23+ tips for wellbeing in strange times #3 – Routinely relax and refocus

young woman stretching

Giving yourself a gentle but thorough routine stretch and listening to a short podcast morning and evening helps reset the mind and can ease you into more new and healthy habits.

Easing into the day

There are many stretching routines online and you may well remember some from fitness classes (or from PE classes in school!) but the main thing is to start gently and really listen to your body.  If you are stiff, don’t push anything but breathe slowly and deeply into the tension and let it go in its own good time.  If you are really stuck for where to start, these gentle standing Dao Yin exercises might give you inspiration.  Whatever exercise you start doing, remember that it may well take some time until your body releases all its kinks and tensions, and as your posture finds its natural alignment you might feel strange and sore at first.  Don’t push anything, just keep going very gently and focus on relaxing and the feeling of warmth and expansion.  You are doing this for you and must work within your own limits, and with your own body as you find it day by day.

Settling the mind

Brief guided coaching exercises, relaxation sessions and mindful meditations are all a great way to calm the mind, clear out the clutter and prepare your mind either to begin work or clear work from your mind at the end of the day.  Just 5-10 minutes are enough to notice and clear away the mental clutter crowding in on your deliberate thoughts.  Here are seven mental health podcasts you can stream for free, as well as our own Sport & Recreation Department Steph’s blog and podcast, Grounded in Stillness.

Tuck yourself up with a book or audiobook

Books and audiobooks… and comics are a great way to unwind at the end of the day and escape reality.  The public library service has an amazing range.  Click here to see all the public library has available to download.

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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