How to Relax (a.k.a The Busy Bees Guide to Switching Off)

Is it just me or has life been pretty hectic lately? Everyone I speak to somehow manages to incorporate the world ‘busy’ into their ‘How are you?’ reply – myself included. Good busy luckily, but the last time I was in a set-up like the picture above was a very, very long time ago (spot the tell-tale ombré do!). That combined with the fact that I’m practically incapable of switching off means Mark has a crazy Anna on his hands sometimes – poor fella. So I’ve been trying to press the button on chill, toss my phone to the side in the evenings and participate in some of the following R&R activities. Let’s dub this the ‘Busy Bees Guide to Switching Off’ or the ‘Post Where I Really Need to Practice What I Preach’…

1) Do nothing. Now I don’t mean nothing, just an activity that means that you mind can turn to a pile of mush for an hour or so. Something like taking a bath, or my personal favourite – watching an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. #GuiltyPleasure #YeahIUsedAHashtag

2) Have a turn off time. This one goes out to my fellow working from homers out there. Without a traditional office environment with working hours and all that it’s not unheard of to be trawling through your inbox at 1.30am. It happens. So one thing I’ve tried doing is having a turn off laptop definitive time, which is usually 6.30pm-ish. Only under extreme circumstances is your laptop to be opened again. Like because you need to watch The Office boxset. That’s the sort of level we’re talking.

3) Read a book and lay on a weird mat. Reading ‘Running Like a Girl’ by Alexandra Heminsley (thanks for the book Carrie!) while lying on my Bed of Nails Acupressure Mat is way more relaxing that it sounds. This is the suggestion out of the five that feels the most enjoyable for me and man do I sleep well after this.

4) Werk it out. After I completed my first 5 mile race I saw it as an excuse to take a breather with the running training. One week without exerting much more physical energy than an elbow fight to get out of Oxford Street tube station and I was a pent-up, slightly stressed mess. Then I went for a run, recorded a time that was my fastest mile ever and just felt so much better about live.  Dust off the trainers – trust me.

5) Designate a tech-free zone. Now this is one where I really need to practice what I preach. Mark and I have attempted multiple times to make the bedroom a phone/tablet/laptop free zone, but as I type this I am propping myself up with a pillow with the duvet wrapped around my legs. FAIL. The times when we have succeeded have made evenings a more social event where we’ve ended up talking on our balcony with candlelight until the wee hours (read: 10pm) or read our books (see point 3). Perhaps I should move my blogging session into the living room…