Relaxation and rest are important. They help you to stay within your own limits and to pay attention to the things that are important to you. However, finding time to rest and relax is not always easy with the hectic pace of everyday life, during which a lot is expected from you, such as holding your family together, performing well at work, exercising plentily, maintaining social contacts, etc. We are glad that you’re taking the first step to incorporate more rest and relaxation into your life! When a lot is expected of you, rest and relaxation are especially important.
We are happy to help you with the action plan below. The action plan contains information and various exercises that you can perform throughout your daily life with the help of the NiceDay app over the next 4 weeks to help you gradually get more control over your situation. You can do this independently, but also by using the NiceDay app to support you. Download the app here if you haven’t got it on your phone yet and get started right away!
Are you experiencing a lot of stress or tension and is that impacting or limiting your daily functioning? In that case, it might be good to schedule an appointment with your GP for a referral to a psychologist. Click here for more information about treatment via NiceDay, or ask a NiceDay psychologist a question for free.
- Goal setting: The first step of your process is to set a clear and achievable goal. This keeps you focused and increases your motivation. Think about what you would like to be different. Read the information on setting goals and write your goals in your diary in the NiceDay app. Tip: Set your goal(s) as a reminder in NiceDay so that you are reminded of them daily.
- Importance of relaxation: When you relax, you allow space for your needs, desires and goals. Read the explanation about the importance of relaxing and write down the ways you can think of that might help you to effectively relax in your NiceDay Diary. Also, think about what you used to do to relax in the past!
- Gain insight: Gaining insight into your situation offers you a good starting point to work from and will help you to regain control. Keep track of when and for how long you experience rest and relaxation in the NiceDay app using the tracker ‘Rest and relaxation’. If necessary, add a note to further elaborate.
- Relaxation exercises: With the help of relaxation exercises, you can learn to be aware of your breathing, your body, your surroundings and your thoughts. Are you not yet sure which type of relaxation or meditation suits you best? Try one of these exercises: breathing exercise (3 min), meditation (5 min), body scan (8 min), breathing exercise (10 min) or Progressive relaxation exercise (13 min).
- Gaining insight: Continue to track your moments of rest and relaxation daily with the help of the tracker. Are there things that stand out to you? Perhaps there are days during which you lack relaxation? Schedule a moment of relaxation as an activity in the app on a day during which you experience too little relaxation.
- Tips for relaxing: There are many different ways to relax. Choose something you are interested in reading more about and use the tips in the articles below throughout your daily life. Do you want to read about how to relax at work, using herbs, ASMR, the relaxing effect of nature, music that helps you relax, how to improve your sleep, relaxing through exercise, finding balance in your family life, or the balance between tension and relaxation? You can read more about it in these articles.
- Catch your breath: Breaks help you to catch your breath during the fast pace of daily life. Whether it’s at work, at a birthday party or when you are at home with your partner or family. Read the information about taking breaks and plan a break every day with the Planner. Reflect on how you experienced the breaks and what they provided you with. Were they long enough? Did you get enough rest? What else did you experience?
- Hobbies: Relaxation doesn’t just involve sitting on the couch quietly. You can relax both passively and actively. The purpose of relaxation is to help you feel calm. You can also achieve this by doing something that gives you peace of mind. What hobbies did you have in the past? Which hobbies would you like to try? What hobbies do people around you have? And what do you need to carry out your hobbies? Set yourself a new goal related to a hobby and schedule it as an activity with the app!
- Gaining insight: Continue to track your moments of rest and relaxation daily using the Tracker. You can also look back on the past 2 weeks by clicking on the chart icon in the Tracker at the top right. This will allow you examine your progress and weekly averages.
- Restlessness: Sometimes, you can feel restless even when taking rest. It might sound weird, but it is in fact quite normal if, for example, you carry major responsibilities and/or are a perfectionist and a driven person. Pay attention and see if you feel restless. If so, try to find out what causes you to feel like this. Maybe relaxation feels new and uncomfortable? Or maybe you feel like you have to earn your relaxation? Maybe you’re still thinking about everything you still need to do that day, or you see taking a break as falling short? Write in your Diary what comes to mind and then continue to the next heading.
- Self-compassion: If you allow yourself to make mistakes, you can learn from them, and it will be easier to stay calm in stressful situations. It’s all about being kind to yourself. Learn more about self-compassion and set reminders with the NiceDay app to remind yourself to talk to yourself with compassion, as if you were talking to your best friend.
- Mindfulness: Now that you’ve tried a few exercises, it’s good to reflect on what you enjoyed. What works for one person may not work for another. Are there any exercises you want to do more often? Or exercises that you are not yet very good at? Mindfulness is also about patience and practice. Set yourself a new goal that you would like to focus on this week!
- Gain insight: Continue to track your moments of rest and relaxation daily with the help of the Tracker. Can you draw any tentative conclusions looking back? Which changes have given you more peace of mind? What works for you and what doesn’t?
- Routine: It is important to have structural relaxation in your life. However, some people find spontaneity very important. The danger with spontaneity is that in all the busyness, you can forget that you also have to take time to relax. Fortunately, you can be creative with this and do it in your own way. If you like a routine, you can schedule your breaks and relaxation moments at fixed times. If you like spontaneity, leave time in your agenda and decide in the moment what you are going to do to relax.
- Pitfalls: If finding a healthy balance between work and relaxation is a challenge for you, it is important to set clear boundaries for yourself. An imbalance often arises because we act from our feelings and have vague boundaries. Read here about the importance of being aware of your limits.
- Reflection: Take time to reflect. This will help you to get some perspective and provide insight into your growth process and your progress. Look back on what you’ve done in the past few weeks, what went well and whether you notice any patterns or connections. Record your insights in a diary entry in the NiceDay app.
- Make plans for the future: Finding a good balance between work and relaxation is also a matter of time management. That means it takes some skill and that you can get better at it. Now that you have been able to have a taste of how things can be done differently, it is important to keep planning ahead. What are you going to do next week to ensure you get enough relaxation?
- Balance of needs: Your perfect balance is based on your own personal needs. These differ per person, but also per period. Sometimes, you need more rest during the week, while during other times, you only need to take a break at the end of the month. Check for yourself what your needs are and what is required to meet your needs. Always ask yourself these two questions: “Have I been satisfied with the amount of relaxation I have had over the past period? And what do I need for the upcoming period?”.
Tips for successfully completing your action plan
- Reward yourself: You are busy working on your self-development. This should definitely be rewarded! Rewards also help to keep you motivated Learn more about rewards here and get inspired to reward yourself. Schedule your rewards with the NiceDay app.
- Read more: Are you looking for information on specific topics related to relaxation, such as mindfulness or hobbies? Read more on niceday.app by using the search bar.
Need extra support?
Haven’t the steps above helped you sufficiently and are you looking for professional help or guidance from a psychologist? Learn more about receiving online help through the NiceDay app here.
Do you have questions about using the app while going through your action plan or are you unable to figure something out? Please read the Frequently Asked Questions or contact our NiceDay Support Team on working days via the app (tab ‘Support’) or by telephone on 010 – 3030 600. We are happy to help you!