I need to relax and quiet the mind..... Up stairs in the corners of your mind a choir of voices attempt to drown each other out to go over everything that happened in your day/week/month/year, what needs to be done tomorrow. Things needed to be said to someone, and your own voice in there somewhere going please just be quiet I would like to sleep, …its 3am already come on….. ok it may not be that crazy up in there for all but it is always when you need to relax that your thoughts, anxieties and to do lists take turns to keep away from your beauty sleep right. Particularly when the world has taken a worrying turn like this awful year. It sounds like a contradiction, but finding time to just be and relax can be hard work. It’s why so many of us take up little hobby’s that are perhaps tedious and repetitive, it gives a single focus and is relaxing. Some of us flock to YouTube for tutorials and why certain Netflix series on tidying up has made us all sort our shelves. Well that and lockdown of course.... With all the to do lists and house/life chores, finding an hour just for yourself can seem like an impossible task. But when you burn the candle at both ends, that flame is going to meet in the middle one day and that my friend is called burn out. I have been there many a times. Thats why I went got myself a PA to help me spin these plates and regain some sense of me back. In all honesty she has become a friend, a really good friend who I can turn to for opinions and thoughts and also to say please take care of xyz… Not everyone can get themselves a PA but there are things you can still do for you that will help you keep those plates spinning.
Here are some:
Stretch out and breathe Yes sometimes something so simple can be a great tool. Stretching is something we cannot help but do. It’s the body’s way of getting oxygenated!! Deep breaths and stretches are a fantastic way find inner calmness. Meditation and exercises like yoga and pilates, benefit both the body and mind, and will help you fall into a truly relaxed state. They will help build strength and release much needed endorphins! You can find out what Professor Mark Williams – a leading mindfulness expert – says about the benefits here. Meditation involves focusing on your breathing and emptying the mind is my absolute go to!! This practitioner MOOJI is amazing! I often comment that when I am posing a baby I go into a bit of a meditative state because babies sense you, so I calm myself and together with calm breathing and a single focus aka the baby, I cannot help but go really calm. This is why the babies tend to settle with me I think! When taking deep breaths, you create a pattern of rhythm and the calming effect can seem instant.
When my daughter was a newborn I would lay next to her in bed with her in the next to me cot and literally breath deeply next to her and she would fall into the same pattern as me and we both would fall asleep together. She was the easiest baby to get to sleep and I swear it was because I did things like this but they were not deliberate rather more instinctual and obviously I brought these techniques into my business!
Studies, such as this one by Science Focus, show that yoga can be one of the best exercises to help treat a variety of illnesses, including depression and anxiety. If you want to work your way to perfect relaxation, try out a few basic yet beneficial yoga exercises here in the safety of your own home or go and find a local class!
BATH TIME Soak up your own calm Sometimes there’s nothing better than a hot bath. lock the doors to keep the family out and take 5 for you!! Darken your bathroom, light your favourite candles and pour in lashings of those gift bubble baths sitting gathering dust on the shelf... you know we all have them right!. Once you slip into the water, your body will gradually ease into a sense of calmness. As lovely as the bubbles and candles are, it’s the releasing effect of the hot water that helps you relax. Having a hot bath has been proven to increase blood flow and reduce stiffness, as well as relieving pain in joints. While the water helps your body relax into a more comfortable state, your mind will soon follow suit.
RHYTHM - More Rhythm Lose yourself in music and dancing. One of my ultimate favourite things to do is dance and sing!!!!!!! Before Photography my passion was music! It’s in my DNA! Get your favourite music on and volume up just enough to be enveloping and just move. It does not matter how you move. It’s private no one is watching, no one cares just feel the music and let your body just move. I follow this amazing teacher BODYGROOVE of totally embraces all of that! Here is a link and for a single fee of £65 it is the best thing in the internet. https://www.bodygrooveondemand.com/grooving-meditation Even if you have very little time put your music on when doing your chores and sing your heart out, dance that hoover around the house. If will help you feel so much better and double bonus house is clean too :) It is so important to schedule some time to listen to your favourite, chilled out music to fall into your own easy rhythm. It could be the sound of a babbling brook, the singing of whales or a playlist of your favourite tranquil tunes. Whichever you choose, listening to music relieves that anxious feeling you get when thinking about a stressful event – in fact, serious research is going into music therapy. Also music that is set to 528hrts is said to be the vibration of love and harmony. This is why most meditative￼ or relaxing music all feature this binary vibration... it’s like a short cut to zen! Your welcome :)
ART - Something new…art? Listen we are not all Picasso or Rembrandt and may not think of yourself as a particularly creative person, but you don’t have to be to unwind. Picking up a paintbrush, pencil or pack of colouring pens is a great thing to do, no one needs to see your child like scribbles heh but by the end of your little doodle session for self you will have lost half hour or so and be more relaxed having had a single point of focus and I personally find just drawing or painting my feeling aka a mass of splattered colour that I then go and photograph and turn into textures I use in my professional portraits. This is called Art therapy and is an increasingly popular relaxation technique, I highly recommend getting in contact with your inner child by doing things like this. Also bonus…give your kids some paint and do it together.
Here are some fab links to local places: