Saturday, July 2, 2016

Easy, Economical Ways to Really Relax

Does muggy weather or the dry heat days of summer, just like we have in Tucson, make you feel edgy? Is your reaction to another person's behavior making you feel hot under the collar? Are you frustrated or overwhelmed by unfinished projects at work or at home? 

Perhaps family obligations are more than you want to deal with right now. Maybe you are doubling up on work to pay down credit card debt or watching every penny so that you'll be able to send a kid to college. Don't delay. Check out my ideas for free or inexpensive ways to really relax. 

If you want to face the rest of your day refreshed, renewed and raring to go...

Change Your Pace to Refresh

At times, we forget to give ourselves permission to take a 5 or 10 minute break . Take all the time you need to read the definition of relax and breathe deeply.

Stand up for a quick stretch to relieve muscle tension. Reach for the sky and down toward your toes. Spreading your arms wide with palms toward the sky, helps you release trapped energy you've picked up from sitting too long or stressing about things you are powerless over.

Run in place, when you feel sluggish, stale, or foggy headed. Aerobic exercise releases endorphins, the feel good hormone.

Power walk (even 5 minutes will do) to speed up metabolism. If possible, get outdoors for exercise. Nature is a natural healer, one that doesn’t cost anything. Take responsibility for your well-being. Once you're in motion by moving outdoors, your spirit and body will thank you.

Put your feet up, against the wall to do a restorative yoga pose, Viparita Karani. All this pose requires of you is to do no more than rest and breathe. Relax in this pose for 1 or 2 minutes at first. Then gradually rest for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. Feet up the wall pose changes the effect of the pull of gravity on your circulation. When you stand, gravity tends to draw blood toward your feet. When you invert yourself in this pose, blood tends to be flow in the opposite direction, toward your head. Read this article from Cindi Lee to Check Out Proper Body Alignment at Yoga Journal Before Doing this Pose.

Switch Off Perfectionism

Learning to do something new requires practice, determination, and concentration. If your default setting is to be hard on yourself for making mistakes, you set yourself up for self-criticism, negativity, and tension. Adjust your thinking by observing how often perfectionism brings self-inflicted stress into your body, mind, and spirit. 

Eliminate the internal critic by telling yourself you are okay, no matter how long it takes you to learn new behaviors, move forward, and change. Treat yourself gently. Self-compassion gives us strength to postpone instant gratification for a longer term goal.

I've discovered that perfectionism is a fear-based behavior that I adopt when I try to control an outcome in order to receive love and acceptance from others. Whenever I realize I'm striving for the wrong reason, outward instead of inward approval, I can make a conscious decision to switch off perfectionism. As soon as I focus on my learning curve and appreciate my efforts to gain new knowledge, information, and skills, I become my own best friend. 

"Being able to feel content about progress without an expectation of perfection is a life-skill that helps us live gracefully." Nancy Andres

Be a Good Vibes Leader

Think Positive Thoughts and Smile

Your attitude and behavior influences your level of relaxation. 

Do this:

1. Count your blessings.

2. Let go of striving to fix or change other people, places, and things. When you can accept things as they are, you will find ways to be at ease about today's reality.

3. Make the choice to see the humanity in everyone and be kind and encouraging to others.

4. Bring passion to your own work and lifestyle.

5. Self-caring behaviors like those above and napping, eating a nourishing meal, and short breaks in daily routine, helps you refresh and renew yourself.

Human beings are naturally attracted to those that are happy and smiling! Are you eager to work and play with people who have a positive outlook? 

Yes. Our relationships can stress us or satisfy us. If yours are bending you out of shape too often, perhaps you need to back away from some people and relationships, kick back, and unwind. 

Note: If you're looking for hints about ways to communicate more effectively, see this article from Susan Heitler Ph.D. at Psychology Today, "10 Things to Say to Generate Good Feelings."

Additional Ideas to Help You Take Time for You

1. Put in a phone call to a mentor, life coach, or chat with a confidant.

2. Eat lunch with a pal or go to the movies with your best friend.  

3. Decide to put a tense or stressful situation on the shelf for a short time, while you listen to your favorite music or dance up a storm. You may have a new perspective about the scenario, when you look again. 

4. Indulge in a hobby, read a book, daydream, or work on a craft project.

5. Laugh often, laugh at your foibles, and laugh at life's absurdities

People who take good care of themselves by having downtime as well as work spurts, find balance, energy, creativity, flexibility, and resilience that is necessary to lead a healthful and happy life. 

The quote for today follows:

"Take precious time to just be." Nancy Andres

Take Precious Time to Just Be

Before you go, please comment, ask questions, or share whether it's easy or hard for you to kick back and relax. Why do you think that's so? I'd appreciate feedback, as it's challenging for me to take frequent breaks during my workday. I know I feel better when I do. I often get caught up in the creative writing process, and think I might lose my train of thought and enthusiasm if I take time away from my computer. Any input is greatly appreciated.

This post was updated 5/10/18

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1 comment:

Please comment and ask questions. I love to hear from you. If you need to reach me via email, email at

Thanks for Visiting

Hope you enjoyed your visit and will return again. Be well. Live well. Lead a colorful life! Warm regards, Nan