Spring break is almost here, hooray! Here at UNC Student Wellness we want to encourage all Carolina students to be happy and well over break. One important aspect of being happy and well is relaxation. Not sure what we mean by “relaxation”? Check out this 2-minute YouTube clip we found that explains how relaxation might be different things for different people:
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) relaxation may promote healthful benefits such as treatment of anxiety, depression, and some types of pain (NCCAM, 2013). Additionally, the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has outlined several benefits of relaxation such as decrease in blood pressure and muscle tension (The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011).
Relaxation can also positively impact various dimensions of wellness. For example, when we relax we might feel better physically because our muscles aren’t as tense (physical wellness), or emotionally because we aren’t as anxious (emotional wellness). Similarly when we relax we might feel more in tune with our sense of meaning and purpose (spiritual wellness), or feel better able to connect with others (social wellness).
So now that you know all the great benefits of relaxation, you may be wondering how to get started. Although the media commonly depicts relaxation as going to the spa, or going on an exotic vacation, those are not the only ways to relax. Relaxation does not have to require a lot of money or time; it just has to require some intentionality and effort. As I was crafting this blog I came across the following photo that outlines 50 ways take a break. To me, this photo is helpful because it reminds us how simple relaxation can be.
Here are some additional resources to learn more about relaxation:
- UNC Student Wellness Deep Relaxation Exercises
- UNC Counseling and Psychological Services Anxiety and Stress Management Training session which includes iTunes Relaxation Audio Files for you to practice chillin’ out.
- The Mayo Clinic Relaxation Techniques
- WebMD 10 Relaxation Techniques
Happy Spring Break! 🙂
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (2013). Relaxation Techniques for Health: An Introduction. Retrieved from http://nccam.nih.gov/health/stress/relaxation.htm
The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2011). Relaxation
Benefits and Tips. Retrieved from