10 ways to unwind in 2020
31st January 2020
The festive period is a magical time of the year, but it can also be a busy and stressful time as well. In January, many people find themselves exhausted after travelling around to see their friends and family.
With the New Year on the horizon, this guide takes a look at the 10 best ways you can relax and unwind this January so that you are feeling refreshed and recharged for the year ahead.
1. Take a relaxing bath
The thought of a relaxing bath at the end of a long day can help anyone power through and you should make the most of your experience.
No matter whether you have a new walk in bath or an older model, you can make something simple like going for a bath a stress-free experience that you can include in your daily routine in January.
Some ways you can create a relaxing bathing experience is by lighting some candles, playing calming music and adding bubble bath or a bath bomb for some aromatherapy. By adding a bath bomb, it will make you feel like you’re bathing in bubbles whilst you can enjoy a range of colours.
2. Don’t make commitments
Something else that can make your January more relaxing is by doing nothing and this has been linked to improving a person’s psychological state.
It enables you to regenerate your energy, re-attune yourself and improve your feeling of wellbeing and connection to the world.
Carol Ann Rice, the life coach, author and columnist who runs her own website, highly recommends planning in days where you don’t have commitments.
“Diarise a day (or days) that is white space in the diary. No commitments, no visitors, nothing on the "to do" list. This means you are free to take the day as it comes, no obligations and free from other people's needs and demands. A day of creative pottering is a great way to reset your life and relax.”
The Christmas period can be an extremely busy time and if you have too many social events stacking up you should rearrange them and spread them out.
Carol Ann Rice said: “Don’t get caught up in other people's expectations. if you can’t fit everything in over the Christmas period then make a date for loved ones and events in January when there is more time and you can lift the gloom with social events.”
3. Ease yourself in with exercise and fresh air
Some older people should go on a nice walk in the fresh air or do some light exercise as this is another great way to release any pent-up energy.
Even doing a 15-minute walk can help you to relax and even some older people that suffer from mobility problems can still exercise as there are lots of workouts that people can do from the comfort of their own home.
Dr Sally Ann Law, a personal & executive coach, said: “It's very important that we take time to really recover from unusually busy and often stressful times in our lives. Christmas takes us out of our normal routine and that in itself can be quite exhausting. I would recommend that we all look at January as a chance to ease ourselves into the year ahead and take as much time as we can to relax and re-establish a routine that works best for us. The weather is often challenging in January, to say the least, but, wherever possible, it's also a good idea to get some sort of exercise and fresh air each day.”
4. Start a diary
One thing people like to do to relax is to write about their day in a diary or journal as this helps during stressful times.
People can write down what they are grateful for as commonly you will focus on everything that is going wrong or is negative, which makes it harder to unwind.
You could, for example, write down the top three things that happened to you today and these can range from moving to a new property or buying new socks or a funny joke you heard.
5. Create a bedtime ritual
Getting a good nights sleep can help keep you relaxed and it is, therefore, worth creating a bedtime ritual in January.
According to The National Sleep Foundation, seven in 10 adults experience daily tension as a result of a night time sleep problem and they explain why it is so important to try and create a routine before bed.
“By following a relaxing bedtime routine that lowers your stress and anxiety levels, you can sleep easier. Nightly rituals such as meditation, deep breathing, and taking a warm bath can all help.
“Creating a pre-bed routine doesn’t require a huge time commitment, but it does mean being consistent with the schedule you set.”
Here are some things you can try as part of a bedtime ritual:
- Try breathing exercises
- Take a warm bath
- Darken your room
6. Some people should consider turning off their phone
In today’s digital world people of all ages have mobile phones and use social media, but a great way to unwind is to stop using it. This is a great tip for some older people, but some vulnerable older adults should keep their phones on.
If you’ve not had a great day, using your phone or checking your social media can frustrate you even more.
Disconnecting from the rest of the world now and again can do wonders for you, even if you make yourself unavailable for just an hour or two it can help you.
7. Read more
Reading can help reduce stress and it can act as a great escape from the strain of everyday life. By opening a book, you can allow yourself to be invited into a literary world that will distract you.
A study by the University of Sussex revealed that reading can reduce stress by up to 68% and that it can work better and faster than other relaxation methods such as listening to music.
It could be reading a romantic novel, a cookbook or a sports magazine, just 30 minutes of reading every day in a quiet place can help you de-stress.
An article on the Reading Well website listed some books older adults should put on their to-read list and below are a few they recommended:
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- Reading in Bed by Sue Gee
- Call The Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s by Jennifer Worth
- Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
In an article on the Independent website, it was revealed that one in three Brits turn to baking to help them de-stress. It also revealed that people also enjoyed mixing and stirring too.
The survey of 2,000 amateur bakers revealed that two-thirds of Brits believe baking improves their mood when they are feeling low and the main emotion that was evoked when baking was happiness.
The Taste of Home recommends some baking ideas and below are some you could try:
- Nutella Hand Pies – See the recipe here.
- Makeover Traditional Cheesecake – See the recipe here.
- Banana-Split Brownies – See the recipe here.
- Blueberry Quick Bread with Vanilla Sauce – See the recipe here.
Meditating helps deal with stress as it makes you feel calm, relaxed and happy.
Healthline revealed that a study of more than 3,500 adults found that meditation does reduce stress, while it also improved stress-related conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder and fibromyalgia.
Meditation isn’t only known to improve your stress levels, but can also control anxiety, enhance self-awareness, lengthen an attention span, reduce memory loss and generate kindness.
Taking short naps can also help you unwind this January as they have been known to have great benefits in improving your mood and alertness.
A short nap of around 20-30 minutes is recommended and will improve your short-term alertness without making you feel groggy or interfering with your night-time sleep.
This is why sleep experts recommend people have a short nap at a services if they are feeling drowsy when driving as it can improve your alertness.
The importance of relaxing after Christmas
So, why is it important to relax after Christmas?
Carol Ann Rice from the Real Coaching Co said: “Christmas can be a time of heightened emotions, social expectations and a whirlwind of shopping and preparation. It's easy to forget the festive period is really for family and loved ones - so show yourself some love by unwinding from this frenetic time. Coughs, colds and flu really go to town in January so even more vital that you boost your immune system with some peace and calm.”
Sally Ann Law agrees that it is vital people make sure they relax after Christmas. She said: “It is very important to find ways to relax after Christmas as even fun events, like seeing family and visiting friends, can be very tiring. If we don't take time to look after ourselves and replenish our energy levels, then we become more vulnerable to illnesses and accidents as we're tired and don't pay attention like we otherwise would.”
To recap, if you want to unwind this January then you should try one of the following:
- Take a relaxing bath
- Don’t make commitments
- Ease yourself in with exercise and fresh air
- Start a diary
- Create a bedtime ritual
- Turn off your phone
- Read more
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.