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Knowing how to chill out and relax is important for your mental and physical health, particularly if you’re going through a stressful time. Learn why relaxation is so important, get ideas for different ways to relax, and check out what to do if you’re finding it hard to chill out.

This can help if:

  • you feel stressed or anxious
  • your life is crazy busy
  • you have trouble finding time to relax.
2 girls sitting on beach

Why is it so important to relax?

Relaxation is super-beneficial to your mental health and wellbeing. Everyone needs time in their everyday lives to chill out and enjoy themselves, but it’s easy to forget to relax when things get busy. If you know how to relax, and make an effort to actually do it when you need to, it can be a great coping strategy for when you’re stressed out.

If you get some chill-out time every day, you can expect to:

  • keep your stress levels in check
  • sleep better
  • improve your mood
  • improve your memory and concentration
  • be healthier.

Relaxation strategies to try

There are lots of different things you can do to relax and chill out. Some forms of relaxation are simple and easy, while others require more discipline and some practice. If you’re looking for ways to relax, try some of the suggestions below, work out which ones suit you, and then make them a regular habit.

Some relaxation activities to try:

  • Go for a walk – it’s simple, free, and you can make it as long or as short as you want.
  • Focus on your breathing using the ReachOut Breathe app.
  • Practise mindfulness,even if it’s just while brushing your teeth.
  • Listen to some quiet music.
  • Go fishing.
  • Play your favourite sport with your friends or at a pick-up game.
  • Take a warm bath.
  • Go to a movie or watch a DVD.
  • Focus your attention on a puzzle.
  • Read a book.
  • Learn yoga or meditation.
  • Try progressive muscle relaxation.

What if I just can’t relax?

If you’re struggling to relax, don’t worry – you’re not alone. It can be difficult to find the time, and to switch off your brain. Like most things, relaxation takes practice. But if you’re having a lot of trouble with it, have a chat with someone you trust, such as a parent, teacher or counsellor. If you’re worried about it, make an appointment with your GP and together you can figure out a plan to get it under control.

What can I do now?

  • Experiment with different relaxation techniques – some strategies will work better for you than others.
  • Download the ReachOut Breathe app.
  • Make relaxation a priority and schedule it in as an everyday activity.