Relaxing and Switching Off

01Dec08

Image by audi_insperationImage by audi_insperation

Do you ever find yourself constantly on the go, whether that’s physically or mentally, when your work life spills into your personal life, or you have so many extra things to do that it feels like you never get to switch off and relax? This is happening to me at the moment. When I’m not at work, I’m doing work for my course, or writing blog posts (not that the latter is at all a displeasure), my mind is constantly working and by the time I get to bed at night I’m going over what I have left to do, or what I’ve learned.

Possibly because I’m a Scorpio, or perhaps just because I’m a little neurotic, I have a strong tendency to obsess over whatever I’m doing.

I have therefore made it my aim to ensure that I take some time each week to completely switch off from any kind of work, be that the work I have to do, i.e. my course, or that which I enjoy doing but tend to spend so much time thinking about that I go to work on a Monday feeling like I haven’t relaxed at all, such as my writing and this blog. I have therefore written a list, in two parts, of my tips for switching off either in the evening after a hard day’s work, or on an afternoon off, to make sure you completely cut yourself off from your work obligations and immerse yourself in “you time”.

* In the evening, stop doing anything that requires a lot of thought at least half an hour before you need to go to bed, to give your brain a chance to wind down.

* Read or watch something utterly mindless! It doesn’t matter if you usually enjoy Satre or highbrow biographies, a bit of entertaining “chick lit” or a comedy episode or two will clear your head and lift your mood.

* Have a hot bath or shower with some relaxing aromatherapy oils before you go to bed.

* If the lights in your house are quite bright or harsh, as energy-saving bulbs in particular can be, switch them off a while before you intend to sleep and use desk-lamps to read or watch TV by.

* On a Sunday afternoon (or any other day you have some time off) try to stop thinking about work for a few hours. Totally switch off from it and read something you want to read, go for a walk, or listen to music – do something other than the tasks you feel obliged to constantly be thinking about.

* Take some time to be by yourself. However much you love your partner, flatmates, family or anyone else around you, some alone time can really help clear your head and restore your sanity.

What are your top tips for unwinding and switching off from the obligations of work and writing for a while?

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14 Responses to “Relaxing and Switching Off”

  1. Great tips (as always!)

    Some of my favourite ways to relax:

    * Going on a random adventure and doing something completely different from usual.

    * Getting a massage, the longer the better!

    * Rereading my favourite books. I usually get too absorbed in new books and can’t stop reading until I finish, so it’s more relaxing to read something that I’m familiar with…

  2. Relaxing is so hard to do. Even when I am “relaxing” my mind wanders back to work stuff, boo =[

  3. 3 ashemischief

    Now that I’m out of grad school (and hell!), I regularly make time to do many of the above things. Perhaps too much time…. but I think we all need reminding to take time for ourselves before we wear ourselves out!

  4. Relaxing is one of the hardest things to do in our GO! GO! GO! society. From the moment I wake up I am caught it a tempest of thoughts that swirl around so fast that I am lucky to repete them to my husband let alone write them down. Most people think of a hot tub or shower as a relaxing escape, but it seems that if you trap me in that hot, damp space I have the best ideas and thoughts race faster (I often wish for that kids crayon soap for writing).
    I will say this though there is one thing that relaxes me like nothing else, Extra Sleepy Time Tea! Minty, Warm, Nodding Off Heaven!

  5. switching off has always been really hard for me, i don’t know why, i think i just love being on the go and doing things. your suggestions are perfect, i especially love the hot bath with oils one. there is nothing more relaxing than sinking into the tub all by yourself.

    And also, i love the read/watch something mindless. as you said, you can’t always read classics. THat’s why i like those phryne fisher books i just blogged about, they are such fun to read, as well as being mildly educational at the same time. The only classics i could read when relaxing would be jane austen, just because i love her so much. It’s the weirdest thing, whenever i am in a bit of a mood if i just read jane, and it depends on what kind of mood, for example, love-sick is sense and sensibility, angry is pride and prejudice, hurt is persuasion, wanting to kill someone because they’re so annoying is emma… etc etc, i just read a jane austen book and it sets me right up.. πŸ˜€

    But don’t you ever find that even though you set aside the time to relax you never actually do? I usued to say, sunday afternoon would be my relaxing time, but then i would get dragged into some extra study for school, or my brothers would ask me to play sport with them, or something would come up… i think now school is over i’m going to have much more time.

    well, hope springs eternal!

    XXX

  6. I love sitting in the dark, find it so relaxing… scare the daylights out of people when they enter the room though πŸ™‚

  7. Music by far is my greatest form of relaxation… i bought a good pair of noise cancelling headphones, turn the lights out… lay on the couch… and I’m good… aside from that, i get my relax time reading blogs like this one…or writing / recording on mine..

  8. 8 gaetano

    The best thing I can recommend is to go to the gym and work hard there.If you use only your mind energy you risk going crazy.Using your body energy is the best thing to do

  9. Some really awesome tips from you all! I’m going to have to try some of these out!

  10. That is totally me, in a complete and utter nutshell! Thanks for providing us with some excellent tips to help us when we need to unwind πŸ™‚

  11. Relaxing is something we all need to do to bring the mind and body back inline.

    One of the best ways to do this is through relaxing music, also known as healing music or maybe you hear it as meditation music.

    Whatever you like to call it – music is a great way to heal your body, relax your mind, re-focus and provide you energy.

    There are many types of music to listen to but really it depends on your interest as to what you are willing to listen.

    Take time for yourself and always relax.

    Carl

  12. These are great – i like to cook, sew, read and play with my cat. I do have an extremely busy job so its really important to know how to turn off and relax, although i do have this problem when i go to bed i start thinking about work – i’m not the best sleeper in the world and its at night time when i’m trying to turn off that i can’t.

  13. A while back, I took a bubble bath with a glass of white wine and a small box of chocolates. It was DIVINE. I think a hot bath or shower is always good for unwinding. πŸ™‚

  14. I need to take your advice. I’m doing too muchβ€”look how long it took me to get the time to come visit your blog! ;P


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