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10 Ways to Help Relax & Unwind

In the first of our #Hereforyou series, we'll be talking about our favourite ways to destress and unwind, the Twinings way.

Launching new Superblends flavours this year has had us thinking a lot about the importance of taking time for ourselves in the Twinings office recently. We've been thinking about how small adjustments to our daily routines can make big differences to how we feel in ourselves and help us reduce stress.

Ways to destress & unwind

Make use of technology 

Normally when we think of ways to relax, using our phones isn't always the first thing that springs to mind. But there are actually loads of apps on the market designed for just that, and they're growing in popularity! From guided meditation apps to ones that use approaches based on cognitive behavioural therapy, there are loads to try.

But don't forget to unplug 

A study by Kansas State University highlighted the importance of taking time away from technology to mentally recharge after work. As tempting as it may be to quickly reply to that email at 10pm, sometimes it's better to put the phone down, shut the laptop and commit to a bit of time away. 

Exercise 

A fairly well-known cure to the winter blues, (plus being great for your physical health!) but still worth mentioning! If you don't fancy going out for a run in the wet or cold, why not try some yoga or a bodyweight workout at home? (Why not try out our Cold Infuse range if you don't like drinking plain water while you work out?)

Schedule in time for a break 

It's easy to get caught up in being busy and forget to take breaks - we all do it! Combat this by actively scheduling in a break. If you find you begin to flag by 3pm, why not make that your time to stick the kettle on and take ten minutes to yourself? Caffeine free teas and infusions are the perfect accompaniment for ten minutes of time out. 

Breathe

Taking a couple of moments to focus on your breathing can help relieve some stress if you’re feeling particularly frazzled. Try to concentrate on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly, at a rate that’s comfortable for you.

Try a New Hobby

If things are getting on top of you, trying out a new hobby could be just the escape you need. Arts and crafts like painting or sewing are great ideas, or you could try baking, playing a musical instrument or gardening.

Use a Massage Ball

Investing in a massage ball and spending some time working out a bit of tension while you’re sat in front of the TV, or even at your desk, can be just what’s needed when you’re feeling a bit run down. Try rolling your feet over it, or roll it against your neck and upper back against the back of your chair or a wall, or even try one of the many guided massages on YouTube.

Stretch

Why not try a short stretching routine when you need to take a break? This inexpensive way to unwind only needs a bath towel or similar to lie on and you’re away! There are loads of routines available online you could try out – try a few to see what you enjoy!

Make a Chillout Playlist

Putting on your favourite relaxing songs while you take a moment to sit at the end of the day is a great way to help any residual tension melt away. In fact, setting aside a bit of time to arrange your favourite relaxing songs into the ideal chillout playlist can be a great way to unwind in itself!

Try Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a kind of meditation, where you practice paying attention to the present, taking time to acknowledge your feelings and what’s happening around you. We’ve got a great beginner’s guide below. Just a few minutes a day practicing mindfulness can really help your mental wellbeing, by allowing you to see situations more clearly instead of becoming overwhelmed.

WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?

Mindfulness is actually a simple type of meditation. It's the practice of making a conscious effort to pay attention to the present moment, what is happening around you and what you're feeling. Practising mindfulness can be valuable for your mental wellbeing by helping you to be more self-aware, allowing you to see situations with more clarity and not get too wrapped up by thoughts and feelings.

How to practice mindfulness

  • Find somewhere comfortable to sit. It's helpful if you find somewhere quiet and free of distractions.
  • Don't be too ambitious. Aim to spend 5-10 minutes practicing to start with.
  • Start by trying to concentrate on your body. Pay attention to the sensation of your clothes on your skin, note your temperature and whether you have any stiffness, tension or pain.
  • Notice your breathing. Don't try to change anything about how you're breathing, just spend a little time paying attention to how it feels, how quickly you're breathing and where you can feel your breath in your body.
  • Notice when your mind has drifted. It's a part of human nature for our minds to wander. Don't worry about it when it happens, mindfulness is all about accepting these things and being able to bring yourself back to the present when they happen.

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