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Our “Rest Week” in partnership with luxury rest wear brand, Luxe + Hardy, is centred around the idea that investing in rest is one of the best things you can do for your wellbeing. When you think of rest, getting a good night’s sleep or napping on the sofa in front of the TV is probably what you envisage, but in this article, we’re sharing some mindful activities to show you how to spend your rest time thoughtfully and, most importantly to help you de-stress.

 

Mindful crafting
With a plethora of benefits, such as slowing down your heart rate, increasing brain activity and stimulating imagination, getting creative really can transform your wellbeing. Sometimes, 9-5 office jobs simply don’t offer you the opportunity to tap into your imaginative side, so Swedish brand Kikki.K want to help people uncover their creativity through the beauty of paper. Their Ultimate Paper Lovers collection features the Ultimate Paper Lover’s book, packed full of DIY and craft products like stickers, bunting, cards and patterned paper, as well as a range of sticker and paper lover books with light-hearted projects.

 

Declutter
Could tidying the space around you be the key to keeping your mind organized? By decluttering and creating a calm, organised environment, you may be allowing your mind to think more clearly and, in turn, increase your productivity! We’re all guilty of hoarding things we think we need or value but probably haven’t picked up in the last ten years. So, pick a room and start clearing. The rule is, if you haven’t used it in a year, you probably never will again, so get rid, box or bag it up, drop at a charity shop and give your belongings a new home. Trust us, you’ll feel great when you’re finished!

 

Forest Bathing
Originating from the Japanese practice ‘shinrin-yoku’, literally translated as forest and bath, forest bathing is a scientifically supported mindfulness activity which could boost your mood and reduce stress. Forest bathing is all about taking a step back, appreciating your surroundings and finding a sense of unity with nature. So how does it work? Take a wander, find a spot that feels good for you, sit down and resist the temptation to carry on wandering. Relax and begin to bring awareness to each of your senses one by one and notice things that you would usually have overlooked, for example, the wind whirling through the trees, the smell of flowers and trees, the touch of leaves in your hands. Most importantly, leave electronic devices at home! If you’re in need of some more guidance or you’re unsure where to begin, forestholidays.co.uk offer 3-hour forest experience to help you get started.

 

Colouring and Calligraphy
Working with your hands is a perfect way to soothe anxiety and tension, likely one of the main reasons colouring for adults has become so popular in recent years. ‘The mindfulness colouring book’ is pocket-sized and easily transportable, so you can begin to mindfully and creatively fill the pages with colour wherever in the world you may be. If colouring isn’t your thing, why not try and master the art of decorative handwriting, formally known as calligraphy. Ever been seriously impressed by other people’s handwriting, whilst yours looks similar to that of a five-year-old? We know the feeling, but fear not, as Quill in London are hosting Modern Calligraphy workshops for a variety of different skill levels to help you create your own unique style!

 

Meditation
Meditation is the epitome of a mindful activity. Think of it as a mini holiday for the mind, helping to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and even lower blood pressure. In a world where the pressure to be accessible every second of every hour of every day is ever growing, meditation is the perfect way to take yourself off-call for a little while. Meditation is all about bringing yourself to the here and now, and letting your mind truly rest. Apps such as Sexy Mind can help you kick-start your meditation journey, so start with 5 minutes a day and work your way up until you can truly zone out.

 

Mindfulness exercises
There is also a variety of mindfulness exercises that can be done in the comfort of your own home! Breathing exercises, such as the 4-7-8 technique, are particularly useful to help you find inner calmness and reconnect with reality. First, exhale completely through the mouth making a ‘whoosh’ sound. Next, close your mouth and breath in through the nose for 4 seconds, then hold your breath for 7 seconds and afterwards exhale again through the mouth for 8 seconds. Try doing this for four breaths and then work up to 8 breaths! Also, rather than checking your phone, getting your bag together, running around the house and so on when completing everyday activities like brushing your teeth, try to bring awareness to the present moment. It might feel like a long 2 minutes, but next time you’re brushing your teeth, try and stay planted and resist the temptation to complete other tasks. Once you’ve nailed this, try the same at meal times, concentrating on the food on your plate rather than the thoughts in your mind.

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