Taking Time to Relax
Identify what is relaxing
In trying to live a simple life, identifying what is relaxing is part of the process. Look for something that allows your mind and body to unwind and recharge. When you strip away all the distractions of daily life, the must-dos, the requests from others, can you identify what is relaxing?
Honestly, my first response is "It depends." What I might find relaxing one day, may not work the next. My moods tend to change and what appealed to me yesterday, might not today. I have a few go tos, like being outside, or finding a room that is peaceful and quiet for Yoga stretches.
- Trial and Error: As I mentioned above, what I find relaxing can change from day to day. Trying a few different ideas gives me a chance to create a relaxation list of things that I really enjoy. The list can vary by location also, such as when you are at work, at home, or stuck in traffic.
Learn to Relax
Just because you have identified an activity as relaxing, doesn't necessarily mean you are relaxing when you are doing it. It takes mindfulness to relax your body and mind and allow yourself to relax. What does relaxing feel like to you? Does it mean your body is no longer tense? Or maybe your mind is free to float. Do you focus on your breathing or something else to redirect your mind away from its stressful thoughts?
- Practice: The more often you are able to do spend time relaxing, the easier it is to incorporate into your daily routine. Earlier this year, I was getting really good at relaxing. The business of summer took some of that away from me. Sure, I spent time doing the activities on my relaxation list, but I wasn't truly relaxing.
Find time to relax
What I find equally important is to find a way to create moments to relax. Self-identify the need to relax and look for an opportunity to do so. This also can change from day to day. Some days, I really need to relax after dinner, while on others the need may happen at work. Either way, I need to try to purposefully take time to relax.
- Schedule it: Maybe it can't always be scheduled, but if it is on your mind, you can look for ways to make it happen. The time allotment doesn't need to be long. Sometimes even one minute can help turn away some stress and help you regroup.
What helps you relax?