Feel Like You Are On An Infinite Loop?
I’ve been told to mediate, to be mindful, to breathe, to do all three at once whilst in the leafy hinterlands of Bali on a wellness retreat. But I’m either not doing them right (strong possibility) or that they just don’t really work for me. Which is okay, because humans are multi-faceted and often confusing organisms with no “cookie cutter” “one size fits all” or “IKEA flat pack” way to get a dose of happiness.
Try as we might to convince ourselves that binge-watching TV is going to help us, I’m yet to meet anyone who feels emotionally renewed after 5+ episodes of The Crown. Instead, I scoured the internet, interviewed my friends and checked under the rug in search of the best off-beat ways to get off that mental hamster wheel. Without further ado:
Try These 11 Off- Beat Ways To Relax
1. Go For A Sushi Walk
A slight amendment to the usual “go for a walk” method of relaxation that incorporates something nutritious to nibble on. Other versions of this technique include: an ice cream walk (suitable for summer), a post office walk (FINALLY send off that ‘thank you for the size-too-small pyjamas’ note to grandma) or walkin’ right out of the building / the job that’s causing you stress. Accompanying Eye of The Tiger theme tune optional (but highly recommended)
Matsuri, Enex Level 3
2. Cook A Complicated Recipe
As you may remember, I am terrible at cooking and feel uncomfortable when I’m handed a kitchen utensil and asked to “just watch the risotto”. When I want to nail a recipe with more than 3 steps I have to concentrate and remove myself from distraction to get it done. It’s this separation from the real world and signing out of the digital one that makes higher-stakes cooking a cathartic and calming activity. That and you get a delicious and tangible reward at the end. Click here for some recipe inspiration.
3. Try On An Outfit You’d Never Think Of Wearing
A lot of my stress comes from an underlying feeling that I’m “playing things safe” – in my job, in my life, and in my wardrobe. I make a point of picking something out from the rack every time I go shopping that is left-of-centre or equal parts quizzical and ridiculous. The kind of outfit that has no real place anywhere and thus works everywhere with the right rock-star attitude. It’s the adult version of playing dress-ups and a very good distraction for when you are feeling out of sorts.
Goddess Gang Silk Shirt ($189); Death of Language Tee Tied Dress ($169). Both by Gorman.
4. Write Down All Your Worries In A Notebook, Then Set It Aside For Tomorrow
The tendrils of our instantaneous society have dug themselves into our self-help habits too. You need to address your problems TODAY, you must go to bed feeling light as a feather, you need to wake up as a well-rounded, mentally feng-shuied individual. I call BS. Get out your journal, give yourself 10 minutes to furiously write down everything that’s causing you stress, and then – once it’s off your mind – leave it to be tackled tomorrow. Best done with a really satisfying, velvety-butter pen.
Mindfulness Journal ($34.95); A4 Essential Notebooks 3PK: Energise ($19.95); Everyday Ball Point Pen: Energise ($3.95). All Kikki. K
5. Re-arrange Your Room
In my opinion, one of the most eerily brilliant feelings in life is waking up in the morning to a room that feels familiar yet not. The space becomes a better, less cluttered version of you – which is essentially what you are trying to do with your headspace too.
Scented Candle Large: Rituals – Kikki. K ($39.95)
6. Stretch – And Laugh
Yoga’s good, laughter’s great – so why don’t we combine the two? That’s exactly what physician Dr Madan Kataria thought when he founded the Laughter Yoga movement in 1995, marrying the psychological benefits of giggling with the physiological one’s from yoga. Still not sold on the idea? Try simply stretching and laughing instead.
7. Start Planning A Vacation (Regardless Of Whether You Can Afford It Right Now)
The time of the year that really tests my patience is that June-August stretch where almost everyone on your instagram follow list is on holiday somewhere along the Amalfi Coast. Or Mykonos. Or Marrakesh. So, if you need a little break from the now, start planning for your soon. It’s a beaut way to give yourself something to look forward to and appreciate how much of the world you have left to marvel at and explore.
Travel To Do List – Kikki. K ($9.95)
8. Aromatherapy (Or Just Smell Something Nice)
Aromatherapy is an alternative medicinal practice born out of the idea that the fragrance of essential oils can balance your mind, body and spirit. If you are sceptical of the healing power of scents, try telling me that you haven’t spent 20 minutes sampling creams and spritzes at Aesop and didn’t leave feeling incredibly refreshed.
Aromatique Room Sprays 100ml ($60); Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm 75ml ($35) Fabulous Face Oil 25ml ($57). All from Aesop
9. Change, Or Polish, Your Look
Sometimes I feel terribly un-myself in my outfit / with my hair / with my chipped nails / with my outdated beauty routine. You could argue that grooming and fashion aren’t related to satisfaction with self, but I say a big pfft to that. Style is a way of portraying your personality and therefore I think it’s completely fair.
If you’re feeling low, I encourage a little look-indulgence: whether that’s in the form of a new haircut, a new lick o’ paint on your nails or shiny new outfit.
Book in a manicure at LA Nails or get snippy at Mister Cuttz
10. Look At Some Art
Like, really look at it. Consider the brushstrokes. Think about the materials. Adopt an art-critic pose of your choosing (my personal favourite is the hands-on-the-lower-back-slightly-cocked-head lean in). Even if you’re not a regular gallery-goer and omit museums from travel to-do lists, you’ll either find the activity surprisingly immersive or you’ll silently laugh at how absurd you look. Both are good outcomes in my book.
Saturday Beach by Ken Done and Penny For Your Thoughts By Hayley Welsh. Both artists represented by Linton & Kay Galleries
11. Unsubscribe To All Those Promotional Emails
STAN, I SIGNED UP TO YOU FOR 3 DAYS IN 2015 TO WATCH AN EPISODE OF BREAKING BAD.
Want More Questionably Humorous Ramblings? Try These On For Size:
Promise they’ll look great on you.