So it turns out that your mental health can suffer if you don’t treat yourself to a spot of relaxation. Who thought eh? The best way I’v found to neglect relaxation is to have a kid, work full time and to make sure your partner works late into the evening so that you, alone, are responsible for putting gremlin child (seriously, her mood had usually deteriorated to nothing short of a Demon by the evening) to bed, making dinner and trying to make the place look livable. Couple this with a dash of anxiety and spoonfuls (teaspoon sized, I’m getting there) of depression and you’ll be sure to send yourself into a uptight, on edge, mood swinging, self destruct numpty.
Never really realised that it can take a work and effort to relax. Before we made the great decision to have a child (I kid, I kid. I love her really) relaxing wasn’t a thing, I was in a permant state of relaxation. Obviously I had worries and stresses, but ultimatley I was relaxed. I mean, I could come home after work each day, make dinner (or eat a Snickers), put my feet up, binge watch TV, play the DS, have a loooong bath or even, now hold on to your hats here, see my friends and stay out till after 8pm! Gosh, on occasion I would get bored, B.O.R.E.D! I’d love to be bored now.
Now, I need to schedule in some relaxation, I need to purposely sort my crap out so that I will have enough time to run a bath and chuck on some twinkly winkly mindful music. If not my therapist gives me a swift telling off and reminds me that relaxation will greatly benefit my mental health – what a bloody contrast this is to the above paragraph, I’m rolling my eyes at myself. Honestly, what have I become?! Get my self so stressed out about relaxation that I need to relax over relaxing! My mind is in overdrive so much that it wont allow me to watch a film without thinking about all the housework that needs to be done. Think I’ve went full ‘Mum’ and then some.
Always being one keen to please people, I decided I should up my relaxation game and get the therapist off my back (and maybe get a few gold stars) by investigating how to find my zen. You might already be doing my amazing relaxation tricks (disclaimer: they are far from amazing, I just wanted to use the word disclaimer) or maybe they will provide you with some inspiration. Either way I’m going to let you peep into my ‘Namaste Nights of Nurture’ – Really though, what the hell have I become?! That’s not even a thing.
For me, the most relaxaing room in the house is my bedroom. I love being in bed, watching TV, lisening to music, reading or playing video games (ha! Like I actually get to do any of that anymore). I’m bascially a 29 year old teenager that likes nothing more than being alone lazing about my bedroom. So I have made it my mission to turn it into a relaxation den.
Being in fresh and clean (passable as clean) surroundings is very calming, the tidier the room the more relaxed I feel. Recently I bought watercolour heart bedding, it’s neutral white/off-white bedding with hearts sprinkled all over. To add a little extra namas-snuggle, I bought a grey throw to go over the bedding. If you like the feel of fresh bedding after a good shower then I highly recommend getting this throw! It’s so saft (Scottish for soft) and utterly delicious to rub your feet over. I really like the bedding, not only due to it’s price (£16 for a king, yes!), but more that it looks fresh but still cosy. The throw breaks up the hearts and adds a nice softness to the room. I find that the right bedding makes a huge difference towards my attitude of the room and ultimately if I will be able to get my relax on.
(I’v added links so you can see what I’m talking about as I’m crap at describing. I’m not endorsing the products/site/company or anything like that)
Next – ambiance in the form of essential oils. The place I go to squash my mental monsters (therapy) is bursting with relaxing smells, maybe they help to ward away evil mental monsters? I don’t know. What I do know is that the place is the ultimate in relaxation.
Having no idea what I’m doing, I purchased some on Amazon (purely as I sit at a desk all day and Prime is quick). I chose Eucalyptus – I like any bubble bath containing this, Lavender – super relaxing and Ylang Ylang – no idea why, maybe I googled it. I’m still figuring these out and it didn’t occur to me that different scent combinations are meant for different effects. Nevertheless, I whack them in the oil burner to enhance my relaxation-ness. I bought the oil burner to help create my relax cave, I like that the top can be removed and filled. Previously with another burner, there was some scary moments when smart arse here filled it up with hot water then decided to try and move it. This new one is much safer. My fave scent is to add a drop or two of Eucalyptus and Lavender together. I came across some Pinterest post about oil combinations so my plan is to buy some more oils soon.
Now the bedroom is smelling lovely and looking fresh and inviting, what more do you need? Lighting. When your trying to get your relax on, you can’t be using the big light (Scottish for main ceiling light), instead you need some side lights (what my partner calls a lamp – don’t get me started) or fairy lights.
I have been making a real effort to buy more fairy lights, I have a friend and her house is filled with them. It’s so cosy and snug, exactly what you need after a long day of adulting. I placed some copper lantern lights that I purchased from Primark last year above my bed. The copper colour is very warming and gives a nice glow. I also thought I would try some fancy interior design idea buy putting lights….in…a…vase (honestly, if I hadn’t seen this is would never think of it, I just don’t have that home accessory gene in me). The vase like every thing else in my room apparently, is from Wilko. It was cheap as chips at £2.50 and matched the bedding perfectly. I whacked some star string lights in that I bought from Primark and voila! A lovely light feature for the bedroom.
Slowly the bedroom is turning into my own little sanctuary that Dave needs to peel me out from while complaining that it’s just weird to want to sit in the bedroom when there is a beautiful living-room to be used. I love it! That is, when it’s all tidy and not used as a launderette – really though, most days it looks like the washing machine has spewed out an entire years worth of washing all over the place. At least they are clean. Better hidden up the stair than over the living-room sofa, amma right?
I don’t get to spend as much time in my sanctuary as I would like. When I do I thoroughly enjoy it. If you are in need to creating a some relaxation vibes then I would strongly suggest getting yourself some essential oils. They really do make such a difference to my frame of mind. Creating a space to unwind, to block out any and all adult responsibilities has been a real help in my wrestle with depression. Sometimes relaxation comes in the form of a cup of coffee at my closest friend’s house (the one with all the fairy lights and by far the best form of therapy) other times, it’s being alone. Whatever it may be that allows you to find your calm place, I hope you find some solace from your worries, even just for a minute 🙂