National Relaxation Day- Self Care Tips

Everyone knows that you don’t want too much stress, and there are plenty of ways to meditate and reduce your stress levels – but did you know you’re body and mind crave pressure as well?! Eustress (or positive stress) is what you feel when you ride a roller coaster, learn something new, or go to a fun movie or show. Unlike distress, which is the harmful stress most people are familiar with, Eustress can positively impact an individual’s well-being and performance. The key to Eustress is to be perceived as challenging or exciting but not overwhelming. It can motivate you to accomplish tasks, achieve goals, and improve your performance. 

Sun exposure, in moderation and with appropriate protection, can offer several benefits to self-care.

Here are a couple of things you might not know:

  1. Enhanced mood and motivation: Sunlight exposure has been linked to the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of happiness and well-being. Along with the increased serotonin comes increased motivation for outdoor activity. Walking, jogging, biking, doing yoga in the park, and spending time in the sun encourage physical activity. Regular exercise is a crucial component of self-care, as it helps improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress, and enhance overall energy levels.
  2. Improved sleep quality: Exposure to natural light during the day helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, which is the internal clock that controls sleep-wake cycles. Getting enough sunlight during the day, especially in the morning, can positively influence your sleep patterns and help you fall asleep more easily at night. Good sleep is vital for overall well-being and effective self-care.
  3. Stress reduction and relaxation: Spending time outdoors and soaking up the sun can calm the mind and body. Sunlight exposure stimulates the production of endorphins, the body’s natural mood enhancers, which can reduce stress and promote relaxation. Whether sitting in a park, having a picnic, or just enjoying the sunshine, taking a break in nature can be an excellent way to practice self-care and recharge.

While exposure offers several benefits, prolonged and unprotected exposure to the sun’s UV rays can lead to various health risks, including skin damage and an increased risk of skin cancer. Practice sun safety by using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and seeking shade during peak sun hours (usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.). Moderation is vital to enjoying the positive aspects of sun exposure while minimizing potential risks. Also, consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice if you have any concerns or health conditions related to sun exposure.

Sleep makes you brighter, happier, and healthier – here’s how:

Getting enough sleep is vital for optimal brain function. During sleep, the brain consolidates memories, processes information, and clears out waste products that build up during waking hours. Sufficient restorative sleep improves concentration, problem-solving abilities, and overall cognitive performance, enabling you to handle daily challenges more effectively.

Sleep plays a significant role in emotional regulation and mood stability. Lack of sleep can lead to irritability, mood swings, and increased stress levels. Adequate sleep fosters emotional resilience, allowing you to cope better with life’s ups and downs, making it an essential component of emotional self-care.

Sleep is crucial for a healthy immune system. During sleep, the body releases cytokines, a protein that helps the immune system fight infections and inflammation. Consistent, quality sleep boosts your body’s ability to defend against illnesses, reducing the chances of getting sick and promoting overall well-being.

Meditation is a practice that involves focusing the mind and training it to be more attentive, calm, and present.

It is a mental exercise aimed at cultivating mindfulness and awareness of one’s thoughts and emotions without judgment. Meditation’s primary goal is to achieve mental clarity, inner peace, and a deeper understanding of oneself. It is often used to reduce stress, improve concentration, and promote well-being. There are various forms of meditation, but standard techniques involve:

  • Focusing on the breath.
  • Repeating a mantra.
  • Observing thoughts without attachment.
  • Engaging in loving-kindness practices.

The objective is to quiet the mind, let go of distractions, and be fully present in the current moment. 

Visualization is a technique that involves using mental imagery to create specific mental pictures or scenes in the mind’s eye.

It is a mental rehearsal where individuals imagine themselves achieving a particular goal or experiencing a desired outcome. The primary purpose of visualization is to harness the power of the mind to influence behavior, performance, and results. It is often used in sports psychology, self-improvement, and goal-setting to enhance confidence, motivation, and performance. Visualization involves mentally creating detailed and vivid images of a specific scenario or achievement. Practitioners may imagine completing a task, overcoming a challenge, or achieving a goal. The focus is on experiencing positive emotions associated with success, which can help reinforce positive beliefs and attitudes.

Header photography by Jackson David

James Hamill

Mind & Body
Read Time: 4 minutes