Exploring relaxation can help you look after yourself when you’re feeling stressed or worried. Have a look at these tips and ideas to see how relaxation can fit into your daily life. Don’t worry if some ideas don’t work for you – just enjoy the ones that do:
Take a break.
Relaxation doesn’t have to take up lots of your time. Just stepping away from something stressful for a few minutes or taking time away from your normal routines and thoughts can give you enough space and distance to feel calmer. Read a book or a magazine, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Run yourself a bath, watch a film, play with a pet or try out a new recipe.
Try active relaxation.
Relaxation doesn’t have to mean sitting still – gentle exercise can help you relax too. Take a 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. Look for a class you'd like to try, such as yoga, Pilates or gentle stretching. See our page on physical activity and mental health for more tips. If you're interested in getting more active to support your mental health, take a look at our Get Set to Go campaign to find out more about how you can get active in your local area.
Focus on your breathing.
Learning to breathe more deeply can help you feel a lot calmer. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to keep your shoulders down and relaxed, and place your hand on your stomach – it should rise as you breathe in and fall as you breathe out. Count as you breathe. Start by counting 'one, two, three, four' as you breathe in and 'one, two, three, four' as you breathe out. Try to work out what’s comfortable for you.