It comes as no surprise that the most common New Year’s resolutions are losing weight, exercising more and quitting smoking. 

Studies have also found that managing debt, saving money and improving career prospects are also popular choices when the festivities end and we kick-off the New Year.

These are all good, positive resolutions. And research has also shown that, by making a resolution, you’re 10 times more likely to fulfil your goal.

Another popular resolution is to reduce stress. At Rest Assured, we’re big advocates of the benefits of simply resting and taking time to yourself. This is also one of the best ways to de-stress from hectic, modern life where career progression and technology can easily take-up invaluable ‘me-time’.

Why ‘rest’ should be your New Year’s resolution

Modern life is full of distractions that prevent us from de-stressing, whether it’s because of career demands, family commitments or technology, it can be hard to turn down the dial.

Our own studies and surveys have shown that Brits only get 40 minutes of ‘me time’ a day, which is defined as taking time-out purely for yourself; with no work, business or family commitments.

Dipti Tait, Relaxation Teacher and Hypnotherapist at The Cotswold Practice, defines what it means to truly relax and switch off: “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.”

Why aren’t we taking the time to relax?

We surveyed over 2,000 people aged and 18+ and 40% cited mobile phone use as they key reason they find it difficult to truly switch-off.

Slightly fewer, at 39%, said they were spending valuable free time doing personal admin, while 32% suggested they’d trade career success for more time to themselves. This was a particularly popular view among lawyers, accountants and those working in the professional services industry.

See full results of the Rest Assured Rest Survey

How do Brits choose to relax?

From our 2,000-strong survey, 20% said they choose to go shopping to de-stress and unwind.

However, according to Tait, walking the high street may not be the best way to truly get the relaxation you need: “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.”

According to our survey, the British public selected these top 10 activities to relax:

  1. Go shopping 20.4
  2. Spend time with animals 16.6
  3. Go on a long walk 16.6
  4. Walk on the beach 15.4
  5. Listen to music 14.1
  6. Crafts 12.5
  7. Play a board game 12.2
  8. Listen to a podcast 11.2
  9. Sitting still and doing nothing 9.7
  10. Paint 8.7

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/the-new-you/201405/most-common-new-year-s-resolutions-and-do-they-work