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Let’s navigate the journey from burnout to blissful balance together!

Learn how I turned exhaustion into empowerment, and am now living a life full of energy and love.

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Relax, It’s Simpler Than You Think

March 20, 20245 min read

"By making relaxation a wellness priority, you’ll not only reap the benefits listed (below), but you’ll also go a long way to living a life free from burnout." 

Just relax. 

How many times have you been told to relax when it was the last thing you felt like doing?

When the deadline is looming and the pressure is high, relaxation is far from your mind as you hustle to get things done.

You’ll relax when it’s done, you think. 

But then another urgent matter lands on your plate, and relaxation is pushed aside once again. 

“I’ll get to it when things slow down,” becomes your mantra, but somehow, despite ticking off dozens of tasks, things never slow down.

I can relate.

Relaxation has never been my forte. 

It was always a challenge to get me to relax, especially during the school year. There was always more to get done, so I kept going, hoping to keep my head above water. Even during winter break, spring break, and summer holidays, I kept busy—there was so much I wanted to do during my time off that my calendar filled up rather quickly. 

Learning to relax and be present in the moment is something that I wish I had learned at a much younger age. As I’ve learned more and more about the benefits of relaxation, it has become a bigger priority for me. 

If you’ve read The Stress Response—It Matters More than You Think, The #1 Way to Avoid Burnout, or 6 Science-Backed Ways to Avoid Burnout, you have an understanding of how our stress response cycle works AND you have learned about the seven proven ways to close the cycle and avoid burnout. 

If you didn’t (and you don’t have time to check them out now because you're busy 🤷‍♀️), here’s the tl;dr:

The top 7 ways to avoid burnout are physical activity, deep breathing, positive social interactions, laughter, affection, crying, and creative expression

Other ways to close the stress response cycle include anything that helps you to relax. This can be quite individual and what works for your best friend, sister, or colleague may not work for you. Be curious, keep an open mind, and give it time (i.e. try it more than once before rejecting it).

Here are some relaxation techniques to explore and experiment with from the least involved (very little cost, not a lot of time) to more involved: 

Listening to Music

Benefits:

  • lowers cortisol levels 

  • reduces depression 

  • lessens emotional exhaustion and the likelihood of burnout 

  • helps you fall asleep

Action Step:

Find your old favourites or discover something new!

Having a Warm Bath

Benefits:

  • activates the parasympathetic nervous system

  • lowers stress levels 

  • decreases stress hormones 

  • balances serotonin levels 

  • promotes relaxation

  • improves sleep

Action step:

Experiment with some Epsom salts, a new bath bomb, or a bubble bath!

Using Aromatherapy

Benefits:

  • improves mood 

  • lessens anxiety 

  • lavender may help lower blood pressure, calm the nervous system, and improve mood 

  • frankincense may help clear mental distractions and clear the mind 

  • rosemary may help reduce cortisol levels, helping relieve anxiety and stress

Action Step:

Try one of the essential oils above in a diffuser tonight!

Mindful Colouring

Benefits:

  • calms the brain 

  • helps your body relax 

  • improves sleep 

  • decreases body aches, heart rate, respiration, and feelings of depression and anxiety

Action Steps:

Buy a mindful colouring book and make time to colour without interruptions. Pay attention to your breathing, the design, your colour choices, and the process. Stay present in the moment.

Limiting Technology/Social Media

Benefits:

  • improves physical health 

  • more time for having fun, playing, and exploring (yes, be like a kid!) 

  • makes more social connections with friends and family 

  • boosts your mood 

  • builds community

Action Steps:

Have rules around technology (ex. no screens at meal times), turn off notifications, and set limits (there are apps for this).

Journalling

Benefits:

  • gets things off your mind 

  • clarifies your thoughts and feelings 

  • helps you recognize and stop negative thought patterns and rumination

Action Steps:

Set a timer and write! Just five or ten minutes to start. Let whatever is on your mind to flow. Use journaling prompts to help you get started if you feel stuck. Block time in your calendar to journal (make it a priority!).

Meditation

Benefits:

  • produces a deep state of relaxation 

  • encourages a tranquil mind 

  • increases self-awareness 

  • reduces negative emotions

Action Steps:

Find a quiet place with no distractions. Use a timer or an app. Start small (five or ten minutes). Try a guided meditation. Remember to breathe!

Breathwork

Benefits:

  • reduces stress and anxiety 

  • improves sleep 

  • increases happiness and self-love 

  • improves mental health

Action Steps:

Find a quiet place with no distractions. Focus on taking deep breaths through your nose. Try different techniques: e.g. box breathing, 4-7-8 breathing, or alternate nostril breathing. 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Benefits:

  • lessens anxiety and tension 

  • improves sleep 

  • reduces neck and lower back pain

Action Steps:

Find a quiet place with no distractions and sit or lie down comfortably. Tense each muscle group for 5 seconds, then exhale and relax for 10-20 seconds. Start at your toes and work your way up to your head.

Guided Imagery

Benefits:

  • improves sleep 

  • decreases physical pain 

  • reduces depression and anxiety

Action Steps:

Find a quiet place with no distractions. Get comfortable and focus on your breathing. Use a script to start (you can Google 'guided imagery script' to find one that suits you). Practice!

Things to keep in mind:

Try things more than once. Embrace being a beginner! Certain practices may feel uncomfortable at first but will get easier with familiarity.

It takes time to figure out what works for you; don’t be afraid to experiment. A guided 20-minute meditation may make you more anxious the first time you meditate, but a five-minute breathing exercise might do the trick.

There are so many positive benefits to learning how to relax, it’s hard to come up with an excuse as to why you can’t (or won’t!) make the time. Many of the above practices can be done in under 10 minutes, which even the busiest person can find in their schedule. 

By making relaxation a wellness priority, you’ll not only reap the benefits listed above, but you’ll also go a long way to living a life free from burnout. 

If you want to know more about breaking free from burnout and living a life you love, check out my 12-week coaching program Burnout to Bliss.



Back to Blog
blog image

Relax, It’s Simpler Than You Think

March 20, 20245 min read

"By making relaxation a wellness priority, you’ll not only reap the benefits listed (below), but you’ll also go a long way to living a life free from burnout." 

Just relax. 

How many times have you been told to relax when it was the last thing you felt like doing?

When the deadline is looming and the pressure is high, relaxation is far from your mind as you hustle to get things done.

You’ll relax when it’s done, you think. 

But then another urgent matter lands on your plate, and relaxation is pushed aside once again. 

“I’ll get to it when things slow down,” becomes your mantra, but somehow, despite ticking off dozens of tasks, things never slow down.

I can relate.

Relaxation has never been my forte. 

It was always a challenge to get me to relax, especially during the school year. There was always more to get done, so I kept going, hoping to keep my head above water. Even during winter break, spring break, and summer holidays, I kept busy—there was so much I wanted to do during my time off that my calendar filled up rather quickly. 

Learning to relax and be present in the moment is something that I wish I had learned at a much younger age. As I’ve learned more and more about the benefits of relaxation, it has become a bigger priority for me. 

If you’ve read The Stress Response—It Matters More than You Think, The #1 Way to Avoid Burnout, or 6 Science-Backed Ways to Avoid Burnout, you have an understanding of how our stress response cycle works AND you have learned about the seven proven ways to close the cycle and avoid burnout. 

If you didn’t (and you don’t have time to check them out now because you're busy 🤷‍♀️), here’s the tl;dr:

The top 7 ways to avoid burnout are physical activity, deep breathing, positive social interactions, laughter, affection, crying, and creative expression

Other ways to close the stress response cycle include anything that helps you to relax. This can be quite individual and what works for your best friend, sister, or colleague may not work for you. Be curious, keep an open mind, and give it time (i.e. try it more than once before rejecting it).

Here are some relaxation techniques to explore and experiment with from the least involved (very little cost, not a lot of time) to more involved: 

Listening to Music

Benefits:

  • lowers cortisol levels 

  • reduces depression 

  • lessens emotional exhaustion and the likelihood of burnout 

  • helps you fall asleep

Action Step:

Find your old favourites or discover something new!

Having a Warm Bath

Benefits:

  • activates the parasympathetic nervous system

  • lowers stress levels 

  • decreases stress hormones 

  • balances serotonin levels 

  • promotes relaxation

  • improves sleep

Action step:

Experiment with some Epsom salts, a new bath bomb, or a bubble bath!

Using Aromatherapy

Benefits:

  • improves mood 

  • lessens anxiety 

  • lavender may help lower blood pressure, calm the nervous system, and improve mood 

  • frankincense may help clear mental distractions and clear the mind 

  • rosemary may help reduce cortisol levels, helping relieve anxiety and stress

Action Step:

Try one of the essential oils above in a diffuser tonight!

Mindful Colouring

Benefits:

  • calms the brain 

  • helps your body relax 

  • improves sleep 

  • decreases body aches, heart rate, respiration, and feelings of depression and anxiety

Action Steps:

Buy a mindful colouring book and make time to colour without interruptions. Pay attention to your breathing, the design, your colour choices, and the process. Stay present in the moment.

Limiting Technology/Social Media

Benefits:

  • improves physical health 

  • more time for having fun, playing, and exploring (yes, be like a kid!) 

  • makes more social connections with friends and family 

  • boosts your mood 

  • builds community

Action Steps:

Have rules around technology (ex. no screens at meal times), turn off notifications, and set limits (there are apps for this).

Journalling

Benefits:

  • gets things off your mind 

  • clarifies your thoughts and feelings 

  • helps you recognize and stop negative thought patterns and rumination

Action Steps:

Set a timer and write! Just five or ten minutes to start. Let whatever is on your mind to flow. Use journaling prompts to help you get started if you feel stuck. Block time in your calendar to journal (make it a priority!).

Meditation

Benefits:

  • produces a deep state of relaxation 

  • encourages a tranquil mind 

  • increases self-awareness 

  • reduces negative emotions

Action Steps:

Find a quiet place with no distractions. Use a timer or an app. Start small (five or ten minutes). Try a guided meditation. Remember to breathe!

Breathwork

Benefits:

  • reduces stress and anxiety 

  • improves sleep 

  • increases happiness and self-love 

  • improves mental health

Action Steps:

Find a quiet place with no distractions. Focus on taking deep breaths through your nose. Try different techniques: e.g. box breathing, 4-7-8 breathing, or alternate nostril breathing. 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Benefits:

  • lessens anxiety and tension 

  • improves sleep 

  • reduces neck and lower back pain

Action Steps:

Find a quiet place with no distractions and sit or lie down comfortably. Tense each muscle group for 5 seconds, then exhale and relax for 10-20 seconds. Start at your toes and work your way up to your head.

Guided Imagery

Benefits:

  • improves sleep 

  • decreases physical pain 

  • reduces depression and anxiety

Action Steps:

Find a quiet place with no distractions. Get comfortable and focus on your breathing. Use a script to start (you can Google 'guided imagery script' to find one that suits you). Practice!

Things to keep in mind:

Try things more than once. Embrace being a beginner! Certain practices may feel uncomfortable at first but will get easier with familiarity.

It takes time to figure out what works for you; don’t be afraid to experiment. A guided 20-minute meditation may make you more anxious the first time you meditate, but a five-minute breathing exercise might do the trick.

There are so many positive benefits to learning how to relax, it’s hard to come up with an excuse as to why you can’t (or won’t!) make the time. Many of the above practices can be done in under 10 minutes, which even the busiest person can find in their schedule. 

By making relaxation a wellness priority, you’ll not only reap the benefits listed above, but you’ll also go a long way to living a life free from burnout. 

If you want to know more about breaking free from burnout and living a life you love, check out my 12-week coaching program Burnout to Bliss.



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“Keep good company, read good books, love good things, and cultivate soul and body as faithfully as you can.”

~ Louisa May Alcott

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