Our first mini-series will be on physical well-being, perhaps one of the most important forms of self-care. Now, we aren’t talking about pulling out the lycra, going to the gym every day, and getting sweating. We are talking about the physical body and the healthy changes that can make an impact, change your mindset and help your overall wellbeing. So, go grab yourself a cuppa, and enjoy our first edit!
Rest & Relaxation
Our first installment to Physical Well-being is rest and relaxation! ⠀
Did you know, we all have a built-in ‘stress-response’, or ‘flight-or-fight’ as it’s often known. This dates back to our ancient ancestors during times of danger and is still instilled in us today. Unlike our ancient ancestors, whose flight-or-fight response would kick in when faced with danger, ours can sometimes be activated by daily stresses
Once this is activated, the body sets off a chain of reactions and hormones that can cause the following symptoms; dilated pupils, pale or flushed skin, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing & trembling.⠀This can be incredibly overwhelming to a person who is already feeling stressed, and what’s worse is can take 20-60 minutes for the body to return to normal after. By using relaxation, we can learn healthier ways to best handle stressful situations. One way is to invoke the ‘relaxation response’. The ‘relaxation response’ with practice, can be used to create a sense of calm during stressful times, without activating the ‘stress-response'.
Here are a few ‘relaxation response’ techniques that you can regularly practice at home.
1. Breathe - Breathe in deeply and slowly, feeling each breath as it fills your lungs, feel your belly expand and deflate, repeat until your mind is clear and your body is relaxed. ⠀
2. Muscle relaxation - This focuses on each muscle, starting from your head to your feet. Make sure you are in a sitting position, tense the muscles in your body one muscle at a time for a few seconds, then release. Start to tense the muscles in your forehead for 30 seconds, then move to your eyes and tense your eyes or 30 seconds, then repeat by tensing your nose, mouth, shoulders, upper arm, remembering to moving down the body one muscle at a time for 30 seconds, until you finish at your toes.
3. Visualisation - Get comfy, this exercise requires you to close your eyes and think of a place you enjoy visiting or want to visit. Imagine yourself there, feel your feet on the floor, smell the scent in the air, listen to the noise in your image, imagine it in as much detail as possible, activating all the scenes you would experience there. Keep visualising and start to relax your breathing, do this for about 10-20 minutes. ⠀
Find the right technique for you and practice it at least once a week as part of your self-care and wellness routine.
That’s all from me today, I’m away to enjoy my self-care Sunday walk. I hope you liked our first edit, but most of all I hope you have enjoyed this little minute to yourself with your cuppa. I will leave you to enjoy kick-starting your self-care Sunday with a little R&R.
Happy self-care Sunday everyone!