My Relaxation Tips
Firstly I’m am starting this blog with full disclosure...I’m writing this as much for myself as I am for you! I am yet to master the art of relaxation.
This may be a result from years of observing my mother whilst growing up. She could not sit and do nothing. There was always be something in her hands, whether it was some hand sewing, unpicking or rethreading beads. Watching on, I vowed to never end up like her. She always seemed busy, distracted and unable to simply be in any situation, even when we were on holidays!
So whilst I’m not as bad as this, I am definitely a doer. I am also a self confessed FOMO (fear of missing out) so I say yes to lots of opportunities that arise and am constantly marking things off my bucket list! Life is short right?! But in our fast paced, increasingly stressed out world, our bodies often exist in that fight or flight state, however we don’t generally have a life threatening situation on our hands. Having an over active sympathetic nervous system can lead to a host of health issues. The cure? More down time.
Apparently I have a fear of being lazy...so make it my mission to keep productive and busy. I’m one of those super organised people who has their Christmas presents sorted (maybe even wrapped) by October. I can lie awake at night, deliberating over the most menial of things, all in an attempt to feel more on top of things and in control of my life. I can see how this doesn’t serve me...I end up tired and stressed. So here are a few ways I try to counteract this...
Meditation. Yes it’s something that is talked about a lot, but that is because it works! All you need is 10 minutes a day. Sometimes it’s just stopping to take some conscious deep belly breaths or get outside to feel the sunshine on your skin. You don’t have to close your eyes to meditated either, for some colouring in, painting or even walking can be meditative.
Schedule in a weekly lavender epsom salt bath. I love my baths, they relax me and give me a 20 minute time out where I can fully surrender. My weekly baths often become a time and space where any tears I have had brewing are freely released (I do wonder what my neighbours must think each Sunday evening when they hear me howl?!)
Prioritise time in nature. Living on the picturesque Mornington Peninsula, there is no shortage of natural beauty around me. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, each season brings its own beauty, and I can’t help but feel calmer after time with Mother Nature. The ocean is my happy place, a place I go to feel cleansed and centred.
Gentle movement also helps to relax me. A lover, student and teacher of yin yoga, the stillness you can find in each pose, has no limit. I love how this physical practice is coupled with mindfulness, giving you the full mind, body, spirit connection experience.
The best tip I have when you can’t fall asleep, is to put your legs up against the wall or bed head. Just 5 minutes here helps to calm your nervous system and induce a state of relaxation. Give it a go next time, it virtually always works for me!
Reading an uplifting book is another favourite thing of mine to do. I get comfy in my arm chair with a cup of tea and get lost in my book. I often find when I slow down and pause here, one of my fur babies will come join me for a cuddle and snooze on my lap. There is nothing quite like that!
Treating myself to a massage, healing or Peninsula Hot Springs visit, are also small luxuries I justify in order to maintain some balance in my world. Indulging in time for yourself shouldn’t be frowned upon, as it results in you returning a more civilised, tolerant and patient mum/partner/friend.
Whilst on holidays, I also try to schedule in some down time and this doesn’t mean screen time either. The older I get, the more I can see just how vital this is. And although I’m far from sitting and doing absolutely nothing, I’m gradually getting better at unwinding and taking time out. I have experienced first hand what happens if I don’t slow down and relax (injuries, illness, breakdowns) and so will sign off here and block out my next relaxation time in the calendar!