Hello, Grace here once again! August is known as ghost month, and because of that, people and businesses slow down. While that may mean fewer orders for us home bakers, that also means it’s time to try techniques on how to relax, even if just for a week or so.
“But Grace, I’m fine! I’m a strong woman! I don’t need to relax! Besides, there are bills to pay. I can’t afford to rest!”
I used to tell myself those same things all the time. But then I got burnt out from all the overworking I did, and started to experience both physical and mental challenges.
It got to the point that I just wanted to collapse on my bed, cover myself with blankets, and just not do anything.
It was THAT BAD.
But of course, I can’t do that. I have a family, responsibilities, a business to run, and so on. And that’s why I started looking for techniques to relax my anxiety.
Here are five that worked for me. For me, they are ways to relax instantly! Try them out and let me know if they worked for you.
Technique to Relax 1: Just take deep breaths.
You may not pay attention to your breathing all that much – after all, it’s something that’s automatic. But did you know that breathing helps you reduce stress?
Wait, why is breathing an essential part of relaxing?
Well, according to the American Institute of Stress, breathing from your abdomen from twenty to thirty minutes each day reduces your anxiety and stress. It will increase the oxygen supply to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which will help you feel calmer.
Right as Rain further adds that by breathing slower and deeper from your stomach, you actually send a signal to your nervous system to calm down.
In short: deep breathing can lessen stress and anxiety.
Do take note that you don’t have to be into yoga or something related just to be able to do breathing exercises and techniques. Also, it does take practice – it won’t help you immediately.
Take the time to schedule it deliberately throughout your day and make it a habit. I take the time to do this every end of the day and it just works really great for me. But I had to make it part of my routine for it to take effect.
Finally, there are plenty of breathing techniques to relax anxiety – try them all and see which one works best for you.
Technique to Relax 2: Get a massage.
I definitely recommend getting a massage as one of the techniques to relax your body. And not only will your body feel relaxed, but your mind also will too! How does that happen, you ask?
The Mayo Clinic says that getting a massage has plenty of benefits, including:
- The reduction of stress, pain, muscle soreness, and tension
- The improvement of circulation, energy, and alertness
- A lowered heart rate and blood pressure
- An improved immune function
And not only that, but massage can also help fight off anxiety, headaches, insomnia related to stress, and more!
You’ll also get a pleasant emotional response since the massage will relax your body via increased blood circulation and plenty of released endorphins.
I personally get at least one massage a month – and it feels so good! No need to go to a fancy spa. Just schedule a session with your friendly-neighborhood masahista to go to your house.
You’ll be glad you did!
Relaxing Technique 3: Write things down.
Have you ever been told that if you have bad feelings to just write them in a notebook to help you process things?
Well, this technique personally works for me! I write down all my negative feelings. And when I release them on my pad or notebook, I automatically feel much better. A formal term for this exercise is called mood journaling.
I’m not a psychiatrist or an expert in mental health, but basically, when you do this, you get to understand your thoughts and feelings more clearly. It’s a great way for me to control my emotions and improve my mental health – I highly recommend you try it for yourself especially if you’re feeling plenty of negative feelings.
Try not to worry about your grammar or if what you’re writing makes sense or if you’re writing neatly. What’s important is that you’re able to let go of all things bad. Express yourself.
I promise you’ll feel much better.
Relaxing Technique 4: Go out.
For me, one of the best tips to relax and unwind is to just get out of the house, especially if work is done inside the house most of the time. So home bakers, this is the sign you’ve been looking for:
Hang up your apron, put on some outside clothes, and just go wherever you want to go! It can be the mall, like how my daughter and I visited Chef Ely Salar’s shop in The Podium. Or it can be nature, as Healthline suggests.
The point is to just get your mind off of the things that stress you out. You don’t even have to spend money if you don’t want to. Just getting out of a stressful environment will do wonders for your mental health.
And once you come back, you’ll find that you’re actually thinking much clearer than before you went out. So if for example you’re working on one of our classes and are unable to get the technique down, you might have better luck if you go out first.
Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
The fifth of the techniques to relax that I especially love: Baking bread.
Now, I know I said that leaving the kitchen will help you relax, but I’ve also found that baking bread can be quite therapeutic in my case. Why?
There are plenty of reasons. For example, the measuring and following recipes that I have to do to make bread are calming. That’s because it’s a routine, and having a routine helps relieve stress.
The routine also helps me feel that I am in control, which is a great way to combat anxiety. After all, we feel anxious the most when we feel like things are out of our control, right?
Also, baking just puts me in a zone where I forget everything that’s not related to what I’m doing right now. I become more mindful if you will.
Finally, looking forward to the delicious output after our hard work is something that is definitely stress-relieving, wouldn’t you agree?
And hey, if psychologists confirm this, who are we to argue, right? Let’s just go bake some bread!
Speaking of techniques to relax and baking bread…
And of course, our latest class offering from Chef Joey Prats: Crusty European-Style Whole Wheat Bread!
In this class, not only will you feel relaxed (because as mentioned above, baking can be therapeutic), but you’ll also learn how to make quality, high-end artisan bread! Chef Joey will share with you his recipe that is fantastic even for beginners: it’s simple, easy to do, doesn’t require any special equipment, and can be used to produce a variety of whole wheat bread variants!
So what are you waiting for? Get some relaxation and artisanal bread. Sign up at The Bailiwick Academy today!
Keep coming back to The Bailiwick Academy blog for more kitchen tips, tricks, and much more!