Sometimes it can feel like it is so much to do with so little time to do it. From making sure your family is good, making sure bills are paid, dealing with personalities at work and more. We all can come to a point where we all feel like we are going to break, but before getting to that point understand what helps you to relax. One thing that I have come to understand is throughout all the hustle and bustle, you have to learn to take time for yourself.
There have been times that me not taking some “Me Time” like I like to call it, has made me aggressive with people when aggression isn’t needed, has given me headaches, or even more, started to see that I was getting sick… often. As time progressed and I feel that I became more mature to understand that success isn’t going to happen over night, so just pace myself, I started to look into things that help me to keep my “peace”.
From doing just a couple of these each day, or even a few each week, I noticed a huge difference in my attitude, drive, focus and health. Checkout these seven things to add to your weekly routine to help you keep your peace.
1. Make a personal music playlist
In my life, I know music has helped me to escape and confront so many challenges throughout my life. From thoughts I couldn’t express, but came out perfect by lyricist J. Cole, all the way to understanding self love from the warm vocals of India Arie. The main reason I love music is because it allows you to engulf yourself in an emotion, or drown out one. So to help yourself throughout the week, take some time and create a playlist for yourself. I know some people don’t like to pay for a subscription to a streaming service, but I promise you it will be your best investment for your mental health.
With your playlist, take time to reflect on songs you loved during a time period and put them all in one place. Thinking about your girl? Make a R&B playlist of some of your favorite hits. Trust me, making a personal music playlist can have you singing along with no one to sing-a-long with. But you will have the time of your life.
2. Relax near water
Being near water can do wonders to your mental health. I found this out during a time when I felt I had so many questions for God and the world. During that time, I use to like going to a local college that had a lake on the campus and I would just sit outside and type in my phone my thoughts, feelings and conclusions that I had about life. After about 30 minutes to an hour, I could get up and I would feel total rejuvenated with a clearer mind to continue work during my day, or night.
Other than myself, scientifically it has been proven that being near water can better people’s moods. A recent study even showed that people who live near the ocean report feeling less stress and better health than those who don’t. I will say, it doesn’t have to be a beach, it can simply be a lake, or a river. Even though it can’t be explained, for me, I feel it’s something about the calming sound and view of flowing water.
3. Go for a walk
Sometimes the best way to help yourself relax in a very busy day is the simply go for a quick walk. I know when being in a corporate setting and deadlines was being pushed and dealing with different personalities who all are trying to keep their composure while stressed out, the quickest way to relax was to get away from my desk and take a walk outside the building.
One time, I knew I was at my breaking point as I got up from my 6×6 boxed cubicle and begin to stare out the window from the 15th floor. At that moment as I was stating to myself, “this can’t be life”, I looked down and noticed that there was a homeless person, kid you not, basking in the warm sun. Laying on a bench with his shirt off, as if he was on a beach. I knew I had to figure something out as for a split second (actually a few minutes) I wished I was that homeless person.
I knew I couldn’t take a vacation as I already knew I had my vacation days planned, so I started to take my breaks seriously as a BREAK. No calling people that needed calling, not talking to negative people during my break and no answering questions that can wait (all questions can wait). This was my time and for that time I would take a walk. This is also another time where that personal playlist can come in handy. Nothing feels better than taking a walk while listening to your ‘Dirty South’ mix and coming back into the office feeling like you can tell anyone to “Knuck If You Buck” all while finishing off websites and excel spreadsheets. LOL!
4. Writing out your emotions
We all know social media has become popular due to friends being on there as well as gossip and news. One other reason social media has become popular is due to it being many people’s place to vent. One thing I will say is, it’s good that people are getting their emotions, or problems out, but social media is definitely the WRONG PLACE FOR THAT.
In some of my most troubling times, I would find myself making a journal to get my thoughts out. When you feel you can’t talk to anyone about your problems, sometimes you just need an outlet to get your thoughts out. Creating a journal, preferably one that is actually a book can help you to speak on some of the hardest questions and situations you may have for yourself. Plus, just like with studying, you come to remember what you wrote more when you have to take the time to write it out. Allowing you to reflect on questions and coming to find that answer for yourself throughout life.
In times of need, we all wish that we could have friends that could be there every step of the way, but that’s not to going to happen. No matter how much they want to help and sometimes they have to deal with their own problems. Buy a composition book, write in it whenever you feel the need to. Next you’ll find yourself reading back on things and notice how many life answer you have answered and how far you have come.
5. Take up an extracurricular activity
Adding something to your weekly schedule may not be something that you are looking forward to, but it may be the stress relief you need just to better your week. Sometimes adding more to your to-do list can give you a mental gain, plus gives you a reason to not do things you don’t want to (like hang with irritating co-workers for ‘group bonding’). If capable, try taking golfing lessons. Many guys that I speak to who golf now, love it due to 1.. It’s relaxing, 2. you have to concentrate, 3. it gives them 3-5 hours to themselves, or a couple of personal friends that they can bond with, or just get away from society.
Another great curricular activity to take up is a style of Mix Martial Arts. For awhile, I took up Muay Thai as something to keep me active after work. Don’t get me wrong, the first day I felt like I was going to vomit from being out of shape and took a few hard shine kicks, but physical pain didn’t discourage me due to playing sports (football and baseball) while growing up. After a couple of weeks, understanding moves, becoming more conditioned and getting to spare (padded fight), I came to notice that I came out of a hour class relaxed, stress free and slept better at night.
Some curricular activities may cost you some money, but if you can do it and you want to do it, DO IT! At the least, get you a gym membership if you can’t start off with exactly what you want. That way, when you’re are able to do them, you won’t be out of shape, or stretch anything (because you can hurt yourself golfing).
6. Meditation or Prayer
Sometimes when it feels like you need three of yourself to get things done throughout your week, the best thing you can do is stop every single thing, or slow down. Meditation is allowing yourself time to reconnect with the universe, or re-centering yourself. Meditation is one thing I feel everyone should come to understand more and add to their week, if not each day. Most times people think to meditate you need to be somewhere quiet and have to sit down for an hour humming. No, meditation can be done anywhere.
Sometimes when I feel I’m coming anxious as I have been running around, I wait till I can sit down somewhere close my eyes and will begin to slowly breathe through my nose, hold it for 3 – 5 second and breathe out my mouth. Doing that a few times until I feel myself come relax. It can be something as short as 5 – 15 minutes of self-peace.
Meditation can definitely come in handy on those days where you have to get sh*t done and you only have a few minutes before having to go back into the storm. If you come to like meditating? Take some time and begin to look up mantra phrases that you feel connects with your soul, or honestly, make up phrases that you feel fits for your life. What people don’t understand is that you don’t have to be a yoga guru to meditate. It is your own personal connection with yourself, the universe and God. Reconnect yourself and continue your day.
7. Having Sex
People can say what they want, but sex is probably the most relaxing thing anyone can do to help themselves and a partner to relax and feel stress free. Now I don’t mean to go out and just find anyone, Tinder App lovers, because I do feel energy can be drained as well as absorbed. If you’re in a relationship, or even a mutually beneficial friendship, you might just have that day/night where getting together can be the perfect way to start off your week, end your week, or simply get through your week. Either way, sex can be the workout you needed to get healthy as well as the ‘woo-saa’ needed to forget about your daily problems.
We know that life can be stressful sometimes, but to continue this journey we all have to figure out productive ways to get us over those humps, so that we can continue thrive through all tribulations. For this list, I could have simply listed smoking (marijuana), or having a drink, but even that needs to be for celebration purposes, unless prescribed by a doctor.
In this day in age we have to get better acquainted with things that will help us grow as a whole and better our mood. If not, no matter what surrounding we are in, we’re just walking around ticking time bombs.