Time to Relax

Jan 21, 2022 | Lifestyle

When you think of the word relax, what comes to mind? Is it a vision of peaceful ocean waves crashing on the sand, or of your boss telling you to relax when you give him the evil eye after he gives you an impossible assignment to complete with an impossible deadline? Well, the one I’m talking about here is the first one. Easier said than done, right. As anyone who knows me would tell you, I am terrible at relaxing.

The last couple of years have been tough for me, personally and professionally, and I have endured an enormous amount of stress in the process, as I’m sure most of you have too. So, one of my goals for this new year is to take time to destress and relax. I would love to say this includes a two week vacation to Hawaii, but unfortunately that is not the case. But you don’t need a lengthy vacation to enjoy the benefits of relaxation. And in fact, incorporating a few minutes of scheduled relaxation during your day will probably provide more benefit than letting the stress build up while waiting for a once a year dream vacation. So here are few of things I try and do on a weekly basis to relieve stress and relax.

Just Breathe

I have always been really active (dancing, running, hiking, tennis, etc, etc) but now at age fifty-three my joints are feeling it. I have been doing yoga for over fifteen years but since I stopped doing high impact activities hot yoga has become my primary source of physical activity. Now let me stop right here and say hot yoga is not for everyone.

If you are not already in good physical shape or have any health problems at all, DO NOT start with hot yoga and consult your healthcare provider first. But there are all forms of yoga, from basic breathing and gentle stretching to power yoga, and everything in between.

When I was younger and more fit, I would go to power yoga and force myself to do all the poses and secretly competing with my other classmates to see who could survive the test, all the while thinking I was “practicing” yoga. But that was not the case. Yoga is exactly the opposite of that. Yoga asks that you challenge your body physically, while using the breath to focus and quiet the mind during these challenging poses. In that respect you “practice” being able to calm the mind and the spirit with the hopes that you can use those skills in the real world when other challenges arise. Really it is using the breath to aid in the ability to calm down that is the practice, and in that since yoga teaches you to relax. Hence the term, “just breathe.”

So, when you’re still sitting in the airport after your flight has been delayed for six hours, or when you’re sitting in the line of cars waiting to pick up your screaming kids after school, or just before you give the biggest presentation of your career, take a moment, close your eyes, and as you breathe in and out say to yourself, “this is my inhale, this is my exhale” and relax.

Have Sex

Yes, I said have sex to relax. One of the most relaxing times for me is right after sex. There is this complete release of anxiety and worry in those few moments right after you are done. And by done, I mean after an orgasm. “But I’m not in a relationship” you say.

My answer to that is, you can have sex by yourself and, quite honestly, depending on the state of your relationship it might be better anyway. I’m fortunate that my husband and I have crazy good sex, but I would not be averse to taking care of myself if I really needed a release, and I’m sure my husband feels the same.

Having an orgasm is like a crescendo, in that there is this build-up of intensity, muscle tension, heart rate and breathing, ending with a rush of endorphins at the height of climax and then a retreat, back down to normal, making you feel completely exhausted and euphoric all at the same time. During that time, I roll over and close my eyes and think of absolutely nothing else except how good I feel. At that very moment I am completely relaxed.

Unplug

Ironic coming from someone who’s using social media to reach out to people, but the fact of the matter is our society is constantly inundated and overloaded with information through media of all forms. Many years ago (like ten) I stopped watching the news at night because I noticed it mainly seemed all bad and I really didn’t want to end my day on a bad note.

In the past few years however, like most people, I became glued to the television and, in particular, to news outlets to get the latest information about the election, about the pandemic, about the vaccine, about the threat of war at home and abroad, etc, etc. And again, I realize this news almost always has a bad tone. So I’m making it one of my goals this year to take scheduled weekly time off from being plugged in and instead do something away from my devices, like read a real book, go for a walk, sit at a café and watch the people instead of my phone. And, in doing so, I hope to turn my focus away from the excitement online in a much needed attempt to unplug and relax.

Do something you love

Last, but not least, just do something you love. One of my favorite things is to be outside. I love the fresh air, and the feel of the warm sun on my face. I like the smell of fresh rain and watching the clouds move past in the wind, exposing the bright blue sky. I love to sit on the patio drinking a glass of wine as the sun sets and the sky turns from Carolina blue to yellow orange and red, and finally to the purplish black of night. Only Mother Nature can provide such an amazing art show…never the same, and always extraordinary. So, find something or perhaps someone you love, and then, take a moment to stop, spend time there, soak in the memories, and relax.

Share:

0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
      Calculate Shipping