"Take a chill pill." We've all heard the expression. But, in daily life, most people have difficulties actually relaxing. And, since taking a vacation all the time isn't a practical option, here are five tricks for really, truly relaxing:
1. Try progressive muscle relaxation
To decrease adrenaline and cortisol, try out progressive muscle relaxation. Tense the muscles in your toes for a few seconds, then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat, working your way through all the muscle groups from your feet to your head.
2. Decompress during your commute
Unwind during your commute home by using a meditation app, listening to calming music, talking to a friend or loved one, or doing some deep breathing. Whatever you do, don't check your email.
3. Disconnect from social media
People that check their social media accounts regularly have higher levels of stress. Make sure to limit your social media exposure and usage -- check sites and apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter once a day or less.
4. Create a gratitude list
Whenever you're feeling super stressed out, create a list of things that bring you joy and things for which you are grateful. This exercise will help to center and refocus your attention on the positives in life.
5. Commit to an activity
Commit with friends to engage in an activity that you find super enjoyable at least once a week, such as a yoga or cooking class. This will leave you no choice but to relax.
There's no doubt that it can be challenging taking time out to truly relax and engage in self-care. But, by incorporating activities that you find relaxing into your daily and weekly routines, you'll find your stress levels shrink.