It’s no secret that Americans’ stress levels are at an all-time high. In fact, our stress has been at an all-time high since 2020 and has only increased since then. As a result, relaxing and unwinding are more important now than it ever has been before. Unfortunately, learning to kick back and take a break isn’t a part of the American mindset. But you can learn these values and implement them into your own life. That’s why we’re going to look at why we need to unwind in this post.
Why is Unwinding Important?
There’s no denying that our world has gotten pretty crazy over the last few years. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic kicked things off with a bang. And while many of us thought that life would go back to normal after the Pandemic “ended,” that’s not what’s happened.
Instead, the world has only gotten crazier with the escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War and the shakiness of the American economy. These events thrust us from the “present” of the 2010s into the “New Normal” future world of the 2020s. And after a few years of living it, we’ve discovered that the future is stressful.
All that stress significantly impacts our mental health – and it’s not looking good. According to the APA, stress is causing 32% of Americans to have difficulty making basic decisions like what to wear or eat. And that rate jumps to 48% when taking only millennials into account.
Long story short, unwinding is more valuable today than ever. It allows us to channel pent up energy and anxiety out of our minds and into positive outlets. And that’s the only way we’re going to be able to get back to making basic decisions again.
What is Unwinding Actually?
Many Americans think they’re relaxing at the end of their workday. To the average onlooker, they’re relaxed: kicking back and disconnecting to get their minds off what needs to happen tomorrow. They’ll crash out on the couch, stream something on the TV, and initiate the “doom scrolling” cycle of social media consumption.
While this is a reality for tons of Americans, it’s not actually relaxing and unwinding. That’s true regardless of their socio-economic status. Even the wealthiest among us have trouble genuinely relaxing. When Tesla shareholders asked him what he does to relax in his downtime, Musk replied, “usually work more.” That’s an insane answer for someone who’s supposed to be so smart.
Why Don’t We Unwind?
It seems like for a growing majority of us, we’re not actually unwinding during our free time. Instead, we’re just distracting ourselves. There may be several reasons for that.
Some of us may retreat into the comforting glow of our internet-connected screens. On some level, we find this activity comforting. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok have become more than just an app. They’ve now inserted themselves as many Americans’ “happy place” – a digital area they can go to that feels familiar and safe. Think of it as a digital security blanket.
In contrast, some forget to relax because we’re doing too much. We’re spending so much time doing things we think we should do that we don’t have any time left to relax. Working out, playing instruments, and creating visual art are all positive outlets, but they may not allow you to disengage and truly relax.
According to British psychologist David Morgan, these types of people are just looking for a distraction, though. One of his recent quotes in The Guardian sums up the situation pretty well.
“People have got so used to looking for distraction that they actually cannot stand an evening with themselves. It is a way of not seeing oneself, because to have insight into oneself requires mental space, and all these distraction techniques are used as a way of avoiding getting close to the self.”
How to De-Stress and Unwind
Researchers at Yale compiled a list of three ways to unwind during your day. You can perform these activities at any point, making them super useful. They include:
- Don’t be shy about unwinding. If you feel like you need some time to relax away from friends or family members, ask them. Chances are, they’ll understand!
- Take a look at all of everything you do in a day. Do this for a few days. Then, find which activities are wasting your time. Eliminate as many of those activities as possible and try to replace them with unwinding time.
- A few short breaks throughout the day can do wonders to help you unwind. Take the time to perform some kind of meditation, visualization, or passive muscle relaxation.
Yes, doing more work in this instance can dramatically help you relax by releasing the pressure of stress. A technique you can add to your daily practice may look like this:
- Set an Intention – how do you want to feel when you’re done with this practice? Keep it to one word or a short phrase.
- Clearing Breaths – 30 DEEP belly breaths in and out of the mouth. These do not need to be quick; getting the breath deep into the belly is more important. Focus on the INHALE.
- Hold – for 30-60 seconds, hold your breath. Use this time to focus on your intention.
- Re-Patterning Breaths – 30 slow deep breaths in and out of the nose. Focus on the exhale being longer than the inhale.
- Take 1 minute to check in with your body. Remember your intention as you go throughout the rest of your day.
Using CBD to Unwind
Finally, CBD may also be an effective way to kick back and unwind. Researchers at the Permanente Journal performed a large case study suggesting that CBD could be a way to reduce stress and anxiety. As a result, you can use CBD either by itself or in conjunction with another relaxing method to successfully unwind.
That’s where Relive Everyday can help. Our CBD-infused products like oils and gummies are excellent ways to deliver CBD to your body. To learn more about how you can use CBD to relax and unwind, check out our full inventory of CBD-infused items in our online store.