Tips for relaxing


Coronavirus has dominated our lives recently with many facing additional burdens since the beginning of 2020; home office, home schooling, not being able to socialise and the worry of being ‘pinged’. It’s time to relax, to make sure we include relaxation and wellness at home in our everyday life.

Relax by breathing correctly
The first tip is as simple as it is effective; breathing correctly will help you relax. Have you ever realised that you breathe more quickly in stressful situations? This creates additional tension. But if you breathe in and out deeply and slowly, then you will start to feel calmer. Here are a few tips on how to breathe simply breathe away frustration and stress:
- Ensure that your posture is upright, otherwise the diaphragm and abdominal muscles are blocked
- Count your breaths and make sure they are even
- Consciously notice the three-way rhythm of inhaling, exhaling and a short pause for breath. Consciously noticing your own breathing in itself ensures that you relax.
    Relax with yoga
    For many, yoga and work-life balance have long been inseparable. The right breathing technique plays an important role here as well but beyond that, it's about stretching and strengthening your body. 
    If you have a lot on your plate then yoga is ideal. There’s a simple reason for this, all you need is a mat and a little time. There is a huge variety of different versions and types starting from 10 to 15 minutes on YouTube. After all, you’ve always got 15 minutes, haven’t you? Get on the mat - your body will thank you for integrating small sessions into your daily routine that you can do regularly.

    Meditation is also equally helpful for relaxation. Short periods of 10 to 15 minutes are also enough, preferably on a daily basis. There are now a number of apps, podcasts or YouTube tutorials to guide you and help you switch off your mind and let stress drift away. Try it out for yourself and discover if you can relax more easily thanks to yoga or meditation. A small tip: Beginners should try it out a few times and test different versions.

    Relax together on a dream trip
    Between the working day, school and homework, it can sometimes be hard to find the time and way to relax together as a family. A great idea, embark on an imaginative dream journey together! It's as simple as this; make yourself and your children comfortable, with your little ones closing their eyes and breathing calmly. Then quietly and gently read an imaginative story. Magic journeys thrive on visualised experiences and awaken vivid imaginations, for example hidden forest paths, strolls across fields and meadows, or diving parties with fish in the sea. You can find suggestions and suitable stories for magic journeys on YouTube or in books.´
    Putting the home office in its place
    One of the biggest changes to everyday life since the start of the Covid pandemic, is the amount of time we spend working from home. And the promised freedom and flexibility at the beginning doesn’t necessarily stay true in the long run. Your work-life balance gets out of kilter.  Especially for those who do not have a separate study, who may notice that private and work spheres are becoming blurred. Notes and laptops are always on the dining table, a small matter gets handled late at night and the flat is no longer suitable as a private space. In the long run, the boundary between home and work dissolving can have an impact on the mind and cause a kind of permanent stress.

    The solution? Put the home office in its place:
    - Set a regular schedule with breaks and a finishing time. Always start at the same time in the morning, give yourself breaks and shut down your laptop or PC after work. 
    - Take time for breakfast and lunch, cook ahead in the evening and don't sit in front of the computer when eating.
    - Put away your work equipment every evening. If you don't have any shelf space, a large box will keep things in order. Remember the phrase, out of sight, out of mind.
    - Try to create a separate working area for yourself where possible, even if you don't have a separate room for it. Maybe there's some space in a corner for a narrow desk and an office chair? Speaking of office chairs, if you are working from home for months at a time, a suitable chair is a must. Your back will thank you.
    Relax with puzzles
    Jigsaw puzzles are currently experiencing quite a renaissance, among both young and old people. It’s not surprising, concentration and patience are required when doing puzzles and the task is clear. This all aids relaxation in everyday life. Puzzles are a great activity for the whole family. They come in all levels of difficulty and for all ages. So make a puzzle a family affair. Choose a picture together that all family members like. If you don't want to spend a whole weekend doing puzzles, a larger puzzle can be a regular everyday activity. This way, the whole family can spend half an hour together every evening completing the puzzle bit by bit. And at the end, everyone is proud to have played their part. 
    Relax at home with wellness
    There are days when all you need is a little time to yourself. Particularly if the day in question was filled with virtual meetings. At this point, a time-out with small rituals and the right products can really help aid relaxation at home:
    - If you have a bathtub, treat yourself to a nice bubble bath with a relaxing scent like lavender or lemon balm. Then all you need is some atmospheric music to help you relax. Hang a sign on the door with the following - Please do not disturb.
    - If you don't have a bathtub, you can treat yourself to a footbath. Grab some scented candles to help aid the relaxtion. 
    The ideal pampering programme normally includes manicures, pedicures or face masks. Make time for these treats and test out new products, particularly in stressful times. For your at-home manicure, make sure you leave your nails long enough to dry. Whether you simply close your eyes to relax in the meantime or carefully thumb through a magazine is up to you.
    Of course, you can achieve greater relaxation with a visit to the masseur, a day at the spa or a short trip with a stay at a hotel. For example, you can find relaxation away from home again at the Novotel Hamburg City Alster complete with sauna or the Novotel Nürnberg Centre Ville, which has its own indoor pool.
    Progressive muscle relaxation
    The principle of progressive muscle relaxation is simple and help aids relaxation. In short sessions, tense individual muscle groups for a few seconds, one after the other from head to toe, then relax once more. The tension phase should last between 5 and 10 seconds, the relaxation phase between 30 and 45 seconds.

    For example, you can tighten or curl individual regions - such as the shoulders, abdomen or toes - then relax them again. There are many apps or videos to help assist you. The effects of this simple technique include decreasing heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure as well as encouraging a sense of inner peace. These exercises don't take much time or require any equipment, you can incorporate them into your everyday life at any time.
    Relax with restful sleep
    It goes without saying that all the tips mentioned here are of little use if you struggle getting to sleep at night or have restless nights. Sleep should be deep and undisturbed to help aid relaxation in day-to-day life. To help you drift off: 
    - Ban your smartphone from the bedroom. If this is too much for you, then you should at least switch it to night mode or dim the screen to get some rest. Try not to go straight from looking at your phone to trying to go to sleep. 
    - Perhaps you know the feeling of lying awake with digestive problems after an extremely sumptuous, late dinner. Fatty foods in particular are difficult to digest. Drinks containing caffeine can also stop you from falling asleep.
    - When was the last time you went for a walk or rode your bike in the fresh air? If you get enough oxygen and fresh air during the day, it will help you relax better in the evening. 
    - Lavender has a calming effect. Make use of it when falling asleep. There are lavender sprays for pillows or small lavender sachets that you can place next to your pillow. Some people also find that a sleep mask helps them to drift off.
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