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5 Great ways to feel more relaxed

2020 was the mother of all years. It’s fair to say that as the global pandemic extends into 2021 it has shaken so many of us, as we’ve stayed away from friends, work colleagues and family. For some this meant having more time to try new skills – baking sour dough bread, reupholstering chairs, learning musical instruments and figuring out how to video chat! For others it’s been tough feeling isolated and fearful. In Australia, some are still experiencing tough lockdowns and we do so with a sense of hope, but many people are feeling burnt out and tired.

Here’s a few tips which we hope might help:

Tip 1 – Read a book

Turn your phone, iPad or laptop off and pick up a book! Books are a great way to escape the real world for a little while. Too tired to read? Try an audio book through apps like Audible or Sribd.com, pop in your ear buds, close your eyes and just relax.

Tip 2 – Have a warm bath

There’s a reason that long warm baths have been popular since ancient times. According to a 2016 Loughborough University led study, baths have many proven benefits. Soaking in a tub can help reduce sugar spikes after eating, help the immune system, ease muscular pain and improve sleep quality. Adding bath salts or oils can also enhance relaxation.

Tip 3 – Make friends with plants

Getting your hands dirty can be beneficial! Gardening allows you to get moving while also relieving stress. The bonus of gardening outside is the vitamin D. If you don’t have a garden, or you don’t have a lot of space, perhaps consider planting some herbs or small plants in pots, or visit a community garden which can foster feelings of connection. Alternatively, get out into nature, to walk or hike. Being around trees can be helpful in reducing stress levels.

Tip 4 – Friend time

Hanging out with your gal pals can help you relax! Studies conducted at Stanford University confirmed that when women spend time with female friends they are more likely to have surges of serotonin and oxytocin, both considered “happy hormones” which can leave you feeling more positive.

Tip 5 – Get more sleep

While the benefits of sleep are well known, many women don’t get enough of it. Hormonal changes, especially during peri-menopause and menopause can cause restless nights. Lack of sleep can cause additional stress. If sleep is elusive, sleepfoundation.org recommends avoiding large meals, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before bed. Wearing light weight clothing in breathable fabrics may be more comfortable. Consider using a fan or air conditioning to regulate the room temperature. It may be beneficial to stop looking at your phone or technology at least an hour before bed, as blue light can have an impact on sleep patterns. Regular exercise and relaxing baths can be helpful for quality sleep also. However, if sleep continues to be elusive, consider talking to your GP who can advise about treatments that might help.

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Sandy Lowres
Sandy Lowreshttps://wb40.com
Sandy is a writer, creative and podcaster based in Melbourne’s west. She is the proud mother of her three adult children. She has always been passionate about women’s rights and celebrating the diversity of women having been raised by a proud disabled feminist mother herself. As the founder and Creative Director of Wb40 – Women Beyond Forty Magazine, she’s had a diverse and interesting career that has seen her wear various hats – business owner, manager, coordinator, writer, blogger and creative. She has never been afraid to challenge herself and has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. If “Wb40” reminds you of another thing entirely Sandy jokes that it’s the lubricant for your mind! In this world, representation matters, and right now in the publishing world, women over forty are not well represented. Sandy has been that woman fighting for her voice to be heard. As a mother, a single parent keeping her head above water, a business owner and a corporate worker. Although her background is diverse, the one constant is a desire to help others, to build a community, to give back and to bring people together. The journey of Wb40 – Women Beyond Forty, is not an accident. Sandy started an award-nominated blog back in 2013 which changed and evolved and has an established community of amazing women who are proud members of a tribe — industry leaders, creatives, disruptors, authors, survivors, inspirational keynote speakers, disability advocates and activists, teachers, nurses, doctors — many who are well known and respected in their fields. Women who, just like her, are seeking change in the world, and understand that the collective wisdom of women can make a positive difference in the world. When she reached out to women with her vision for Wb40 and her podcast The Good Girl Confessional, their collective enthusiasm, advice and encouragement was overwhelmingly positive and was honoured that they offered advice, their knowledge, time and expertise. They wanted to share their stories and write for Wb40. All of them without question wanted to be involved, believing in the vision but also understanding the need for such a platform. When Sandy couldn’t find the platform was looking for, with help from some friends, she created it here. Let’s start a revolution.
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