[From guest author, Jason Falls.]
Work, home-life, love-life, money troubles and those things that happen that we weren’t expecting can all cause us to get stressed. Stress isn’t great though; in fact it’s one of the biggest causes of heart attacks and strokes – so it’s important to find ways of unwinding. Whether you want to unwind on your own, with friends or loved ones is up to you!
Here are our favourite 10 ways of unwinding and, even better – they’re all free.
Think soothing hot water and you’re bound to have some bubble bath and a few candles somewhere. You might want to have your favourite ballads playing softly in the background – even thinking about it relaxes me – and your other half can always join you when you’ve chilled out.
If none of your friends have got a yoga DVD you can borrow, there is loads of videos of yoga on YouTube you can stretch along to. Importantly, Yoga teaches you how to breathe – so throw on something comfortable and all your stresses and tensions will soon be flowing out of you. Naked yoga is even more relaxing.
Bingo is fun and a great way to unwind after a tough day and, whilst you used to have to go out for a game of bingo, you can now play online – and there are lots of offers to play for free. I heard about one man in the UK who won $9.2 million playing Butlers Bingo. You can also play in peaceful solitude, invite some friends round or make some new online friends. If you win, you might just be able to afford to go to the exotic place you were daydreaming about – win the jackpot and you might even be able to take your movie-star, too.
Dance and Sing
Whether you wouldn’t embarrass yourself by venturing on to a night club dance-floor, or your voice is more X-rated than X-factor – in the comfort of your own home you can be Olivia Newton-John, Madonna, Katy Perry or Rhianna for the night – just let it all out and your tensions drain away.
Walking has to be one of the most underrated ways to relax. There are loads of lovely local country walks where you can enjoy beautiful scenery, wildlife and fresh air, whilst raising your heart-rate just enough to get those stress-beating natural endorphins flowing.
Not everyone’s got green fingers, but there’s something therapeutic about doing a bit of weeding – perhaps it’s psychosomatic in that it makes you feel like you’re getting rid of all the rubbish in your life. Plant some flowers or vegetables as well then, when they grow, you’ll also have a wonderful stress-bashing sense of achievement.
How long have you been planning to read that book you’ve got sitting on your shelf? Find a quiet spot like your local park and find a few minutes a day to read a few pages. If it’s raining – combine reading with bath-time.
Not always the easiest thing to do, but even a few minutes nap in the middle of the day can help you reduce your stress levels. Sometimes, when life is really hectic, I shut my eyes for five minutes in the toilet at work; admittedly not the nicest of places but – when needs must.
Find a comfortable, quiet spot and sit cross-legged. Concentrate on taking deep breaths and your stresses should soon start to disappear. Five minutes every morning and every night will do wonders for your reducing your stress levels.
Imagine you’re on an exotic island with your favourite movie-star, sipping cocktails and doing whatever else you fancy doing until there’s a big smile on your face – remember you don’t have to tell anyone else what you’re dreaming about – though that can be fun, also.
Just always remember to take a break from the stresses of work and lead a healthy balanced lifestyle!