Friday, 29 January 2016

HOW TO RELAX || BEAT THE JANUARY BLUES

I always think of January as a bit of a wind-down month. December is a bit of a whirlwind, it is so crazy that it just whizzes past in the blink of an eye and you are left with distant memories of wrapping paper and ginormous tubs of celebrations.
When January arrives, you are just getting over the Christmas and New Year buzz, your bank balance is a lot poorer whilst your body is at least one stomach roll richer, and it is the perfect time to step back and take some time for yourself to relax.
There is something about January that makes me feel so unenthusiastic and I cannot quite pin point exactly what it is. Perhaps it is a mixture of the miserable weather, the empty space where the Christmas decorations were and feeling guilty with myself after devouring all of those pigs in blankets. Does anyone else just feel deflated in January? Surely I am not the only one!
Anyhow, even though I have been feeling a bit rubbish about myself this past month, I have been trying to find things I can do to help me relax and de-stress to make January feel less of abysmal and more bearable, because the January blues are definitely in the air in my household! 

 Pamper yourself
For me, the words 'relax' and 'pamper' go hand in hand together. Whenever I want a little bit of Me time, the first thing I do is plan a pamper evening for myself, where I will have a hot bubble bath (using my favourite lush products of course), light some candles, do a face mask, paint my nails and just sit back and relax. Sometimes I find these kind of evening quite hard to just switch off from the world completely, so occasionally I will pop on my favourite music in the back ground or I will catch up on some youtube video's that I have missed from the week. Two youtubers which I particularly like to watch when I am trying to relax are Lydia Millen and Sunbeams Jess, because they both have such soothing and calming voices to listen to!

 Read
Something that I want to get into a lot more throughout 2016 is reading. I seriously cannot remember the last time I sat down and read a book from cover to cover..I was probably in high school, how awful! When I was younger I used to be a complete book worm, I am pretty sure I read every single Mary-kate and Ashley Olsen book there was (I was a little obsessed), but now I never seem to have the time..Or being honest, I just never make the time because there always seems to be something more important to do. The only time I will ever pull a book out and start reading is when I am on holiday, relaxing on a sun lounger around the pool, and I want to change this. I want to start reading books in bed to relax myself before heading off to sleep, even if it is just a couple of pages a night! Reading can help to take your mind off everything else life and work related, so this would help massively to unwind after a long day. If you have any book recommendations, please let me know in the comments and I can get my read on!

 Do some colouring
You are probably thinking that I have gone bonkers but trust me, these adult colouring books work wonders for helping to relax! I got my first colouring book for Christmas last year along with a set of colouring pencils and I am getting into it so much..I now understand why everyone is going crazy for this trend. It takes so much of your concentration to focus on what you are doing, and it fully distracts your mind off everything else you have got going on in life. It is a great way to unwind and I seriously recommend investing in one of these colouring books if you have not already!

 De-clutter
After Christmas I always feel like my house needs to be cleared out to get rid of the clutter that has been accumulated. This might sound like a very un-relaxing way to spend your time, but once it is done and everything is tidy and in some sort of order, you will feel so much less stressed!

 Go for a walk
Getting out of the house and getting some fresh air by going for a walk is honestly one of the best things you can do if you are struggling to switch off and relax. Having a dog means you have to go out and walk more regularly and honestly, before I had Pepper I used to hate walking, but now I have her as my companion it makes it all the more fun (However, when she is with me the walk is anything but relaxing, especially if she spots other dogs along the way)! When I take her out I will put my phone in my pocket and I will concentrate fully on our walk together, that way I can disconnect from everything and destress. 

 Step away from technology
This is something that I myself find extremely hard to do. My phone is constantly in my hand, it might as well be glued to it and I am forever on my laptop doing work. I very rarely take a break from technology and the internet, but when I do, it is such an incredible feeling. Disconnecting yourself for just one day or one evening a week will truly do you the world of good! In a whirlwind craze of social media, everything is continuously refreshing and sometimes you just need to put everything away and allow yourself some time to breathe to get that silly email notification noise out of your head before going crazy. By hiding your phone, laptop and computer away, your head will feel a lot clearer and you will feel tons better!

 Have a duvet day
Okay, so this is something that will probably make you feel much more sluggish, because there is nothing worse than wasting a day spent in bed doing nothing, but even so, I still try to do this once a month. It is so nice to not have to set your alarm for the morning, have a little lie in and then spend the rest of the day chilling under your duvet, watching movies, catching up on youtube videos, reading blogposts..however you decide to spend your day in bed, you will feel relaxed at the end of it. And if your duvet day involves a little afternoon nap, thats even better!

    Listen to calming music
Having music on in the background is something that has become a regular occurrence in my house..I used to have Friends on repeat on the TV, but now I have switched it up a bit and had a change. Depending on how I am feeling or what I am doing determines the kind of music I listen to. Somedays I will be blaring Justin Bieber out of the speakers (yes, I am an outed Belieber) and other days I will just have something soft playing that will help clear my mind and help me work. Music is a great distraction from anything that may be bothering you, so put on your favourite playlist and get lost in the songs!

Each of these steps I have been doing throughout January and they have really helped me to feel much more relaxed and the January blues are slowly fading out. What are your favourite ways to unwind? Do you do anything the same as me? 
Finding activities that completely preoccupy the mind from life's troubles can be hard at first, but eventually you will find something that works best for you and it will help massively to destress yourself. 

Thank you all so much for reading. Do not forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to make sure you do not miss out on any future posts, and in that case, I will speak to you soon.

Lots of Love,
ALICIA

XO
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