Learning to relax

Taking time for yourself doesn’t always seem easy – let alone a priority. But it can be an essential part of leading a healthy, balanced life.

Making time

It can often feel difficult to try and find time in our busy days to relax. Making time to unwind and relax is an important part of maintaining good health and can benefit the body both physically and mentally.

Relaxation can help to slow our heart rate, reduce our blood pressure and relieve muscle tension. It can also help to improve anxiety, stress and insomnia. All of these factors can impact our sleep so finding time to relax can have really positive effects on improving sleep time and quality.

There are lots of different ways and methods to relax and sometimes it’s experimenting to find what works for you. Mindfulness, breathing control, meditation and exercise such as yoga and Pilates are all techniques that can be used and incorporated into our day to help relax and boost our sleep.

Ways to unwind

After a stressful day, we can often have a lot of tension in our muscles. Stretching before bed can be a great way to relax our muscles and reduce tension. By relaxing with stretches we focus our mind on our body which can help us to separate from the day’s stresses.

Mindfulness can be a useful tool to help reconnect your mind and body by bringing awareness to our bodily sensations, emotions and thoughts.

Focusing on breathing can also help to alleviate anxiety and stress, again encouraging your mind and body to relax before bed. Taking slow, deep breaths is a basic way to help engage your body’s natural relaxation response and create a sense of calm.

Give it a go

We have put together a series of videos with Vicky from Pilates Live which incorporate Pilates exercises, breathing and mindfulness to do before bed to help your body and mind relax and get a good night’s sleep. You can find them here.

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