7 Ways to live a more Relaxed life
The past 8 months of my life sent me and my family into a bit of a spin and I had to find ways to stay positive and resilient. So I wanted to share my tips on how I live a more relaxed life with you.
Since my breast cancer diagnosis in November 2015, we’ve bounced from one minute being stuck in limbo, not knowing what’s coming next to the next minute being passed between a hundred and one doctors and specialist appointments and frantically busy.
Life got very difficult, very quickly. In fact I can easily say that the cancer diagnosis and treatment has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to face in my life.
I’ve been so lucky to have a network of fabulously supportive family, friends and medial staff to help me through each stage and I’ve also come up with ways myself on how to get through it all and stay as calm and relaxed as possible.
Here are my 7 ways to live a more relaxed life:
I’ve mentioned many times my love for the Marie Kondo book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying” and how much it changed my life. I read this book during my chemotherapy treatment and just the process of reading it was therapy in itself.
I loved reading how Marie grew up with a love for tidying and putting things in their rightful place and how, over time, she had developed a method of discarding those things that no longer ‘sparked joy’ in her life but holding on to and treasuring the things she loved the most.
I’ve since applied this method not only to my physical things and digital life but also to the people in my life too. I now surround myself with people and things that I love, that spark joy for me and this ultimately makes me a much happier and relaxed person.
2. Plan Ahead
I’ve always been a list maker but this year I’ve found forward planning my whole life has really helped me feel more in control.
I love the process of sitting down on a Sunday, grabbing my weekly planner and planning everything I can for the week ahead. I go to bed on a Sunday night feeling calm and really looking forward to starting the week to come. I actually film these weekly planning sessions on my YouTube channel, if you’d like to see the process of how I plan.
3. Get more sleep
Some people fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow but sadly I do not. As an insomniac for many years, on and off, sleep is something I struggle with. I don’t need to have anything weighing on my mind to not sleep but when I do it really does make it worse.
I’ve learned over the years to try not to stress about not being able to sleep and to sleep when I get the chance to.
Usually by the end of each week I’m so exhausted that I have a very early night, at about 7pm. That usually lets me catch up on the hours I’ve missed and makes me feel so much fresher and brighter.
Try to get to bed early as much as possible, sleep is so healing and whatever your worries are, they’re usually not quite so bad after a good night’s sleep.
I started studying meditation during my first pregnancy when I practiced Hypnobirthing. Self-meditation during the births of my two babies changed my life and how I viewed childbirth and I’ve been able to use the breathing techniques I’ve learned so many times since, other that the births.
When I’m feeling stressed or need to calm my mind, I can use these breathing techniques to take me to my ‘happy place’ and reset my mind. I’ve found this invaluable during some of my treatment, especially the scans and waiting for results.
Exercise was something that had to go on hold during my treatment when I felt too fatigued or ill but since that finished, I’ve really enjoyed getting outside more and breathing fresh air.
Feeling the sunshine on my face, taking in deep breathes, clearing my lungs and my mind has all helped me to feel more relaxed and happy.
Now I’m able to start some gentle exercise, I’ve really benefited from that too and the resulting weight loss and increased fitness is making me feel even happier.
6. Treat Yourself
I don’t know about you but allowing myself the occasional treat really perks me up and makes me feel more relaxed. Rather than over-indulge and face the guilt afterwards though, I’m learning to apply a little more moderation to those treats.
For me, it’s chocolate! Thankfully I’ve discovered a healthier option with these Loving Earth chocolates – review here.
Your treat might be a massage, listening to music, a mini shopping trip, a weekend away, time on your own away, a long, leisurely bath. Make sure you take the time out to treat yourself once in a while – it makes all the difference!
They say that laughter is the best medicine and they’re not lying. Being able to laugh at my situation, see the fun in some of it and sometimes just use laughter as a distraction has pulled me through.
At times when my mind has been clouded with bad news and scary thoughts, a phone call with a friend who always has me in hoots or watching one of my favourite comedy shows has given me 30 minutes away from the dark thoughts and taken my mind off things. It’s been my ‘time out’.
These are the 7 things that have helped me live a more relaxed life during some very trying times.
I’m positive that that from here, life can only get better!
What helps you to relax and cope with difficult situations?