Can you Chill?
There are times; maybe every few months, every week, sometimes every day, that we feel like everything is too overwhelming, too busy & too hectic. In our current day, we are all chronically time poor and continuously over-stimulated from the visual & sound energy of our screen lives. In these moments it can be hard to disconnect, get out of your head and just chill out.
For me, London, is simultaneously one of the most thrilling and hardest places to be. It holds a never ending excitement, that there is always something new to do, to see, to experience. Yet sometimes the endless grind, the hours of commuting, the mounting cost and the lack of sunshine, does my head in...Particularly, at this time of year! Add to this outside of my Pilates studio, I’m a complete HIIT, energy and experience junkie. I’m constantly on the move- which yes, has its benefits, also means sometimes my body is overwhelmed with a frenetic energy. In these times, I have to remember to breathe and let some of the tension go.
So, to help with the start of winter, here are a few of my favourite ways to relax, unwind and let the world back in. The best part? Most of them onlytake a few minutes (though often, the longer the better!)
This is a huge one for me. Music influences much of my daily vibes – whether thats preparing playlists for classes, pumping up for a gym session, fuelling my walks or zoning out. Music impacts your mood and can actively change the way you feel in any given moment. I’m constantly stalking playlists on Spotify and will mix across nearly all genres (not so much a heavy metal girl though, sorry!). When looking for some downtime- personal favourites always tend to have a soul, jazzy vibe - Chet Faker, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Hiatus Kyote, Ta-Ku, Meg Mac, Jamie XX, Otis Redding, Fleetwood Mac, Florence & The Machine. The next minute however I’m highly likely to be blasting out some HipHop (#Balance).
I ADORE candles, I love my room and home to smell delicious and be filled with a soft glow. I’ll mix up scents depending on the time of day and my vibe. Often with citrus, fresh scents early on, warming comforting notes later on when I’m working from home and then soft, calming scents in the evening. For this mix, I’m currently loving the MUJI tin candles – Ginger & Lemon Thyme, Cinnamon & Mandarin and Vanilla. They are compact but pack a punch with delicious flavours!
You always feel so much better after a big chat (or rant as the case may be). Getting things off your chest is a healthy way to work through issues and can help you gain perspective, particularly when the world around you feels heavy.
Being geographically separated from many of my oldest & closest friends and family members is tough. It means I always have to devote some time to keep in contact. However the blessing in that, is that I am entirely focused on speaking openly to my people. When you don’t have the physical cues and connections, you have to really express how you are feeling, and in return, have open channels to keep relationships afloat. It’s a great practice for having conversations in person too. To be tuned in, focused and entirely present when having a chat to someone you love and trust. The power of chat is often underrated!
Wash your hair
I have no backing behind this one! Simply- just washing my hair in a warm, soothing shower, literally makes me feel like I’m washing everything away. It helps ease tension headaches, refreshes the body and just makes you feel more ready...either to go tackle the world with a fresh do, or climb into bed in some comfy pj’s!
Physical contact is necessary in life. Humans crave contact and connection to others. Whether that is a lover, friend or animal (here comes another sulk because I STILL don’t have a pet in London!) having a cuddle with another soul helps to lift yours. Embracing is special, take some time to give someone or something you care about an extra long squeeze!
Move your body. Without placing expectations, time limits, repetitions or competition into the equation. Dance, run, take a class, go for a long slow walk, smash some weights. Simply move. We all know that exercising pumps those good endorphins into your system. But do it with honest intentions of just enjoying the movement. Plug yourself in if you need tunes to get you going, or unplug if you want to take in everything around you. Don’t make excuses, don’t put it off. Just get your blood pumping, build a sweat, give yourself a push to go. It will always work.
Cheesy, clichéd...but effective. Make yourself smile, even if that smile closely resembles a grimace. We are constantly surrounded by blank faces, wandering past strangers, avoiding eye contact on the tube, looking down at our screens to pass time, barely acknowledging those within our spheres. Make your face one people engage with. You can fool yourself into feeling a little happier, by forcing the muscles of your face to smile. You may feel like a fool, but if you start to feel a little better, isn’t a little bit of silly worth it?!
There is very little that a cup of tea can’t fix (now that is true Mum advice!). A nice warm mug that can make you feel good inside. With so many different blends, there is always a tea to ease the soul. For an evening calming cup, I adore Nuit Calme. I became hooked when I lived in Paris and I always get some anytime I, or someone I know, goes over. I am unsure of any stockists in the UK, so if anyone you know heads to France soon, ask them to find some in most supermarkets there! The blend of vanilla, orange and chamomile is pretty much perfect and sends you into a delicious sleep!
This is one I have found myself doing much more recently. Often when faced with a 520am alarm, a long commute, or when I find it difficult to drift off to sleep. I simply list (and repeat) the things I am grateful for in my life. There are some constants to that list, then some that change depending on the circumstances of the day, but I include everything that makes me happy for where and who I am in life. It’s an amazing way to quickly realize the special treasures in your world and almost instantly helps me unwind.
Surround yourself with your lovely things
Make the space around you filled in your version of beautiful. I love having fresh flowers, photos and crystals in my space. Having a space that makes you feel safe, happy and content, will only help bring on a happier mood.
So with all that said and done, I think its time I get a cup of tea, wash my hair, pump some tunes and smile my way to my Pilates mat!
Rosie (who is currently upside down, promoting blood flow to the brain!) xx