As busy Brits, most of us find it really hard to balance our work and social lives. How are we supposed to work nine hours, and get eight hour’s sleep, while also eating healthily, exercising and socialising?

We might not be over exaggerating after all, as our recent study found Brits only get 40 minutes ‘down time’ each day; a concerningly low amount.

In an age of ever-evolving and always-on technology, traditional relaxation methods are no longer being used and more people than ever are turning to shopping, instead of a relaxing bath or exercising. Our study of more than 2,000 Brits found one in five of us would prefer to indulge in retail therapy than the more traditional methods. The study also found other popular methods of relaxation included spending time with animals and listening to music.

Low down on the list of relaxation methods were things like exercise, yoga and baking, which shows that we Brits are avoiding forms of relaxation that are deemed too active.

Although things like online shopping may have become the norm, they are not necessarily the best options to make sure we get some important rejuvenating rest time each day.

Relaxation Teacher & Hypnotherapist, Dipti Tait said, “Shopping can be a form of therapy to take your mind off a problem, but it’s not a good way to relax. Real relaxation is when the brain gets a chance to switch off from conscious thought. When we engage in activities that help us to use our imagination - like reading or daydreaming - true relaxation in the brain occurs, when our mind feels still afterwards, whereas shopping and shopping centres are designed to keep the mind busy.”

As well as shopping, the study also found that a huge 42% of Brits used technology as a way to wind down and believed this was one of the contributing factors to why they couldn’t switch off.

Why is rest so important?

We’ve all woken up feeling groggy and tired from lack of sleep, but we can also feel the same effects when we aren’t well rested. Our study found a third of Brits are constantly in a grumpy mood when they aren’t well-rested, while 34% admitted to arguments at home due to tiredness and 30% feel lethargic on a regular basis.

So what can we do to ensure we are well rested each day? Dipti continued, “There are many ways to prioritise relaxation and incorporate ‘me time’ into your life - like join a yoga class, learn to meditate, get some hypnotherapy or try holistic therapies like massages and reflexology. It is extremely important for us to learn and practice the skill of relaxation to get useful neurochemistry, like serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin fuelling us, which makes our lives happier, clearer and more peaceful.”

What do you do to unwind and destress? Let us know on our social channels and take a look at the top five from the recent study below:

  1. Go shopping

  2. Spend time with animals

  3. Go on a long walk

  4. Walk on the beach

  5. Listen to music