When was the last time you relaxed?
I mean, really relaxed?
Like turn the phone off, shut the laptop and watched the leaves swaying in the breeze relaxed?
It’s probably been a while because most of us simply feel like we don’t have the time to relax.
Or the idea of relaxing brings up voices in your head that sound a lot like “relaxing is for vacation only!” or “that’s for lazy people!” or my favorite – “I’m too damn busy to relax!“.
Between back-to-back meetings, driving carpool, commuting to work, liking your brother-in-law barber’s vacation photos on Facebook, making dinner and watching the latest episode of the most talked about TV show, there isn’t much time for just lounging around. Most of us spend so much time going, going, going that we forget to stop and just be for a while.
And if we’re really honest, we really like being busy. Or at least feel trapped by being busy and we’re just not sure how to jump off the treadmill of modern life.
So rather than wring our hands lamenting about our collective state of busyness, my challenge is to schedule in some relaxation time this month.
Schedule some down time/relaxation for 20 minutes a day.
If you are suddenly very irritated with me and how I don’t understand how busy you are, then you may need to double your relaxation time this month.
There is an old Zen saying:
“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day—unless you are too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.
Where will you find these 20 minutes for relaxation?
Mostly I find mine when I close my laptop and/or switch off whatever screen is captivating my attention. Turn off the Facebook, friends!
It also helps to write it in your schedule as an appointment to yourself. If is feels silly writing “relax” on your calendar, feel free to give it a code name.
Tips To Bring More Relaxation Into Your Life:
- While on transit to and from work, put your phone in your bag and close your eyes for a few minutes to just breathe.
- If you drive to work, turn off the sounds. No music, no podcast, no nothing. Enjoy the silence for the entire drive.
- If you have an office you could close the door, silence the phone and massage your face for a few minutes.
- Sit by the river/lake/stream/pond/urban body of water and listen to the birds.
- Lay on the grass and watch the leaves flutter in the breeze.
- Make snow angels if you like that sort of thing.
- Meditate using a mantra. Here’s mine.
Of course, you could take a restorative yoga class. Or you could practice one restorative yoga pose at home before you go to sleep. Here’s one of my favorites.
What are other ways to relax? Do you schedule your relaxation? What are your feelings on relaxation?
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Image Source: Just Relax 97/365 by SashaW on Flickr (cc)