|How often do you realize that life is tumbling past you at an incredible rate of speed? Are there moments that you find that you are able to sit back and relax, reflect on your life in at the present time, or do you find these experiences fleeting? It can be tough to find the time to unwind in our busy every day lives, yet the benefits of doing so can be multi-fold for our well-being and mental health, in particular. In this article, we will explore three ways that you can try out in order to unwind and find your Zen, even on the busiest of days.
Please note: This collaborative article does not contain healthcare or therapeutic advice. If you are concerned about your health or well-being, speak with a health professional or visit your nearest medical facility in an emergency. The links in this article may be affiliate links that I will be compensated for at no additional cost to you.
3 Ways to Unwind & Find Your Zen
1. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a gem in the self-care toolkit simply because it can be practiced at any time and literally anywhere. So even if you have a million tasks on your to-do list or you have back-to-back meetings on a workday, you can fit in a mindfulness practice even in the space of a few minutes.
If you're curious about the science behind mindfulness, learn how the brain can actually change, even with beginners who are just learning exercises such as body scan, mindful yoga and sitting meditation. The results of a study on psychological well-being found that participants of the study showed increased brain volume in regions of the brain that support empathy and compassion. Amazing, right?
On the other hand, one area of the brain that was shown to decrease in size was the amygdala which is the part of our brain that is responsible for the fight-or-fight (or freeze) response that we experience when there is a perceived danger in our environment. This showed evidence that the mindfulness exercises lowered levels of stress in the participants. Learn more about the ever-expanding research behind mindfulness here.
Related: Mental Health Podcasts Focusing on Mindfulness
2. Find a Soothing Hobby
After your mindfulness practice, you may be looking for a low-impact hobby to have a bit of fun without putting extra to-do's on your chores list. You may already have an interest or activity that you like to engage in when you're looking for a bit of quiet time on your own, away from the busy life that many of us lead. Or you may be looking for something new to try.
Here are some ideas for a soothing hobby to try out:
A great way to unwind and find your Zen is to discover free online games such as Garden Secrets, a hidden object game. This activity combines peaceful imagery of gardens, flowers and tranquil environments with the relaxing activity of finding objects within the pictures. Although the tasks are generally not that challenging, it can be fun to find the objects hidden amongst the rest of the scene. Once you find the object you feel a sense of accomplishment as the it disappears from view and you hear a satisfactory sound that let's you know you were successful.
You also don't have to worry about how much time you have to play because you can start and stop the game at any time. As you play, you have to be careful not to click on the wrong objects or just 'guess' because it will result slowly decrease the time you have to complete the level. You can see there are many levels to unlock and you can even replay the levels at any time to score higher points. It's a nice feeling to see a three star game completed, which means that you found all the objects at a great pace. As the levels progress, it can get more difficult to find the objects, but luckily there are hints that you can use along the way.
Having moments in your day that you get to play something fun and engage in a totally different activity from work or responsibilities can be help at feeling recharged and just a bit lighter throughout your day. The weight of the day (or week) is much less and you can finally feel like you're starting to unwind. And there are lots of other online games to check out depending on your mood. If you're looking for a bit more of a challenge, rather than Zen, you can try your luck at unique card games like gin rummy or test your intelligence with sudoku.
3. Pamper Yourself
When you hear the word 'pamper', what images or ideas instantly come into focus in your mind? The act of pampering can be very different, or unique, to each person and so it can be important to consider what this really means for you, and what experiences would be most beneficial for you. We all deserve some 'me time' to relax and feel special.
Here are some examples of pampering:
I hope these ideas to unwind and find your Zen were helpful! Share your takeaways in the comments below or your best Zen-finding activities.
Related: Relax & Fall Asleep Easier with the Help of a Portable Sound Machine
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