You love the idea of having some time off. But then you get that time, and what happens? You’re cleaning, doing laundry, running errands, baking cupcakes for your kid’s school party. So much for the vacation.
Many women struggle with resting and doing nothing. They don’t always give themselves the love and relaxation they deserve.
Here is how to do nothing and actually relax during your downtime—and improve your health at the same time.
Yoga has become a popular form of exercise. And while it does have great physical health benefits, like lowering blood pressure or strengthening your core, it can also do wonders for your mental health.
Yoga has been shown to:
- Reduce stress
- Help you maintain your sense of well-being
- Enhance your quality of life
- Relieve depression, anxiety, and insomnia
On your day off, stay away from hot yoga, or strenuous yoga routines that are focused on building muscle and reducing weight. Instead, stick with a simple yoga routine that focuses on meditation and peace of mind. Doing nothing has never felt so good.
Grab Extra Zzz's
It’s recommended that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately, many American adults get less than 6 hours. This lack of sleep can lead to chronic diseases like diabetes, depression, obesity, and high blood pressure.
If you haven’t been getting enough sleep lately, treat yourself to an extra hour or so in the morning. You don’t need to sleep all day—too much sleep can have the same effects as too little sleep—but give your body a little extra sleep time.
Read A Book
Or write, or do a crossword puzzle, or play Sudoku—anything to stimulate your brain.
These activities might seem mundane or just a way to entertain yourself, but they can actually make a significant impact on your cognitive health.
As you age, it’s normal to experience a decline in memory. But participating in mentally stimulating activities can slow down the rate of decline, even from a young age. One study looked at people in their 80s and found that compared to people with average mental activity:
- People with frequent mental activity reduced their rate of memory loss by 32%.
- People with infrequent mental activity increased their rate of memory loss by 48%.
You don’t have to be Picasso, but a simple art project like starting a scrapbook or finger-painting with the kids can be both relaxing and beneficial for your health.
Artistic and crafting activities, such as knitting or quilting, can reduce your risk of developing mild cognitive impairment later in life. They involve many areas of your brain, like memory, attention span, problem-solving, and visuospatial processing. And when you’re concentrating on an art or craft, the rest of the world seems to disappear.
Do What You Love
When you do something pleasurable, the reward center in your brain releases dopamine—the neurotransmitter sometimes called your body’s natural antidepressant. When you do what you like to do, there is an actual physiological change in your body that makes you happy.
Spend time with your family, go to the movies, relax on the beach—find out what you love to do and get to it. Of course, there are certain activities that you should still limit, like eating large amounts of chocolate or spending the entire day in bed. But don’t be afraid to treat yourself.
In our fast-paced world, relaxing can sometimes feel like laziness. However, taking care of yourself and enjoying downtime is an important act of self-love that can have a dramatic impact on your mental and physical wellbeing. Enjoy today and take time to clear your mind, unwind and truly do nothing.