With a long weekend coming up, you’re bound to have a couple of relaxing days. Or are you? We find that some people don’t really know how to relax – their brain is still work-focused, even after work. A beer might help, but that’s not an everyday solution, is it?

Most people don’t even know that their brain needs to take a step back and forget about work. They just don’t realise when their mind drifts off at night (thinking about that one project they have to complete tomorrow) and go to bed with a lot of unsolved problems on their mind.

It’s easy to know you’re becoming a bit overwhelmed and losing that work-life balance that everyone looks for. For example, you start solving problems more slowly, you lose your temper more quickly, you lose your focus and procrastinate. If you recognise yourself in that previous sentence, have a look at our tips for relaxing properly:

 

1. Digital Detox – learn to have a balance between online and offline.

You’ve heard it all before – shut down your phone and don’t check your e-mail. Nothing will happen if you don’t answer the phone for an entire day, we promise! You can post a couple of photos on Facebook, but don’t overdo it, leave your newsfeed alone! Take some time to be with your family and friends and really connect with them. This is the fastest and easiest way to relax – by simply unplugging from the online world and connecting to real people.

 

2. Nap time!

We often underestimate the power of 10 minutes of sleep. Researchers have found that a 10-30 minutes mid-day nap will refresh your brain and give you plenty of energy for the rest of the day!

 

3. Enjoy some good music – the right way

Most of the time when you’re listening to music, you’re wearing headphones. You know it and we know it. Maybe it’s because you don’t want to bother others or you enjoy your music really loud. Studies have shown that music helps our brain unwind, and the best way to do so is while you enjoy your surroundings, as well as the song that’s playing. Take half an hour and listen to your favourite songs in your favourite place in the house.

 

4. Tidy up!

Surprisingly, cleaning up helps manage stress. Tidying up your home can also tidy up your mind. So even though you don’t particularly enjoy getting rid of the junk in your drawers or sweeping the floor, at the end of this basic task you will feel calmer and more relaxed. It’s all about seeing that everything’s in order – that way your brain has nothing to worry about!

 

5. Choose your thoughts.

This is something we teach all SuperGrads – if you have a negative or stressful thought, you are in no way whatsoever obliged to give it any attention. You have a choice over your thoughts and you can just challenge the ones that keep you from being happy and relaxed. At first, it’s often easier to just distract yourself with something else, like making a cup of tea, watching a video, reading an article and so on. In time, however, it will get easier to instead challenge your thinking. You will learn that you can replace negative thoughts with ones that are more constructive.

 
We hope you fully enjoy the next few days and get to feel completely relaxed, it’s what bank holidays were designed for!