Entrepreneurs are notorious for being “on” all the time, brain whirring, ideas brewing, nerves jangling. But the fact is that we’re most productive and creative when we give ourselves permission to be fully “on”, followed by fully “off”. Oscillating between these two states keeps us mentally sharp and emotionally stable. The reality, though, is that “off” time for many of us consists of vegging in front of the TV with our eyes drifting to the inbox on our phone or scrolling mindlessly through our social media feeds.
Cracking open a bottle of wine might seem like a great way to unwind, but it can easily become our go-to coping mechanism – and that can do a lot of damage to our wellbeing. So how can we carve out some relaxation time and draw a line under the working day without hitting the bottle or reaching for the biscuit tin? Here are 5 ways entrepreneurs can unplug and unwind to us by Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach and founder of Peppermint Wellness Suzy Glaskie.
Breathing in calm
One of the quickest and most effective ways to relax also happens to be free and accessible to everyone at all times: our breath! The 7/11 breathing practice is very easy to remember, so you can call upon it whenever you feel stressed and overwhelmed. All you do is breathe into the count of 7 and then out to the count of 11. Relax your tummy and breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose and out through your nose. Keep going for a couple of minutes and see how much calmer you feel.
The ritual of making yourself a herbal tea can replace opening a bottle of wine. Maybe treat yourself to a special teapot and mug and really enjoy the ceremony of leaving the herbs to steep and then pouring that lovely, warming drink for you to sip.
Tap into the power or aroma
Essential oils are a wonderful way to instantly switch mood. You can buy a diffuser to have their gorgeous scents wafting through your home. Or you can put a drop on your wrist and inhale. Orange essential oil is an instant mood-booster. Lavender is very calming: take deep breaths of it and, as you exhale, imagine yourself letting go of all the stresses of your day.
Walk it off
Leaving your phone at home and getting outside for even a short walk will help shift your mental state away from the tension of your workday. Walking encourages feelings of calm, particularly if you’re able to access nature while you’re out. Being amidst greenery has been shown to induce feelings of peace and happiness.
The power of music
Not only is music one of the most enjoyable ways to unwind, but one of the most powerful too. Put some music on that you love and let it wash over you, taking the stresses of the day with it.