Is your brain constantly on the go?
Do you find it hard to switch off?
Have you tried to meditate and failed because your brain is just too busy?
Me too. I feel your pain.
Not so long ago, I took a course of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). In truth, I was struggling with being a mum second time around. We had some difficult life circumstances to contend with and it all got a bit much. So I sought support.
CBT is fantastic in teaching you to step back and observe your own thoughts, so you become aware of your own unhelpful habits. I could not recommend it more.
However, when it came to the stress management and relaxation session, I really struggled. I’ve got a brain that is constantly on the go, flitting from one idea to the next. I’m always looking for the next distraction. So I find it hard to sleep or switch off.
Instead, I get lost in mindless tv, the internet and social media. But it’s not true relaxation and it doesn’t soothe the mind.
Does this sound familiar? If so, I hope we can find some solutions together. In order to calm my mental chatter, my counsellor challenged me to find ways to relax. And this post contains the results of my research. You may well have found other helpful resources which relax you. If so, I’d love to hear from you.
- Go for a walk
A walk outside can do wonders for your mental health, especially a walk in nature. I find that after about 20 minutes of medium-paced walking, I reach a stage of calmness and I start to observe the world around me, rather than looking inward.
2. Get Creative
Expressing yourself artistically is a great outlet for difficult emotions and can help to calm and relax us. Personally, I enjoy cooking, playing musical instruments and creative writing but it will vary depending on your personality. Crafting, drawing, gardening, dancing and DIY can be fantastic creative outlets. Just remember it’s not about talent or achieving critical acclaim, it’s for you, just to express yourself.
3. Listen to Music
Music can be an instant mood-changer and I have a go-to list of upbeat songs that always help to lift me when I am struggling. After all, it’s hard to feel stressed when singing and dancing round the kitchen to our favourite tunes! However, it’s not just about feeling positive – it can be just as cathartic to choose a song that expresses your frustration, anger or sadness. When you are next listening to music, try to really focus on the sounds and lyrics. It will lift you out of yourself and allow stressful thoughts to fade away.
4. Guided meditation
I’ll be honest, I really struggle with meditation and mindfulness. I’m not sure if I lack the concentration, but it just doesn’t work for me. However, guided meditation is different and I have found it an effective relaxation tool. I particularly like ones that describe a place in detail, using all the senses. It lifts me out of myself; I feel transported and genuinely relaxed. If you haven’t tried guided meditation, there are some great free resources on YouTube. Why not experiment and see if you can find one which works for you?
For more mental health strategies and relaxation ideas, visit https://www.mind.org.uk/ Mind are a fantastic charity who have helped millions to improve their mental health and get the support they need.
How do you relax? Let me know in the comments below 👇
Find more Lazy Mum wellbeing resources here