Do you know how to relax or how important it is to recharge?
Our days get so hectic!
With the use of our iPhone, iPad and other instant methods of communication, we seem to be on call at all hours of our day!
We are often needed at work, by our kids, our parents, our partners, and our community.
Our day stretches into night. And there is always something that needs to get done! Do we even know how to switch off, how to relax?
No wonder so many of us are complaining that we feel burned out, and stressed.
It is important for us to know how to relax and recharge to keep going.
We all hear this advice but it is not always easy to do this in our busy lives.
Simple ways to learn how to relax
In order to keep going, it can take just a few minutes of your day to feel so much better!
- A few deep breaths is better than none.
- A few stretches are better than sitting at your desk for hours.
- A nutritious meal or snack is much better than skipping meals.
By looking after yourself, you have the physical and mental energy to keep going
in your day, your week, your month and so on. Unless you learn how to relax you run the real risk of burning out.
Meditation is also a great way to feel better, physically and mentally.
Do you think that this is just too way out for you?
There is so much written about meditation. Sometimes you can feel overwhelmed with all the things you need to do.
The best starting point is to not do anything.
Have you tried to sit quietly for just a minute or so?
Your mind is used to racing from one thought to the next. That is what our minds tend to do.
Quietening the mind is often unusual for most of us when we first try meditation.
But when you start with just one minute, you don’t have this huge expectation to complete a long time sitting still or having no thoughts for ages. Taking just one minute to quiet your mind is a great way to learn how to relax.
Meditation is just that: quietening your physical body and the chattering mind.
The mind and its thoughts can still flow, but you aim to bring calm to it, just like the physical body. You silently tell your shoulders to relax, your stomach to relax, your forehead to relax, and your jaw to relax.
Then your thoughts to relax. How? Just say in your mind, Relax. Seriously, the way how to relax is to tell yourself!
That is one of the best ways to start recharging. By stopping.
Interestingly you will find when you resume your day you will actually feel like you have more energy. Mental energy and physical energy.
Sometimes you might find that you are feeling really tired. You are concerned that you might actually fall asleep while meditating. That can be a normal reaction. Don’t worry about falling asleep; ironic isn’t it that you worry that learning how to relax may be too effective?
If you find that you are actually too tired to sit still and meditate, then maybe it is better for you to sleep. If you can manage it, then perhaps it is best to take a nap and sleep, or get a “Power Nap”. They are really great, if you can fit it into your day.
Sleep is restorative for your mind and body.
Getting enough sleep is also important. We all recognise the physical strains on our body when we feel that we have had an inadequate amount of sleep. Catching up in one go does not seem to balance out your sleep deficit either.
How do you get a good night’s sleep?
A few key tips are
-to have a comfortable sleep environment.
-A good supportive mattress, and pillow.
-Room to be dark, and not too hot.
-All technology off. Yes, even your cell phone.
-Relax with a warm bath or shower before bed can help some people relax.
-Do Progressive muscle relaxation techniques.
-Listening to soothing music can help too.
Can exercise teach you how to relax?
I also find that exercise can help de-stress me at night as well, which some experts tell us is not advisable. It can wake some people up.
But it can often work for me. So it might work for you too?
Try these ideas and find what works best for you.
A gentle walk or a light jog around your neighborhood
Swimming – but make sure you shower afterwards as some pool chemicals and salt can irritate the skin
Yoga- a great way to stretch and flex your muscles.
Exercise and its benefits have been talked about for decades.
Movement helps our blood to circulate more efficiently, and helps get oxygen passing through our body more efficiently too.
Make sure that you drink plenty of water during your day. Water hydrates your body, and actually helps your brain as well. A headache can sometimes be caused by lack of water and make going to sleep difficult.
Does it matter what exercise you do? As long as you enjoy it, I don’t really think it matters that much. (Please get advice from your medical practitioner if you have not done any physical activity for some time. Be responsible and sensible. Don’t push yourself beyond your comfortable limits. Get professional advice for any new activity or if you have a pre-existing health issue.)
There are many more ways for you to recharge and learn how to relax your mind and body. This article lists just some of the ways that you can start now.
The ideas present an easy way for you to recharge quickly and easily and it does not require any new outfits or expenses. Just you and your wonderful body.
So let’s recharge now!
What is your favourite way to recharge and what do you suggest to those who don’t know how to relax?
Rest, exercise, meditate or all three?
By Lynda Kaplan
Author, Loving Me