Understatement of the day: Life is hard and stressful. Worst of all, proper relaxation can cost a lot of money, which then adds more stress. It’s a vicious cycle. But, don’t worry, we are here to help you relax. And it won’t cost you a fortune. So, sit back, take a deep breath (two, three, four), out (two, three, four), and read our list of relaxation tips.

You don’t have to do them all, chose a few that work for you and stick with them. Relaxation is like making the bed; you have to do it regularly to feel the full effect (and get in the habit). And now, without further ado, here is our relaxation list.

  1. Keep a journal. At the end or the beginning of the day, write down how you feel and what’s going on in your life.
  2. Plenty of studies have found that meditation is extremely beneficial for your mental, spiritual and even physical wellbeing. You don’t need to sit and hum four hours every day, but try a couple of minutes – download apps to help you.
  3. Take a long bath while enjoying an icy glass of wine or beer.
  4. Exercise. It doesn’t matter if you walk around the block or do an hour of intense weight training, as long as you do something that distracts your mind.
  5. Go outside and appreciate nature.
  6. Watch fish swim. Trust us, you’ll feel weird for a bit, and then you’ll love it.
  7. Keep a gratitude journal. Write down three things you are grateful for every day. It can be coffee, your partner or the amazing special on cheese at PnP.
  8. Practice breathing exercises. Breathing properly turns out to be a lot harder than what we’ve been doing so far; but if you can monitor your breathing correctly, you can improve your health and control stress.
  9. Volunteer. You can’t spread joy without getting some on yourself.
  10. Do something nice for a stranger and tell them to do the same for someone else.
  11. Sing out loud and dance.
  12. Go on a digital detox. Say goodbye to electronics for an evening, a day or a weekend.
  13. See a movie on your own. Tun-tun-tuuuun. Being alone for a bit can help your mind relax.
  14. Drink green tea. It contains a chemical that can reduce stress and anger.
  15. Call 084 11 438 48, visit getmore247.co.za or use the GetMore Plus app to find out about discounted spa treatments.
  16. Be bored and let your mind wonder – it’s a brilliant source of creativity.
  17. Even if it’s a few pages before you’re off to sleep.
  18. It will relax your muscles and mind.
  19. Not in a creepy way, but smiling (even when you don’t feel like it) can improve your mood.
  20. Chew gum. It’s weird, and it’s probably some prehistoric wiring, but if you’re eating, you reduce your stress. Because, why would you be eating if you’re in danger?
  21. Listen to music. Just be careful what you choose as certain types can increase your heart rate.
  22. Go Frozen and let it go. You’re human; you can really only do so much – do that and stop breaking your head about all the rest.
  23. Eat dark chocolate. Not a slab! It’s been found that dark chocolate contains mood-boosting properties.
  24. Count backwards. Start with a 100 and count back in 7s. It will distract your mind from what’s currently causing you worries and help you focus better on whatever problem you have.
  25. Cheap foot massage? Put a golf or table tennis ball on the floor and roll your foot over it until you feel better.
  26. Feeling panicked? Drip cold water on your wrists and behind your ears. Your major arteries are there, and the cold water will help cool your blood down and relax your body.
  27. Freaking out at work? Watch a funny YouTube video. Laughter increases blood flow, reduces and stress and boosts your immune system.
  28. Play with your pet; unless you have a fish, then see point 6.
  29. Improve yourself. Read an article, watch an instructional video or take a short course. Bettering yourself builds your self-esteem.
  30. Swing! Go to a nearby park and play on the swings. You’ll remember your childhood, and the whole action will calm you down.

Resources: She Knows, LifeHack, Greatist and Out of Stress.

Credits:

Jello man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi32DRO9flw

Zen garden: http://tierraeste.com/awesome-small-zen-garden-23-pictures/miniature-zen-garden-pinterest-gardens-mini/

Cat: https://makeameme.org/meme/aaaaaaah-supreme-relaxation

Willi Wonka: https://printedchic.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/rest-relaxation-and-resumes/

squirrel: http://relax.motifake.com/tags/relax

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