Daily self-care: how to relax

Are you dealing with big life changes? Has your normal routine been turned upside down? Do you feel like the pressure is weighing you down? Follow our guide on how to restore your inner peace. Put yourself first and practice self-care every day. We’re here to guide you!

woman doing yoga at home

SET GOALS FOR YOURSELF

If you ever feel lonely, it's important to remember that you have the power to take control of your own life and daily routine. To stay motivated, try setting daily goals for yourself and focusing on self-improvement. By putting yourself first, you can improve your mental health and overall well-being. Remember, you have the ability to make positive changes in your life and create a fulfilling routine for yourself.

Overworked? Trying to catch your breath? It's important to take a step back and prioritize your tasks. Make a plan to better organize and manage your workload, and be sure to schedule some time for self-care.

Too much free time on your hands? Try learning a new hobby or learning a new skill! Having goals and projects will help you avoid getting stuck in a rut. This is also a great opportunity to try a new sport and get active. By finding a balance and setting goals for yourself, you can improve your productivity and overall well-being.

relax people laughing while exercising

HOW TO PRACTICE SELF CARE? EXERCISE

Exercise is an essential part of maintaining physical and mental well-being, even when you're stuck indoors. It helps oxygenate your body and can have a positive impact on your mood. Just 25 minutes of physical activity can release endorphins, hormones that promote feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. Get moving, have fun, and give your body and mind the boost they need to stay healthy and stress-free.

two men playing ping pong at home

LEARN TO RELAX AND AVOID STRESSFUL ACTIVITIES

Discover our tips on managing your emotions and stress. By adding a few relaxation exercises to your routine, you’ll soon feel calmer and more at ease.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH: DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING

Dr. Sylvain Baert, a French psychology professor, explains the fundamental element of all relaxation exercises: breathing.

"Many people are chest breathers; when they inhale, their chest rises and their belly contracts. Instead of taking long, deep breaths with the diaphragm, they breathe superficially and discontinuously. However, deep breathing is very beneficial; it gives you a real sense of calm and awakens your mind. Diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system*, which sends a relaxation signal to your body. It is an important technique to learn."

man on a yoga mat with eyes closed

THE SCIENCE OF RELAXATION: BREATHING AND YOUR AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM

This relationship has been studied by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, a French doctor. When we breathe "normally" through the chest, our sympathetic nervous system takes control and increases our anxiety. On the other hand, deep breathing through the diaphragm activates our parasympathetic nervous system, which blocks the anxiety-producing effects of the sympathetic system. It triggers a relaxation process and leads to a sense of calm.

man on a yoga mat meditating

Here is an additional explanation from Dr. R. Abrezol: "When you practice abdominal breathing, your diaphragm, which was previously stationary, lowers with each inhale and rises with each exhale. This movement, which does not occur when breathing through the chest or shoulders, results in a deep massage in the solar plexus - a complex network of nerves located between the navel and the sternum - and in the internal abdominal organs. Many discomforts in the solar plexus disappear spontaneously through deep breathing."

BREATHING EXERCISE DURING THE DAY AND BEFORE BED

Practice this diaphragmatic breathing exercise while sitting on the floor against a wall or lying on your back:

- Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose.

- Exhale through your mouth, pressing gently on your stomach to exhale the air.

- Inhale through your nose, inflating only your stomach.

- Exhale slowly through your mouth.

- Repeat these steps three times.

According to Dr. Sylvain Baert, controlling your breathing (around six cycles of slow breaths per minute instead of 12 to 20 cycles) allows you to coordinate your breathing with your heart rate, which promotes relaxation.

woman on a yoga mat outside

FOCUS ON THE "PRESENT"

Focusing on the present moment is known as mindfulness meditation. This practice can help you become more aware of your surroundings and better engage with the world around you. As Leonardo da Vinci once said, "An average human looks without seeing, listens without hearing, touches without feeling, eats without tasting, moves without physical awareness, inhales without awareness of odour or fragrance, and talks without thinking." Mindfulness meditation can help you break out of this unconscious state and become more attuned to your senses and your environment.

One way to learn how to live in the present moment is through mindfulness meditation. You can try focusing on your breathing or a neutral object several times a day and bring your attention back to your breathing.

This technique can help you develop better emotional control and acceptance over time. Mindfulness can also help you appreciate and fully experience what's happening in the present moment.

So, instead of living life on autopilot, make a conscious effort to focus on the present, relax, and make the most of each moment.

RELAXATION SESSION: IN PRACTICE

To begin your relaxation session, start by taking some deep breaths and focusing on the sensation of the air moving in and out of your body. Imagine that you are in a peaceful and calming environment, whether it be a real or fictional place. Try to vividly visualize and fully immerse yourself in this environment, paying attention to the feelings of calm, happiness, and serenity that it brings. Allow yourself to fully embrace these feelings and let go of any stress or anxiety.

woman stretching at home on a yoga mat

ADDITIONAL TIPS AND TRICKS FOR RELAXING

A few tips on how to find peace of mind and relieve daily stress:

- Go for walks and reconnect with nature while clearing your mind.

- Start your days with 10 minutes of "The Five Tibetan Rites" (a sequence of five simple asanas, or yoga poses).

- Practice slow abdominal breathing.

- Practice heart coherence for 5 minutes each day.

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