For the past little while I’ve been making a point to relax and enjoy my downtime, and I’ve come to realize just how important it is. A few weeks ago I was very anxious, feeling extremely stressed and never felt settled, so I knew it was time to make some changes for myself. It’s a truly difficult thing to do, but a few very simple things that I’ve made a point of doing are really helping me reduce my anxiety and feel like I’m more in control. It’s all about making time to do the things I have to get done, while also make time for the things I want to do, and I only now have found that balance. I finally feel like I’m sleeping better, waking up more refreshed and actually managing to do more with my time! I’ve made some simple changes, some consciously and others just followed suit, which is the most wonderful thing about making more time for relaxation. Here are a few of the key things I’ve changed in my life:

Drinking calming tea before bed and lots of water through the day has been the most refreshing change. These are things I didn’t have to alter my lifestyle for, but being more aware has made a big difference. Having a tea before going to sleep means I am not only preparing myself mentally to go to bed, but it also sets a schedule of how late I will stay up, and how quickly I will fall to sleep instead of letting my brain wander all through the night. Extra bonuses are the fact that I stay asleep, wake up earlier and more refreshed! 
Getting to work on time. I’ve always been the kind of person to go to work way too early. I wake up thinking about what I have to do when I get to work and so I rush to get there, and start working before I even clock in, which means I work far more than is accounted for. I often feel exhausted, used and annoyed, but it is entirely my own fault. Going to work early sometimes means I don’t have time to pack a lunch or do my hair or even listen to podcasts, and I’ve made more time to do those things by not leaving the house earlier need be. 
Purging my makeup collection, organizing my closet and simplifying my skincare routine. I spent an entire day cleaning up and purging unused things, and it felt amazing! I threw out old shoes and products that I never reach for and it made me feel happier and lighter. I only have the options I want to use, and so there is no longer this sense of guilt I used to have about owning so much. I could do to get rid of more, but small steps. Patrick and I have been very good about keeping our apartment tidy as well, and it makes coming home so much more relaxing to know everything is in order. 
These are only a few of the things I’ve done to help myself relax and relieve stress, and I’m still learning new ways. If you have any lifestyle tips to help you relax, I would love for you to share them with me in the comments below!