Don’t forget to relax!
N.B. This blog is also available in Finnish and you’ll find it here
Relaaaax! So much easier said than done. I’m one of those people, who can’t stay still and just do nothing, when such an opportunity comes. For example, when our son naps, I always find thousand and one things to do during that time, instead of resting and relaxing myself. I know that it’s foolish and the whole family would benefit more of relaxed mom!
The fact is, that we shouldn’t just relax because it’s fun. Studies have shown that relaxation and both our mental and physical health have a really strong connection between each other. And just to be more specific, with relaxation, I don’t mean only bubble baths (who has time for that?!?), wine glasses and scented candles, though they sound really tempting and relaxing. We all have our own ways to relax (reading, going for a walk, listening music, baking, doing yoga, etc.), and we just have to find them out and squeeze a little time for them, every day.
Because relaxation is perhaps the single most important key to health and wellbeing, I decided to list the most meaningful health benefits of it. Only a small checklist for you and me, so we can enjoy of Christmas and the holidays more and relax a little during these days 😉 .
The photos of this post were taken three years ago on Kuredu Island, Maldives, where I really could feel myself relaxed and stress free <3 .
Your body unwinds. You may not actually see these little changes, but you’ll definitely feel them in a long run. Relaxation gives your heart a rest by slowing the heart rate and reducing blood pressure. It also slows the rate of breathing, which reduces the need for oxygen, and increases blood flow to the muscles and decreases muscle tension. Relaxed mind = relaxed body!
You’ll sleep better. Sleep is fun, but it also ensures that you’re showing your best sides during the day. Relaxing before heading to the bed helps you get more qualified sleep and gives you more energy for the upcoming day.
Stress a little less. You have heard that a minor stress is good for you, you’ll perform better and work harder, etc., but long-term stress affects negatively both on your mind and body. Relaxing will improve your mood and keeps you safe from feeling blue. According to studies, for example, also your skin will suffer if you don’t relax regularly, as stress seems to up the amount of oil produced by the skin, clogging pores and causing acne. Also if you’re stressed for long period, appetite increasing cortisol levels in your body will raise up, and you’ll end up gaining weight more easily. I don’t mean you’re going to be depressed and overweight version of you if you don’t relax, but you got the point. Relaxed and stress free body, makes you feel better!
Avoid colds. This is actually related to the above. It’s been shown that chronic stress lasting more than a month but less than six months doubles your risk of catching a cold. To avoid all of those flu and fever germs around you, have a relaxing moment today.
Be smarter, work harder. Well this might be a little generalized, but when you’re relaxed, your memory will improve and you’ll find it easier to concentrate. You will be more efficient with what ever you’re doing, and give your all to it. I think it would be great if employers begin to invest in workers’ relaxation. It would definitely be a win-win situation!
Make it a habit to relax regularly now, and you’ll be doing yourself a favor in the long run!