Life is busy—especially for parents. Between weekends spent going to soccer games and weekdays spent helping with homework, it can be difficult to find time for ourselves. And when we do find a second to take a deep breath and relax, our phones inevitably ping with a notification that jolts us right back into reality.
In our modern world, it’s important to know when to say “no thanks” to that notification. There are so many benefits to taking a break from technology, and relaxation is one of the foremost among them. In fact, this article says that your phone might actually be robbing you of the ability to relax!
It can be hard to know how to relax without the help of Instagram or Facebook, but Troomi has your back. Next time you’re deciding how to wind down, put your phone on Do Not Disturb and try one of these five ways to relax without using your phone.
Pick up a book
In the age of streaming, we often forget about good old-fashioned books. Scrolling through Netflix and putting on a movie is so much easier than flipping through a novel, right?
While TV is certainly more convenient, it doesn’t compare with a book being one of the best ways to relax. In fact, reading fiction has been proven to reduce stress levels by 68%!
Of course, fiction isn’t the only genre out there. Reading nonfiction is a great way to chill out while educating yourself more about real life events. Other books, like those that discuss philosophy and religion, can help you feel more optimistic about the world. Personally, I prefer poetry (though I recently finished Anxious People by Fredrick Bakman, and you guys, it’s amazing).
Reading is also a great activity for kids. A good book educates, inspires, and gets kids away from technology. Click here for some tips on how to encourage your child to read, and don’t forget to check out this post about how reading benefits your kiddos.
Get your hands working
Back when the pandemic began and quarantine forced many into isolation, the world took to crafting to de-stress. A few of my friends learned to knit while others discovered embroidery. I took up weaving. I purchased a little loom from a local craft store and quickly learned how to make small tapestries and hot pads. I found that working with my hands helped me relax and focus on the present. My mind stopped wandering as I watched my fingers work.
No matter how you choose to craft, working with your hands is one of the best ways to relax. You may get some handmade decorations or cozy scarves out of it as well!
Take a deep breath and meditate
There’s no better way to clear your thoughts and get in touch with your zen than through meditation. I’m sure I sound a bit like a hippie, but it’s the truth! Traditions from various cultures have been using meditation to relax for thousands of years, and modern studies state that it is a simple, quick way to reduce stress.
Meditating can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing. When I first started meditating, I would get so frustrated trying to clear my head—the opposite of what meditation is trying to achieve. Then I read an interview with a Buddhist monk that rocked my world. The monk stated that your thoughts will run wild if your brain doesn’t have anything to do, so give it a job: focus on your breath.
As you focus on your inhales and exhales, you’ll find that once-buzzing thoughts just float away.
I like to picture a flower opening and closing with my breath. Maintaining focus on a mental image is a great way to bring your mind in from its occasional wandering.
Meditation is also great for kids! To help your kids learn the basics of meditation, Troomi phones feature KidSmart™ apps like Moshi and Headspace that provide guided meditation. Click here to learn more about our meditation apps, and our kid-safe, parent-approved smartphones!
Journal your thoughts
If meditation doesn’t help you organize your thoughts and relax, try journaling.
When you’re trying to wind down, your thoughts are likely running and jumping around every corner of your brain. By sitting down and taking a few minutes to clear your head and put your thoughts on paper, you will have an easier time compartmentalizing and winding down.
If you’re new to journaling, I recommend starting a gratitude journal! Get a nice notebook and your favorite pen, and write down a few things that you’re grateful for each day. Thinking about things that make you happy in the present is an amazing way to fall in love with your life and stay optimistic for the future.
Lace up your sneakers and go for a walk
I’m a firm believer that walking is one of the best ways to relax!
When I first moved to Iceland for grad school, I was pretty overwhelmed by stress. Between moving halfway across the world and jumping headfirst into full-time classes, it felt like I was drowning in anxiety.
Then, I started to walk. I found that getting my body moving and exploring my neighborhood helped my mind calm down and my stress evaporate. Walking helps put your mind in a meditative state, allowing for self-reflection and processing. Now whenever I need a break from studying or just need to wind down, I’ll slip on my boots and take a lap around Reykjavik.
So even if it’s a bit nippy, put on your gloves and a scarf and get those legs pumping! You’ll thank me later.
And don’t forget to keep an eye on the Troomi blog for more tips and tricks!