Finding time to relax is an elusive goal for many people. Busy professionals with responsibilities at work and around the house may feel like there’s no way to find a minute or two to exhale.
Fitting relaxation time into a typical day can have a profound impact on a person’s overall health. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, relaxation techniques can help manage a variety of health conditions, including insomnia and anxiety associated with illnesses or medical procedures. Men and women having trouble creating more time to relax each day can try the following techniques.
• Turn off your devices. Technology has simplified life in many ways, but the amount of time many people spend on their mobile devices may be robbing them of time to relax. Data from Flurry Analytics found that, in 2016, U.S. consumers spent five hours per day on their mobile devices. People scrambling to find time to relax may benefit by designating at least one hour per day as a device-free hour when they do not check updates on their smartphones, tablets and other devices. Use that hour to unwind and avoid potential sources of stress, such as work.
• Alter your commute. While few might associate mass transportation with relaxation, commuting to work via train or bus can be more relaxing than sitting behind the wheel in a rush hour traffic jam. Use the time on a train or bus to read a book, take a nap or do something else that’s relaxing, such as watching a movie or television show on a tablet.
• Use all available vacation time. A 2017 study from the job site Glassdoor found that the average U.S. employee who receives paid time off had only taken 54 percent of that time off in the previous 12 months. So it seems that many people not only need to find time to relax, but also need to commit to using the relaxation time they have already earned. Professionals should make an effort to use all of their available paid time off each year. Taking that time off may even prove beneficial to professionals’ careers, as a 2016 report from Project: Time Off found that workers who took 11 or more vacation days were more likely to have received a raise or bonus in the previous three years than their counterparts who took 10 or fewer days off.
• Stop working during vacation. The Glassdoor report also found that many workers who are taking time off are still working while on vacation. In fact, two in three employees reported working while on vacation, while more than one in four indicated they were expected to know what was going on in the office while they were away, and even chip in if needed. Men and women who need more time to relax can resolve to leave the office behind when beginning their vacations, informing both their bosses and subordinates that they will not be reachable while away.
Finding time to relax can benefit short- and long-term health and is not as hard as many people may think.