What’s your unwind therapy?
Unwind, decompress, de-stress, relaxing time whatever you may want to call it, we all need it at some time or the other. With 2020 being a year where life has been a change for each one of us in some form or the other, it has also made us ponder on what is and should be important in our lives. It has also made us stop!
For me, to unwind is to absolutely be in a space where I feel free. What about you? I mean, isn’t that the whole point of de-stressing, to be able to relax after going through some hard work or stressful experience?
To feel free, what does it mean to you? Think about it for a second.
Personally, there are a handful of things that I like to do. Even though I’ve tried many new experiences and repeated the same, some did not have the same affect on me as I thought. But there are a few that just makes me happy and in control of my thoughts and actions again.
1. Chef it out!
Some days when my mood is off, when I want to do something productive but at the same time not work, cooking is my one option. I for one, don’t like being in the kitchen too long, hence I like to cook things that can be done with 5-8 ingredient’s at the most. Something simple and tasty. Bake, cook, steam, air-fry it, what ever it may be. Some of the best dishes come out during this time of de-stressing. (and when you repeat the same dish, it just doesn’t taste the same as before.)
The prior tastes you have in your mouth, just as you start to prepare it and you know what you want, the heat, the measurements, the cutting of your colorful vegetables or thinly slicing your fish to get that perfect piece and finally the aroma of your gourmet comfort food. All this, brings a little sense, peace and concentration into your lives. Not to mention, you get to eat too. (if you love food that is)
2. Bring out that creativity
If you are the artistic types or not, just take out a piece of paper and pen and scribble. Some days I require some inspiration, so browsing through a few images online, and then get to painting. Do some DIY, pick up some old bottles, coasters, old t-shirts, jeans or even rags of cloth. Draw a design or something fun and quirky and use some acrylics to paint over it.
Finger painting is also a lot of fun and soothing. It allows you to get in touch with your inner color (self) and express it on canvas. The idea is to not over think it. Just keep some wet paints in front of you and let your body take over. Feel which color attracts you, use it. Remember, don’t think just feel. Feel the paint, it’s thick, gooey or thin water based color on your fingers. Let the hand move to it’s own accord. What you create is not for judgement, but it’s something that you felt at the time that you let out through this technique. Weather you in a good mood or not so good mood or completely frustrated, try it out. It may work for you. (Not a guarantee therapy for every one.)
3. Camp the night
If you like to be with nature and wilderness, then camping is one way to decompress. It surely is not for everyone and can sometimes be a lot of work if you not used to it, but it is a good experience. If you not much a camping person, find a spot where there is a restaurant close by or camping ground where washroom facilities and restaurant are available. You don’t have to worry much about packing food and toiletries, just carry the minimum things you would need and camp for the night or two.
Once you all set up with the tent, all you have to do is sit out, enjoy the view and listen to the sounds of nature.
4. Climb a cliff or mountain
If you require to let off some steam, my opinion is trek. You get some good cardio and it pushes you to reach your goal- top of that mountain/ cliff, to get that amazing view overlooking the town, valleys or streams. Mornings are generally a beautiful time to go on a walk, with cool breeze and fresh air surrounding you. But, there have been times I have even gone early in the evenings. (2-3 pm) By the time I would reach the top, it would be sunset. Another mesmerizing sight.
5. Listen to the waves crash
If you not a mountain person or lives close to the coast, check out the beach. Wear some shorts and a cool Tee and let the warm salty air touch your skin. Listen to the sound of the waves and watch the sky move. Remember, feel your surroundings, don’t think it. Maybe even go for a swim (if you know how to swim) or put your feet in the water. Walk, sit, run or do all three. Be in that moment and let your worries go.
If at the time, you are unable to do any of the said above, then the best thing that has worked for me is “breathing”. A simple but effective strategy. Put your headphones on maybe listen to some soothing music of your choice and take a deep breathe in (count to 4) and let it out (count to 4). Do this 4-5 times to help you start your relaxation and calm your thoughts. Focus on the breathing. (Not so easy at the start but a little practice helps to begin the process.) Remember, feel the process not think it.
Apart from these strategies, cycling, going for a drive, a walk in the park, having a cup of coffee or tea, the matter being, do something different for a change, something that can make you happy and relaxed. Something that you can feel- emotionally and physically.
Share your thoughts and inspirations what you do to unwind.