Thursday, 19 December 2013

Just Relax..

This post is a little different from the others but I hope that many of you can relate to it in some shape or form!
  Lots of us are tangled up in the hustle and bustle of general life and we forget to relax. Relaxing? Who has time for relaxing? Well, not many of us, but I'm ordering you now - put some time aside and relax! When you’re caught up in the world of school/work, they seem to be the only things that matter – this is so WRONG. Obviously we all need to try our best to fulfil our goals and work to our full potential but it’s also so important to remember to unwind and relax. It is easy to slip into an unhealthy mindset of work, work and more work. If there's one thing that's for sure it's that life is all about balance. I’ve experienced the importance of ‘balance’ first hand with my experience of exams so far. A few months ago I was busy slaving away for my GCSE exams - whether it was revising or actually doing the tests, GCSE took over months of my life. During this time they seemed like the 'be-all' and 'end-all'. Now, on reflection, they really weren't. Of course it was important to revise for them and for me to try my best but if I said that I didn't get incredibly stressed during this time, I would be lying. It was during my GCSE's that I realised the importance of 'time out' and taking time to relax and clear my mind. 
  In a way I guess that this blog post is about sharing my experiences and hoping that a few of you will use these relaxation tips which were invaluable for me in the MEGA stressful time period of my exams. 


The beach was my perfect escape - walking along the beach was my ideal detox. This was a picture I took on one of  my many walks during my exam period!
Possibly one of the most effective ways for me to relax is to take some time ‘out’. By ‘out’ I mean get out of that library where you have been studying for the past few hours or leave the house for a few minutes/hours by taking the dog for a walk, going on a brisk walk or jog! The space in which you work  becomes sort of negative and depressing after a while so getting some fresh, natural air is good for so many reasons -  you’re exercising which is a good and healthy way to destress yourself; you’re realising that there is life outside of your study walls; you’re realising that there is more to life than just an A4 sheet of paper and a biro.. The list of why escaping is a good way to relax is pretty much endless! Just GO and escape for a few moments.

       Surround yourself with what you love.

photo taken from google images
It’s so easy to get to that ‘freak out’ point, whether it’s an impossible mathematical problem (literally), or just a general ‘I can’t do this anymore’ breakdown moment, it’s important to realise that you need to walk (or run, depending on which is more effective for you) away from the problem. You may think that this is avoiding the situation, which momentarily you are, but it’s a method that has been working for me over the past couple of weeks. I recognised that when I reached this ‘freak out’ point my brain sent itself into a frenzy of panic where it refused to do work and just made me panic instead. So, I was wasting my time trying to work when I physically couldn’t because I was so freaked out.
  When you get to this mind set I have found that there are two options that you can take;

a)    Freak out further (good luck with that one.)
b)    Surround yourself with the things that you love and make you happy.

 For me surrounding myself with the things that I love and make me happy immediately relaxes me. It acts as a temporary ‘escape’ route away from my problem. The sorts of things that work for me are:-

Blogging, watching some TV rubbish or YouTube clips, reading magazines/books etc. What ever makes you happy and gives you the option to unwind do it and watch yourself relax and unwind!

       Have a work free zone

photo taken from google images
It’s important to have a work free zone. At the start of my revision I had no work free zone. Everywhere I turned there were brightly coloured post-it notes bathing literally every wall of my bedroom. I have always liked my bedroom to be a place where I can unwind and it was virtually impossible to do that when everywhere I looked I was reminded of work and exams. I literally felt like I was being assaulted by pieces of paper in my own bedroom, a moment I thought would never come. So I decided to rip down hours of work. It may sound crazy and ridiculous but the method of revision didn’t actually work for me. I have a slight photographic memory so having a wall full of information just didn’t work, it wasn’t specific enough for me to remember. I’m not saying that other people wouldn’t find plastering their bedrooms with post-it notes useful, but for me it wasn’t helpful for revision purposes or from a relaxation point of view. I found the result amazing, I could actually walk into my bedroom without wanting to cry. The moral of this little saga is not to rip down all your revision in anticipation that it won’t work, but to make sure that you have a work free zone allowing you to relax. A place where you can focus your energy to a place other than work and exams!

     Finally, Pamper yourself

photo taken from google images

That’s right bring out all the bath bombs, bath salts and deliciously scented products that you own because it’s time to pamper! Bath time is my most favourite part of the day..I realise that I sound about 6 years old saying that but it’s true.. It completely transforms my mood and makes sure that I have an amazing night's sleep even before a nerve-wracking exam. Some essential DO’s to make your bath 100 times more relaxing are as follows –

a)    Candles -  I ran out of my stash of tea lights not so long ago and was probably on the verge of a mental breakdown for candles are my life at the moment. My bedroom is probably due to be set alight again any moment (yes I say again because I have already burnt a minor hole in my carpet due to a lit match flying out of my hand while trying to light a candle which unfortunately landed on my lovely carpet..) but just so that you don’t think I am an arsonist I’ll explain that it’s the general look of candles and smell that appeals to me more than the matches used to instigate the flame. If you were to take a sneaky look into my bedroom you would discover many candles dotted around which is because they completely relax me. Not only do I like candles to be in my room but they’re also amazing when it comes to unwinding in the bath. I like to use the candle as my only light source when I’m in the bath because not only is it super relaxing but I find that the candles reflect in the water which is on another level of relaxation! The smell of a blown out candle is also amazing because it reminds me of my birthday, so, naturally I enjoy blowing out the candles to recreate my birthday happiness.
b)   Bubbles – this blog is really just emphasising how much of a child I really am but I feel like bubbles are such an important part of relaxing, they truly are the key to a good bath. That’s why we call it having a ‘bubble bath’. Now aside from the fantastic alliteration used there, I think you’ll agree that bubbles were made for baths. Bubbles are essentially your clothes in water, your blanket, keeping you safe and protected (quite literally.). 
c)    Zen music – ok, so not quite Nicki Minaj, but candles + bubbles + zen music are a sure guarantee that you’re going to relax. But, if zen music just isn’t ‘hipster’ enough for you then replace it with some relaxing Lana Del Rey or something that chills you out.

So there it is! A little different but I hope that you can read this and relate to it or at least take a few relaxation tips from this post. 

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