Tips for relaxing if u struggle

kangaroo sleeping image - links to sleep better page

Relaxing kangaroo

We're finally on holidays after a long semester. I've decided it’s finally time to binge watch Netflix or maybe catch up on some much needed sleep. But I've found myself interrupting my own relaxation time with tasks that pop in my mind.

Can you relate?

It’s like my brain struggles to switch off productivity mode. I will be ready to chill and watch TV but then find myself remembering I should do some chores, catch up on reading or maybe do some research into the job market. Sometimes it's impossible for me to relax for more than 20 minutes before I start thinking of tasks to do. It’s easy to feel guilty when you’ve finally got time to relax.

I'm not an expert but I understand the struggle and have developed strategies to facilitate more relaxation. Below are four tips which help me relax more. 

1. To-do lists

This may sound ‘counter-relaxation’ but to divert my mind from wandering, I create to-do lists which allow me to information dump tasks that I want done, so that upon completion I'm able to relax with more ease (I no longer interrupt relaxation time if I've done tasks). And look, you can even remind your brain to relax by adding 'to relax' on your to-do list.

2. Set the vibe

I’ve recently gotten into candles, warm showers, tea and good home cooked food – as a way to wind down and relax. Setting the correct tone for relaxation is important and if you get into a good habit, you will quickly associate the calming atmosphere you have created with relaxing.

 3. Walk + podcast 

Sometimes you really just need to leave your space and go on a nice long walk while listening to a podcast! I recommend podcasts as sometimes music may not be enough to divert one's mind. Being amongst nature is also a bonus while you walk!

 4. Low effort social interactions

Finding it difficult to relax by yourself? I would recommend time with your closest friends – and doing something low effort with them. It could be watching a movie or doing some meditation! When I'm surrounded by my closest friends I avoid trying to fill the space with 'productivity' – as I’m reminded to be present in the moment and to create wholesome memories.

It’s funny that I’m writing a blog about... being unable to relax  – but I know there are people out there who share similar experiences. The hustle and bustle of student life comes with pressure and expectations on the daily. So don’t feel guilty for investing in relaxation – you deserve it. 

Tagged in What messes with your head, relaxation, Wellbeing, Student life