Busy-ness is the trend these days. People carry over-packed schedules like winning trophies. “I’m SO busy at work!” “How do you have time to do that? I’m too busy to read/take a walk/stop and gaze at the clouds over the foothills/sit on a bench and people-watch. :)” “I can’t get monthly massages, I have too much to DO!”
Too much “busy” could be making you sick, tired, and probably cranky.
When do you relax? Like really RELAX. “Relaxation” is a word we hear often, but don’t always know what it means. For this reason, I’ve compiled some optional definitions for you.
re·lax verb \ri-ˈlaks\
1: the state of being free from tension or anxiety.
2: a way to rest and enjoy yourself
3: recreation or rest, especially after a period of work.
4: the loss of tension in a part of the body, especially in a muscle when it ceases to contract.
5: something that you do to stop feeling nervous, worried, etc.
Now, more importantly - what does relaxation mean to you?
If you’re not a “hot bath and good book” kind of person, you probably cringe at spa photos of people with stones piled on their back. But here’s the beauty of this "relaxation" we speak of: You can make your own definition.
I love projects. I have lots going at home and at my office right now. A fun and interesting "project" sounds better than a "job" for me! So, I'm going to give you a project. A project to figure out what you enjoy doing, what makes you smile, and what makes you feel like you are a hundred miles from your work.
Then, make time for that.
You have a schedule. Write in special time for a hobby, a nap, massage, your favorite show, a weekend getaway, a new class, ANY thing you enjoy can be relaxing.
Need someone to give you a reason? Want permission?
August 15 is National Day of Relaxation. Yes, it’s a thing! And it’s just begging for celebration. Here are some ideas:
Taking care of you is important. And, self-care puts you in a better frame of mind to take care of the people who depend on you. So find the thing that mellows you out, and make it happen!
As much as we enjoy our Colorado summers, there can be a bit of a dark cloud hanging in the sky. As summer activities and camps wind down and school semesters and fall prep rev up - we can get a little lost in the run around. Take this time to remember to take care of ourselves, and not let stress go unchecked.
Meditation does not have to be about pretzeled legs, chanting, and reaching enlightenment. It can simply be about creating a moment of stillness in your mind as a way to become more relaxed. Just one minute, 60 seconds of meditation, can dramatically improve your mood, your productivity and the quality of your day.
I even use my posture as a mediation. Just keep coming back to it. We fall away into the slouch, then come back to awareness, fall away and come back. It's a good practice for our minds and our bodies!
The local Shambhala Center put out a very simple app for this. Check it out in your app store: "Shambhala".
It can be tough to make time for exercise when the schedule gets tight and tensions get high. But that's when it becomes even more important. Exercise can relieve the physical symptoms of stress like fatigue, pain, and moodiness. If you can't make time for daily workout, try to fit a 5-10 minute walk outside into some part of your day. A little goes a long way when you need it.
Giggle and hum
Both laughter and music can lower the blood pressure. In fact, this study in 2011 showed that 3 months of laughter or music therapy resulted in the same drop in blood pressure that could be achieved with a low-salt diet, losing 10 pounds, or taking a blood-pressure-lowering medication. WOW.
So let's laugh and hum ourselves silly! Cue up the "Who's on first?" or dance around with your kids while making dinner.
Regular massage can improve sleep, relieve headaches, reduce muscle pain, and improve moods. Plus, massage feels good. When you feel good, you play more, work more efficiently, and take better care of the people you love. Schedule a massage to stay on top of your busy (and fun) life!
Commit to taking care of yourself! You may be surprised with the results.