Successful people undoubtedly have top-notch schedules and work ethics. While listening to different motivational speeches years ago I ran into one by Bill Gates. We can agree he has had a little bit of success in his life. One topic he covered surprised me. He talked about relaxation! What? How does an extremely successful CEO have time to relax? He went on to explain the importance of relaxation. I believe relaxing is what most people get wrong in their path to success. So here is how to relax to provide you for more successful, focused, and efficient days.
How Not to Relax
Before we delve into relaxation we need to cover what relaxing is NOT! After a long day of work coming home to shower, eat, and then play video games until much too late, unfortunately, is not the best way to relax. While every schedule has room for fun, such as video games, it will not soothe your brain for performance in your daily activities. Next, exercise is extremely important! However, don’t do it too late at night. This can cause your sleep schedule to be inefficient. So, be sure to exercise earlier on in your day. Lastly, avoid working in your relaxation space and vice versa. For me, my bed, no matter how comfy, is not a good place for me to do my work on. This is because I use this place to relax and sleep if I introduce other factors my body will actively have to process its environment and make your brain work harder, no need for that! Enough of how we fail to relax, let’s figure out how to relax!
How You Should Relax
Your body and mind crave time away from work and stress. For me, nighttime is my time to turn my brain off to actively recover from my day and prepare for the next one.
Family and Friends
To turn off your brain you need to remove yourself from all stress factors. For the grand majority of people, this will be with loved ones. I enjoy talking to my girlfriend before sleep because I am comfortable around her and can simply talk about my feelings and ideas!
Next, find something you enjoy to read about (avoid politics and world problems) Personally, I love to read articles from The Wildlife Society, World Wildlife Fund, and National Geographic. These articles allow me to read about my passions without pushing my brain too hard.
Get outside! If you are a fellow nature fanatic like myself the outdoors will give you a cool and relaxing feeling. I love just sitting outside listening to birds, frogs, and the breeze. During this time I don’t have to think about work, money, or studies. I usually pair outdoor times with stretching and non-intense yoga. This combo has probably kept me sane through some of my most insane times in life!
Eat good foods! Foods are your bodies fuel to not only perform but recover. Berries and high antioxidant foods aid in this process to make your body feel good by calming you down and also reducing inflammation in your muscles from a workout or a long day of work!
Clean yourself up!
Showering or bathing in warm water at night is a great way to relax and de-stress from the day. You can read your favorite articles in the bath for double relaxation points!
Lastly, sleep, sleep, and sleep! Sure you sleep but, is it enough? 7 or 8 hours is essential to brain and physical recovery. The amount isn’t all that matters. Make it efficient sleep. To do this you need to turn all electronics off at least 30 minutes before bed and keep your room dark. Naps are also great when used correctly! I have never been too great at naps but we’re all trying to improve at something, right? Using quick 30-minute naps allow for you to take time away from work to relax and get back to your grind!
How I Relax
Ever since I heard about how these extremely successful individuals relaxed I adopted some habits they suggested and added some of my own. So here’s the list of things I do Every. Single. Day.
- Read about topics I enjoy, usually on blogs or websites
- 7 hours of efficient sleep!
- I love to immerse myself in nature, I prefer going to nature preserves to find all different kinds of animals and plant species
- Shower (you are welcome everyone that has to smell me daily!)
- Stretching, I love to do some posture correction stretches before I lay down at night
That’s all! Adopt these tips and I guarantee you will be a happier, healthier, and more successful person. Comment or email me how you relax to spread the health and wellness!
Think green, Friends!