This month, Magical Learning is focusing on ways to unwind after the hectic year that was 2020. Leading up to the summer holidays, many people may find themselves time-poor to actually sit back and relax. This is why we created this list of 10 different activities that you can do that take less than 10 minutes to do. That way you can squeeze is some self-TLC in between all the madness.
1. Have a cuddle with your pet/partner/children/friend/family
Hugging is known to have significant calming effects on the body! During a hug your body releases oxytocin, a hormone that reduces anxiety and makes you feel calmer. According to science, the sweet spot for duration of a hug is 20 seconds (this might be longer than you’re used to but we definitely recommend it). If you go around hugging the people you care about, they will get the same positive benefits as you do.
2. Journal about your day
We’ve mentioned on numerous occasions the benefits of journalling for both your personal and professional life. Journalling can help you gather your thoughts, emotions and actions of the day together in one spot. This is a great way to get insights about what you might be overlooking in your life. 3 great journalling questions we recommend are:
- What should I stop doing?
- What should I keep doing?
- What should I start doing?
3. Have yourself a little dance party
If you’ve had a particularly stressful day, one of the best ways to unwind might be hosting a private dance party for yourself. Close yourself in a room, blast some banging tunes and dance your heart out! Dance is not only a form of exercise, but is also great for improving your posture, mood, flexibility and ease anxiety.
4. Do a nightly stretch routine
If you can feel how tense your body is, a great way to unwind is to introduce a short stretch to your nighttime routine. Stretching is good for easing anxiety, muscle discomfort and will give you a better night’s sleep. If you’re not sure which stretches to do, both Nike and Adidas have totally free apps that have many different short stretch routines for inspiration.
5. Lie in the sun
When was the last time you lay down in the sun and just relaxed with no distractions for 10 minutes? It’s probably been a while, hey? Sunlight exposure can boost your mood, give you better sleep, helps Vitamin D production and can reduce the risk of some illnesses. Obviously if you’re sun-baking in Australia, keep your time in direct sun limited or make sure you’re wearing SPF 30+ sunscreen (ideally both). But a nice 10 minute session in the sun’s rays will give you the benefits you’re looking for.
6. Connect with your breath
This technique is part of many different meditation and mindfulness routines. Your breath is actually a really important determining factor of how you feel, and many people don’t realise they’re breathing ‘wrong’. The benefits of slow, focused breathing includes lowered stress levels, blood pressure and heart rate. The best way to do this is find a comfortable seated or lying position away from external distractions and focus on different aspects of your breathing. There are many free guided breathing exercises available online, just find one that works for you.
7. Spend time in solitude
This covers most of the activities in the list, but time away from others is super important to unwinding and de-stressing. Time to yourself can help increase creativity, productivity, empathy, and our patience for others. If you have the opportunity to, you should go for a walk outside and focus on what you see around you (this is a mindfulness technique). This will help you get some sunlight and gives you time to literally stop and smell the flowers.
8. Massage your hands
Sounds a little weird if you haven’t done it before, but the humble hand massage is a nice quick fix for unwinding after a tough day. Grab some hand cream and focus on your joints, your palm area and the ‘webbed’ area between your fingers. This will make your hands feel better if they’re sore from overuse, and will also help improve your mood, your sleep and the cream will make your hands softer! This is better done by someone else, however also easy enough to do to yourself.
9. Watch the sunrise/sunset
Spending time out of your day to witness the sunrise or sunset is a great way to take a moment to unwind. If you’re an early riser, you can even take your coffee/tea outside and watch it before heading off for the day. If you’re not a morning person, take 10 minutes out of your day to admire the sunset. This is a great way to slow down and reconnect with the beauty and grandeur of nature.
10. Spend time with a hobby you haven’t touched in a while
If it’s been a while since you picked up your lockdown hobbies, maybe it’s time to rummage them up again. Spending time drawing, colouring, cooking, baking, reading, gardening, whatever. Just spend some time doing something you find fun just for the sake of having fun. Especially with the holidays around the corner, a bit of crafting can get you feeling festive and can be a great way to entertain the kids too.
If you, or anyone you know needs help at the moment, please do not hesitate to reach out to us! If you would like to speak to one of our team, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on (+61) 2 6944 8200.