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In our fast-paced modern world, it’s hard to find a second to stop and relax. That seems to be particularly true here in the United States of America, where nearly half of the working population leaves vacation days on the table at the end of the year. And not only are we working on days that we could have taken off, we’re also working after hours and while we’re at home.
Even when we do find time to stop working, we don’t seem to be spending it in very relaxing ways. Americans are a very stressed-out people: most Americans report moderate to high stress levels, and a stunning 44 percent of us say that our stress levels have risen over the past five years.
In short, most of us are working too hard and stressing out too much. We need to learn to relax! That’s why we’re here today to talk about how to calm down, work less, and reclaim your life.
Take a vacation
Work-life balance involves two big things: Taking time off and not working during your time off (including both vacations and daily time off the clock). Let’s start with the former.
Perhaps the single biggest thing that you can do right now to relax is to just take a break. But don’t just stay home while you’re taking time off: go somewhere! Travel down to Florida, for example, and relax on the beach for a while.
Your vacation doesn’t have to be empty of plans or activities, of course. You can and should schedule some sightseeing and other sorts of events. Experts recommend that you not over-book your vacation—a crammed vacation schedule can actually cause your vacation to generate more stress than it relieves.
But you should still make sure that you have things to do besides chill out on the beach. Schedule a boat cruise, as recommended by the experts who run Florida’s Manatee Queen, or learn a new water sport.
Set boundaries in your daily life
Taking one big trip does not license you to work yourself to the bone every other day of the year. Another important dimension of work-life balance is learning how to relax and not work during your regular daily hours off the clock.
It’s hard not to stress out when you’re working at home and answering emails late at night. It’s also hard to do any of this in moderation. That’s why you should create hard and fast rules, like “no emails after 10PM” or “no working after dinner." Carve out times (and places, like your bedroom) where work is banned.
Prepare your mind with great sleep
You want to relax, but you’re always irritable and on edge. What’s going on? The problem could be with your sleep.
If you’re not getting enough sleep (or not getting good enough sleep), then you’ll feel tired, irritable, and—you guessed it—stressed out. If you want to learn how to relax and enjoy yourself more, start by protecting your sleep.
If you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed, and maintain a cool, quiet, and dark sleep environment, then you’ll wake up well-rested and in a calmer state of mind.
The real “chill pill”
There’s no magic bullet when it comes to relaxation, but what you put into your body can make a great deal of difference in how prepared you are to stay calm in stressful situations and relax completely in non-stressful ones.
CBD can be a powerful option for combating anxiety. Studies suggest that taking a daily dose of CBD can reduce your anxiety levels and help you more truly relax and recharge. To get started, the CBD experts at Pure for Life suggest that you just look for brand-name CBD products in your preferred form. You’ll have lots of options, from edibles to vape oils.