Sometimes when we get home to unwind all the ideas we had during the day of what we’d do once we get home seem to fly out the window. But what happened to 20-30mins of me time? it’s not asking much but i think it’s definitely essential for everyone.
The following are some simple ideas of what to do to relax, some seem to be so glaringly obvious but i know they’re also easy to forget. I’d be so happy if you added your ideas too
*the night before a day you know is definitely going to be a long one try to organize everything you need, what you’re going to wear and have any directions and numbers that you may need – be prepared for the next day, there’s nothing more annoying than running late and looking for that other matching sock.
*once you’ve gotten all you’re more pressing issues sorted out when you get home, take time out, put your feet up and meditate. Think of nothing to do with work, study or any kinds of problems in your life and visualize a place that you would like to go, say an exotic island or that country mountain retreat, when I say visualize i don’t just mean see it in your mind, i mean really feel it with all your senses, the smell, the way it makes you feel – free, happy, adventurous etc. if it’s hard to get there maybe even try lighting some candles that remind you of the smell there. It’s definitely such a fun and peaceful thing to do and I assure you, if you take it seriously, you will feel relaxed and ready for more activities.
*drink green tea - the act of just drinking this stuff has a calming effect, on your tummy too. Inhale it and drink before or after bathing i find makes it extra relaxing
*Massage – it had to be included, the first thing that come to mind when i think of relaxing i think of massage whether giving it or receiving. There are heaps of books out there that can teach you how to give a wonderful massage. It’s a great skill to have too when you want to help someone with a fever or you want to help your hubby relax from a long day at work.
*Aromatherapy – try it, it’s definitely a forgotten relaxation pastime. The sense of smell plays a vital role in our sense of well-being and quality of life according to the sense of smell institute (http://www.senseofsmell.org/). The sense of smell can truly influence ones mood and induce a calming effect truly needed in relaxation.
* Exercise! I know it may seem like the complete opposite of relaxation but in fact exercise can help you relax muscles that may be aching since you haven’t used them too much. It can also produce that happy chemical known as endorphins. I prefer Yoga, Swimming, Qi Gong and Dancing (in my room) personally to help relax.
*Foot spa – this has to be one of my favourite and often choice of relaxation, especially after a day in 6inch heels! You can do it at home, simply by having a basin or an electric foot spa which you can purchase relatively cheap at your local department store. If you haven’t got that, a basin can be just as good, filling the basin half way in the temperature of water that suits you (luke warm, cold etc.) and baking soda, Epsom salts and a few drops of your preferred oil such as lavender which is known to help relaxation occur. For a full profile on all the kinds of essential oils see: http://www.aromaweb.com/essentialoils/default.asp, this a product-based site however if you click on each profile it will give you a list of the possible uses for each of them. But, as you know you can also purchase foot spa products, and they don’t have to be that expensive. If you’re in Australia, Priceline offers lots of those, well that where I get mine from. Foot spas are awesome since not only will they leave your feet feeling great (warm for the cold seasons!) it also gives you time to sit back and just rest your body, and the smell from the foot spa are wonderful too
*Listen to classical music. Studies show that listening to classical music can encourage a number of health benefits. Music is widely used to enhance well-being, reduce stress, and distract patients from unpleasant symptoms. But even without academic studies supporting the notion that listening to classical music can be relaxing and beneficial, how can one not feel relaxed with a soothing, classical song. Songs like ‘Moonlight Sonata’ by Beethoven and ‘Relaxing Place’ by Motoi Sakuraba (which interestingly was written for a game called Eternal Sonata)
There are so many things you can do, by keeping a diary or a journal it’s always a great idea to jot notes or ideas as they come so you can do what makes you feel good. I believe it’s great to have something you enjoy in life, because that’s what life should be, if you have the opportunity and it doesn’t hurt others I think one should follow their heart, simple things even. Having a disease like I do, distraction from pain is key, and I find that by engaging in activities such as relaxation can really be beneficial in pain relief, which I hope to blog about sometime soon.
There’s a ton of books out there dedicated to relaxation, but there’s one book that really stands out to me since it doesn’t exactly address relaxation directly but it definitely provides the sort of words a soul craves for,
“Romancing the Ordinary – A year of simple splendour” by Sarah Ban Breathnach
This book is so beautiful, it’s amazing how many things you can do to enjoy the sensation of life. The book gives entries for every month of the year and I absolutely love reading it. You can start anywhere and read any page you like for some inspiration. The book starts off with the author telling her story of an accident that left her almost senseless, she had to learn how to smell, see, hear, touch and feel all over again. And from that experience she wrote this book. Entries span from one to two pages so it’s easy enough to read just before going to bed. The books talks about things from the feel of sand between your toes to other simple joys such as silk bed sheets and there are great entries such as ‘Reawakening your essensual self”, here’s an excerpt:
‘The word essensual can’t be found in the dictionary, but you will find essence and sensual. The essence of something is it’s soul, spirit or substance. To be sensual is to perceive the world through your senses rather than logic or reason. Your essensual self is your original self…’