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How to relax when it feels impossible

You probably don’t need someone to tell you that rest and relaxation are important, but have you ever thought about it? How relax? It may feel like an odd question as the quiet can seem deceptively simple, but listen to me. Many things can stand in the way of restful, restful downtime, and the truth is, many of us are not good at relaxing in practice. It’s a skill worth honing, however – we all need ways to recover from the world’s many stressors for the sake of our sanity.

“We all need more rest than we think, especially now,” Jor-El Caraballo, LMHC, therapist and co-founder of Brooklyn-based therapy practice Viva Wellness, told SELF. “We barely scratched the surface of the psychological burden of 2020, as much rest as you think you need is probably not enough.”


If you think this sounds great in theory, but have no idea how to implement it, don’t worry. For many, relaxing is easier said than done, but we have some tips on how to organize your rest time. feeling like rest. Read on for helpful tips on how to relax.

1. Know what actually relaxes you.

It might sound obvious, but tons of people aren’t very critical or creative about how they spend their downtime. “People often think they’re resting when they really aren’t,” clinical psychologist Ryan Howes, Ph.D., told SELF.

For example, you tend to scroll through Twitter for a couple of hours to relax. This may be relaxing for some people, but for many it is more stressful than anything else. Or maybe you’re forcing yourself to do things that you’ve heard were supposed to be relaxing – like meditating, napping, or taking a bubble bath – when you actually find them super boring or unhelpful. Relaxation is not one size fits all.

To find out what rest means to you, you may first want to redefine how you think about it. “Relaxation isn’t an activity – it’s the result of every activity,” says Caraballo. And which activities lead to relaxation depends on you. Explore hobbies, different types of physical activity, different types of socializing, self-care practices, and much more. Then watch out. Ask yourself, ‘How do I feel afterwards? Do i feel grounded? Do i feel stable? I’m feeling well? ‘If so, maybe this is something that can be on your list to get away from the world, ”says Caraballo. “And if not, you may have to try something different.”

If you find that your relaxation activities are not really relaxing and you don’t know what else to try, you may need to return to the drawing board and start experimenting. That’s okay. “Start small,” says Caraballo. “So small you think it’s absurd. Sit for literally 30 seconds. Do a breathing exercise every day. “Go from there.

2. Pay attention to your rest time.

Intentionality is a kind of golden rule of calm. For relaxation to be effective, you must make a commitment to it. “Six hours of half-hearted relaxation isn’t as good as two hours of concentrated, deliberate relaxation,” Howes says. The truth is, we are only half resting all the time. We get distracted by email or social media. We turn our hobbies into sideline activities and deprive them of joy. We spend our rest time thinking about our to-do lists. We leave ourselves open to distractions or wander aimlessly back and forth between activities because we don’t really know what we want. Instead, make a habit of telling yourself, “Okay, it’s time to relax” and really knowing what that means.

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