“Have a glass of wine. It will relax you.”
“These may make you have weird dreams, but you’ll sleep.”
“You just need to get away and relax. Go on vacation!”
Three coping mechanisms, three different suggestions. But which one of these actually works when it comes to chilling out?
None of them. Temporarily, maybe. But reaching that utopia of complete chill, stress-free living doesn’t come in a bottle, isn’t topped with a cork or isn’t some place you can get to on a plane.
A true state of chill starts from within.
We know what you’re thinking, easier said than done, right? Well, bottled happiness costs money, and a plane ticket isn’t free; but getting to a place of total relaxation without leaving your seat is free and accessible by everyone. When you’re relaxed, you’re happier. And when you’re happier, you’re more productive, more loving and more understanding.
There is nothing to lose.
STEP 1: Quiet.
And by quiet, we don’t just mean be quiet, we mean get quiet. Get to a quiet place, quiet your mind and listen to the sound of nothing. If it helps, a white noise might help you get there – the sound of a fan, the dryer full of towels, waves – all of these are low-level sounds that can help you get to a state of quiet and a place of chill.
STEP 2: Focus. (with your eyes closed)
During troubling or stressful times it can feel all consuming. Thoughts may be racing through your head one hundred miles an hour, especially at night when the distractions of a busy day aren’t there. And although it’s hard, if you can just slow it all down so that you can think logically, you might be able to answer all of life’s questions with some quiet reflection.
Night time speed thinking is rarely resourceful and can blur your vision between perception and reality. Slow down those lightening thoughts and try to focus on one thing; even if that one thing is something so basic, like “just breathe.”
STEP 3: Put yourself first.
Mothers, fathers, managers and supervisors; all of these are titles of responsibility. You carry the load of other people by managing the team; if you fail your team fails, right? Wrong. With you as an ineffectual leader or caretaker, parts of your domain are sure to get neglected or fall apart if you are not in the right head space.
If the thought of 15 minutes of alone time puts you into a panic, then you are exactly the person who needs to take 15 minutes to get quiet. You deserve it, so make it a priority. Because by putting yourself first, you are actually putting your team first. They are who they are because of you, of what you represent and if you are showing up as being tired, irritable and irrational, they will soon follow your lead.
We’re all for a glass of wine, and modern medicine can sure have it’s advantages. But for true chill, there’s nothing quite like getting down to the source. And in this case, the source is you.