How to Relax Despite a Busy Schedule

SCUD Day (Savor the Comic, Unplug the Drama)

SCUD Day is a beautiful day! To be honest, I haven’t heard of it before, but I instantly fell in love when I read the description: SCUD Day “encourages those of us whose lives might have a touch too much drama to step back, relax, and enjoy the funnier side of life” (Source). Even though I’m off uni for three months, the whole blogging and dancing thing keeps me busy enough! However, I’m sure many of you out there are a lot busier than I am at the moment, and it’s you I’m writing this post for. Being able to sit back and relax is one thing, but oftentimes, it’s simply not possible because of busy schedules. But don’t panic, there are some simple relaxation techniques for you too! If you’re a busy person, the important thing about relaxation and stress relief is to get into some simple everyday habits that will make your life less stressful. I’m certainly not an expert in this, but the following quick fixes for stressful times have helped me a lot, and I’m sure they can help you too!

1) Don’t check your phone during train or bus rides. I know the urge of reading emails, replying to tweets and doing lots of other stuff on my smartphone when I’m using public transport. But if you’re a person who lacks proper relaxation time, you should use the rides to lean back and get a few minutes of peace. Close your eyes or simply enjoy the view and let your thoughts float. On a full day, this might be the only peaceful moment you get, so make good use of it and leave that email waiting for another 15 minutes.

2) Listen to music. If you’re stuck in a busy place waiting for someone or something, try and escape the noise by plugging some music into your ears. I know your local Starbucks might be chaotic, especially during Frappuccino Happy Hours, but don’t let this shuffle your mind! Enjoy your coffee and listen to that relaxing music instead.

3) Speaking of coffee, reserve 10 minutes a day to just sit and drink coffee. Be it on your balcony before work (these 10 minutes less sleep won’t kill you), at the office or before your aerobics class, make a conscious effort to take these 10 minutes off every day. And don’t be tempted to check your phone during that time, just sit back and enjoy the peace. A daily break like this can make all the difference in turning that busy mind of yours into a relaxed one and it’s worth it, I promise!

4) Get moving! Even though it might be hard to imagine, working out on a regular basis can do wonders to your well-being. It might mean you get less sleep on one or two nights a week, but I’ve experienced the quality of my sleep to be significantly higher after a workout because I’m physically tired, rather than just mentally. Also it will help you clear your mind from all those business thoughts and you will feel calmer eventually.

5) When you finally do get time to relax, switch the phone off! Or at least, prevent it from sending you push notifications. The temptation to see an important work email and then throw over your relaxation time is too strong. In 99% of the cases, it will be good enough if you answer that email an hour later, and if it’s absolutely essential, the sender might as well call. So when you have some time for you, enjoy it and don’t get distracted!

6) During stressful times, treat yourself to a massage. I know, unless you have a well-paying job, you might be unable to afford it. At least in Switzerland, massage treatments cost a fortune. However, when I’m really busy my body tends to tighten up wherever it can, preventing me from both working and dancing properly. If it comes that far, investing some money in a massage will be worth it because it makes you feel so much better.

7) Take a shower. Okay I admit it, I’m kind of a shower addict. Taking a shower can do wonders to my systems: it wakes me up in the morning, helps me to concentrate for a few hours and just makes me feel good. Also, I actually find the 7 minutes spent under the running water incredibly relaxing. So the next time you take a shower on a busy day, use the wonderful feeling to calm yourself down and sort out some of your thoughts.

8) Meet friends, but only if you feel like it. If you’d rather stay home alone and have some time for yourself, don’t be afraid to say no to your friends. But if you want to see them, do it! And, most importantly, if you’re having a good time, don’t head home at 9pm so that you can go to bed at 10pm so that you can sleep 8 hours. If your friends make you feel good, stay with them a little longer and deal with 7 hours of sleep instead. The positivity will stick with you longer than the fatigue.

9) Go to bed early. Now this might sound like a contradiction to point 8, but it isn’t! You won’t meet your friends every night, of course. If there’s a day during the week when you’re home early, enjoy a calm evening and go to bed early rather than to do some random series watching or whatever it is that prevents you from going to bed. If you’re busy, having a longer night every once in a while might be a life-saver!

10) Keep a to-do list. In the era of smartphones and tablets, you don’t even have to carry a physical list with you anymore! Simply type whatever comes to your mind into your electronic to-do list (great apps for this are Wunderlist & Evernote) and then let the thought drop. Once you’ve written it down, you can even set a reminder and then forget about it for the rest of the day, you’ll get a reminder anyway, right? This helps you to not feel overwhelmed with all the stuff that you need to do because it gives you the opportunity to not think about it for a while, providing some brain space for more important things.

Puh, this list turned out to be longer than I thought! But never mind, following these ten steps has always helped me to deal with busy schedules and get through stressful times. It’s so important that you relax your body and mind whenever you can, even if it’s just ten minutes in the middle of your most busy day! I hope these tips will make it easier for you to relieve stress, too.

Have a wonderful and relaxed SCUD Day!

This post originally appeared on www.stepabout.me

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