Unwinding after a busy day can be tricky, and I’m the first to admit that I used to cram so much into my days that I would still be buzzing by the time I went to bed. When I was working in London, I would spend around 3 hours a day commuting, and as soon as I got home at 7pm, I’d have my pre gym snack and head off for a workout. I’d get back at 9pm and would then have to cook and eat dinner, shower and get my bag ready for the next day, meaning that it was 10.30pm before I’d finish for the day and by this point it was time for bed. I’ve always had a poor sleeping pattern where I can go weeks sleeping brilliantly, and all of a sudden I’ll go weeks sleeping terribly. This was because I wasn’t giving myself a proper chance to relax from my busy day in the city. Giving yourself time to chill out is so important as it puts you in the right mind set for sleeping, so here are some of my top tips to get relaxed and catch some Z’s!
As I was commuting to my placement, I decided to invest in a Kindle, and it’s one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. They’re portable, lightweight and you can store hundreds of books on them. Reading before bed is one of the best ways to relax and unwind, and the special screen means that there is no backlight on the device, so a bright light won’t be keeping your brain awake. Buy yourself a good book and spend your evenings absorbed in a decent chick lit. I’ve listed some of my favourite book series below!
Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella
Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
I Heart Series by Lindsey Kelk
Ahh, bath time. I rarely ever have baths because they’re so time consuming and I rarely have the time to spend 10 minutes running a bath and 40 minutes relaxing in it, but when I have a spare few hours, the bath is where I’ll spend it. I like to make the most of my baths, indulging in a pampering facemask or hair mask, and using relaxing scented bubble bath such as lavender to soothe my senses. I usually take a cup of green tea in with me, as well as my kindle or a good old magazine to help pass the time.
Fresh air does wonders to your brain and is one of my favourite ways to relax. When the sun is shining, there really is no better way to chill out than taking a long stroll through the fields and being ‘at one’ with nature. I’m really lucky in that I live right by a golf course, so if I’m in need of some me time I’ll wander over to the course and walk through the woods and around the empty holes of the course. It doesn’t even have to be somewhere local, you could jump in your car and drive to your nearest nature trail or public field, plug yourself in with some music or just enjoy listening to the sounds of nature! If you get bored easily, take your dog, or offer to walk someone else’s if you don’t have one. If you’re lucky enough to live by the beach, that’s an added bonus!
Part of my little fitness journey revolves around baking and cooking my own dishes, desserts and treats. Whilst this is because of my gluten free diet, it’s also because I love experimenting in the kitchen and coming up with new delicious recipes that I can not only share, but will also satisfy my sweet tooth and love of food. When I’m feeling stressed or just need to unwind, I take to the kitchen and throw ingredients together to create my latest culinary wonderland. My favourite things to bake when I’m in this mood are yummy treats such as my Choc-berry Muffins or something to do with Peanut Butter!
Catching some Zzz’s is probably the best way that you can relax, and if you’re being advised to hit the pillow, don’t complain! I try and get 8 hours of sleep a night to hep my body to rest, repair and recover from my workouts and my daily life. If you’re feeling stressed, it’s time to switch off by getting some REM, you’ll wake up feeling an entirely new person. Light’s out!