Here are 8 relaxation tips to help you look after your wellbeing when you’re stressed, busy, or worried.

1. Take A Break. Take some time away from your normal routines or thoughts. Read a book or a magazine, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Run yourself a bath. Watch a film. Play with your pet. Chop some vegetables and cook a meal.

2. Focus On Your Breathing. Learning to breathe more deeply can make you feel a lot calmer and increase your sense of wellbeing. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Try to keep your shoulders down and relaxed. Place your hand on your stomach – it should rise as you breathe in and fall as you breathe out. Try counting as you breathe – start by counting to 4 as you breathe in, and 4 as you breathe out, then work out what’s comfortable for you.

3. Listen To Music. Listen to your favorite songs. Turn it up and dance or sing along, or put your headphones on and close your eyes. Listen to the music. Can you pick out different instruments? Can you hear a drum beat or a certain rhythm? let yourself focus on the music, and let other thoughts drift away.

4. Picture Yourself In A Relaxing Place. Think of somewhere relaxing and peaceful. You might choose a memory of somewhere you’ve been, or a place you have imagined. Close your eyes, and think about the details of this place. What does it look like? What kind of colors and shapes can you see? Can you hear any sounds? Is it warm or cool? Let your mind drift and your body relax.

5. Try Active Relaxation. Relaxation doesn’t have to mean sitting still – gentle exercise can help you relax too. Look for a gentle exercise class in yoga, Pilates, or gentle stretching. Try taking a gentle walk, going at your own pace. You might choose to go for a longer walk, but even a few minutes of walking can help you feel relaxed.

6. Use A Guided Relaxation Exercise. Guided relaxation or meditation exercises are widely available, and lots of them are free to use. You can search online, look for an app to download, or see if your local library has any books or CDs. Have a look for local meditation or relaxation classes- you could try your local Mind, or use an internet search engine.

7. Get Creative. Getting in touch with your artistic side can help you feel more calm and relaxed. Try painting, drawing, making crafts, playing a musical instrument, dancing, baking, or sewing. Try not to worry too much about the finished product, and focus on enjoying yourself.

8. Spend Time In Nature. Spending time outside and in green spaces can be great for your physical and mental well-being. You could take a walk in the countryside or through a local park, taking time to notice trees, flowers, plants and animals you see on the way. Or you could spend some time taking part in conservation, whether that’s digging in your garden or taking part in a local green project. Don’t worry if one technique doesn’t work for you- try it a few times and, if it doesn’t feel effective, move on to a different exercise. Try to let go of your worries and take time to enjoy the exercises.

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