When you relax, you give yourself permission to let go of worries for a while. Relaxing gives your mind and body time to recover from the stresses of everyday life.

Relaxation tips

Fit things into your day that help you unwind. It’s different for everyone. For you, it might be listening to music, going for a walk, tea with friends, yoga, reading or watching T.V. Find something that you enjoy and make a conscious effort to do that relaxing thing every day. In a busy work day, even 10 minutes of downtime can help you manage stress better.

It can also help to have a place where you go to relax. This can be your bedroom, bathroom, the garden shed or a small corner in the kitchen – it is somewhere you feel comfortable and secure.

Take a minute to breathe and regain control

We all take breathing for granted because it is something that happens without us being conscious of it. However, if you take a couple of minutes to concentrate on how you breathe, you might realise that your breathing comes from the top of your chest. When we are stressed, tired or feeling anxious we tend to take shallow and fast breaths. When we are relaxed we take slower and calmer breaths. This in turn helps us to feel calmer.

Breathing techniques

Better breathing techniques can be learned. Practice the tips, below, so that when life is hectic you can stop, take a moment and breathe. Breathing better will help your mind and body regain control of the situation.

  • Sit in a comfortable and supportive chair.

  • Put one hand on your chest and the other hand on your abdomen.

  • Breathe as you would normally but notice where your breath is coming from in your body.

  • Then concentrate on taking a deep breath and begin to notice how your abdomen rises and falls with each deep breath.

  • As you get used to taking slow deep breaths try holding the breath for a count of four and then exhaling to a count of six. This will encourage you to take deeper breathes.

  • You can access free podcasts explaining breathing techniques via the Mental Health Foundation UK’s website.

Bring calm into your life

One of our partner organisations, Suicide or Survivehas developed WellnessWorkshop.ie - an online wellness workshop that shares practical tools to help you maintain your wellness when you are feeling good and improve your wellness during difficult times. Below, you can watch one of the videos from the online workshop. This video talks about ways to bring calm into your life, every day.

You can sign up for wellness workshops nationwide, and watch more wellness videos at www.wellnessworkshop.ie.