Find ‘chilling’ a challenge? ‘De-stressing’ too stressful? Check out these simple ideas.

Answers that could resolve your relaxation quest.

Who?

  • prefer the company of others? invite a friend round
  • prefer your own company? set aside a private space, from a dedicated room to a comfy armchair

I have been very fortunate to have a small spare room where I could chill. In my present home I have a favourite armchair with a slope desk, and coffee table close at hand.

What?

  • watch a film, sporting event, TV series
  • listen to music, a podcast, a radio play, a talking book, recite poetry
  • play an instrument, create artwork, design a working model, cook up a delicious savoury or sweet dish
  • free-write in your journal, write a poem or story, song lyrics
  • indulge in a make-over, a home spa session, a workout
  • potter in the garden or tend a window box

Anything that is time-limited, doesn’t include contentious issues, will hold the attention.

My go-to chill activity is primarily craft based. I also have numerous journals where I write poetry or sketch, and when the weather permits a session in the garden is always rewarding.

Where?

Indoors: don your favourite comfy clothes and curl up by a window to watch the world go by; sit by a fire to reflect on the flames; snuggle up with a book, hot chocolate or mulled wine in hand

Outdoors: walk (preferably barefoot) and feel the earth beneath your feet, listen to birdsong, smell the flowers; set off on a photographic expedition, looking at new angles ways of seeing the world

Anything that doesn’t involve crowds or external pressures that may encroach on the ‘peace bubble’ you are creating.

I love sitting in my chair, perhaps listening to music, but more often reading or writing. Outdoors is great for capturing the world with my camera or speaking with knowledgeable people at museums and historic houses.

When?

It can be much more beneficial when it is a regular part of your routine, not seen as a chore, something else to be fitted in, but as a very valuable and necessary part of the week. It may be something you do most days, or in the evening, or at weekends. It may be for 30 minutes a day, or a few hours at the weekend. It is time for you so it is better spent if it is your choice and suits you and your lifestyle.

Not only when you ‘need’ to, nor only when you ‘want’ to.

As part of my ‘looking after my well-being’ plan I have two activities that I like to do each day: a few minutes on a ‘breathing space’ exercise and, having recently treated myself to a shiatsu massage ‘chair’, 15 minutes on that.

Why?

Relaxation is as necessary as exercise and a healthy diet. It is not something to be tacked on, an indulgence, seen as the preserve of the self-centred or lazy. Being comfortable with yourself, knowing that it is alright to take time out, is vital to well-being and self-esteem.

All in all that is no bad thing. Enjoy.

For me the bottom line is – stress leads to a Shutdown or a Meltdown and neither is pleasant. More relevantly they can lead to hours wasted or even days while my head-space gets back to some sort of equilibrium. Spending 30 minutes a day chilling out instead (a sort of mental insurance policy) is an absolute no-brainer.

I hope you have found some inspiration here. Perhaps you have other ideas for chilling, or have relaxation techniques to share. Please leave your comments below.
Thank you for reading.

Being creative is the mainstay of my life, and poetry, prose, and photography is where I express my deepest emotions. I also enjoy the challenge of design and create jewellery, fabric bags, and garments and home items in yarn. Diagnosed with ASD at the age of 68 after fifty years in and out of the mental health system, I now aim to explore and share my experiences over these years. Apart from blogs and short articles I'll share my life in my verse and images.

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