Okay, before you think I am slurring, zwodder is a dialect word from Somerset and means “a drowsy and stupid state of mind”. When that state occurs, stress isn’t far behind. With the A to Z Challenge for 2017 drawing to a close, do you feel that way?
I guess most of us juggle blogging with regular jobs (Yay! Us!), so it is not unusual to find yourself unable to relax after a stressful day at work, and that constant feeling of not having completed everything on that to-do list.
While there’s no shortage of things you could indulge in to settle your nerves, depending on what you pick, the results could be wonderful, or disastrous to your health. If you’re thinking binge-eating, being a couch potato, and vegging out in front of the TV, forget it. There are better ways to relax and in the process, enjoy the mental or physical benefits.
Here’s my favorite five to zap the zwodder!
While virtually any form of exercise can help relieve stress, if you are anything like me, you may not always feel inclined to give it your all at the gym. On days like that, it is definitely easier to just go for a walk. If you’re near a park, enjoying yourself with the sights and sounds of nature definitely helps. If not, even a stroll down the block can be beneficial. Note that the speed at which you walk is not as important as just getting out there, so feel free to walk at whatever pace makes you comfortable. The point is to . . . walk!
If you’ve never attempted meditation before, you may have difficulty figuring out what you’re supposed to be doing. The idea is to stop the constant chatter in your head. One of the simplest methods is to sit quietly in a relaxed position, preferably in a place where you’re not likely to be interrupted for at least five minutes. Sit straight enough to maintain a healthy posture, but don’t strain yourself. The key is to focus exclusively on your breath while shutting everything else out. Breathe from your diaphragm, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Let your thoughts follow the rise and fall of each breath. If you catch your mind wandering, simply return to focusing on your breath.
Reading is another activity that will help you get your mind off the day’s troubles and allow you to relax. You’ll need a quiet place where you can immerse yourself into your book without being disturbed. Give yourself at least 30 minutes of reading time, since it may take a few minutes to get into it. What you read is not really important, as all books have the ability to take you to other realms of the mind, far from whatever might be bothering you.
A hot bath
A hot bath is another great way to relax both your mind and body. Don’t scald yourself, but find the right temperature you can handle. Not fond of soaking in a bath or just don’t have a bath tub? No problem. Have a long leisurely shower. Soak your feet in warm water. There are several things you can do to make your bath even more enjoyable. Adding Epsom salt or essential oils to the water is a lovely way to relax tight muscles. You can even play games on your phone if you place it in an airtight plastic bag to keep it dry, if that sort of thing appeals to you. If you’d like an interesting app to play with in the tub, click here – you will love it! I personally prefer to be my own entertainment, and sing to myself.
Listening to music
The health benefits of music is no mystery. Put on your favorite playlist, and put your feet up to enjoy yourself. Or if you’d rather work that energy off, get on your feet and shake a leg. Have friends join you to multiply the fun. Me? I love turning on the music full volume and tackling my housework.
As destructive as stress can be to the mind and body, it’s impossible to completely purge it from your life.
So the best thing to do? Find healthy and enjoyable ways to deal with it on a regular basis. Use one, or use all of the methods above. The more often you practice them, the quicker you’ll reach—and—sustain your peace of mind!
Completed the AtoZ? Congratulations!
Now go zap that zwodder!
Sweet hammock in the featured image is from Shutterstock