Wednesday, February 18, 2015

relaxation - not just a 'luxury' any more!

Ahhh... Relax. Relax. No, really, it's time to relax. "I'm sorry I can't take your call, I'm too busy relaxing!" Relax. Relax right now! I only have 10 minutes set aside to relax, now just DO IT! "Lord, give me the patience to relax, and give it to me now!" Aarrghh!

There are many things that our society and culture expect of us: work hard, play hard, pay your bills and your taxes, be nice to your neighbors, give to charity, be a part of the arts, support your favorite sports team (Go DUKE, just saying), love your family, go to church, take your dog for a walk, cook meals at home or enjoy a meal out, wash your car, wash your laundry, wash your face ... the list could (and does) go on and on... Quite frankly, it's exhausting just to do the first few on this list, and the actual list that each of us attempts to fulfill each day seems never-ending!

I give you this image because one of my favorite places to relax is at the beach. Many people find the beach especially relaxing: to feel the warm sun and soft sand, smell the salt-scented air, hear the shushing of the ocean waves, taste something ice cold to refresh your parched lips... ahh... that's relaxation, right? Yes, but it's not the ONLY relaxation we need.

I have discovered that my body and mind require bits of relaxation throughout the day. Learning to relax was one of the first things I learned that actually helped my body heal and feel better (and we all want to feel better; that's why I'm writing this blog). Relaxation has many guises: time set aside purposefully to relax mind and body; a one-minute slow breathing break; a whole day or couple of days to "get away" and relax; relaxing while eating, while breathing, while walking, while sleeping (I think that many of us do NOT relax enough while sleeping, which is part of why we awake unrefreshed and still tired), while working, while playing.

So, please begin to consider for yourself: Do I relax? Ever? Sometimes? Enough? How do I relax? What methods are particularly helpful for me? What methods do I actually use? Which methods don't work?  What methods are available to use? Have I tried a new way to relax lately?

Be considering how you can incorporate relaxation into EVERY DAY of your life. I think you'll find that the time spent relaxing pays off in benefits that can't be achieved any other way. That's what I've found!

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