stress. Magnesium is another essential mineral to support our nervous system. Using a topical magnesium oil or lotion rubbed onto the skin is a great way to keep our levels up each day. Plus, having a magnesium flakes bath or foot bath at the end of a busy day is ideal to help relax the body and unwind. It’s great for helping children calm down at the end of the day too!
As easy as it is to write about, my family still find it hard to find that elusive state of relaxation. I think it is probably a journey, not an end goal, and something we will always strive for. In the meantime, we shall enjoy our time around the pool and at the beach and try to de-stress as much as possible. I hope you also get to take some time out to de-stress and unwind.
Wishing you good health and happiness.