Thursday, January 5, 2012

7 Ways to Relax

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We all know self-care is necessary for a healthy, productive life but how many of us really practice it daily? In our stress-filled lives, a little self-care can go a long way. Here are a few ways to sneak some in:

1. Reconnect with nature. Take a 20-30 minute walk around your neighborhood or a local park. Take in the sounds and smells. Listen for the rustling of leaves as the wind gently sways the oak trees. Enjoy the melody that the joyous birds sing. Appreciate the aroma of the freshly cut grass. Notice the rise and fall of voices from the blissful children playing nearby. Allow your senses to take over as your explore your surroundings.

2. Wash the stress away. Delight in a long soak in the tub. Your muscles will begin to loosen and relax as your worries dissolve. Add a few drops of your favorite aromatherapy to deepen the experience.

3. Inhale relaxation, exhale tension. Spend 10-15 minutes (more if time allows!) reconnecting with your breathe. Meditation is a wonderful way to take a few moments of solo time to center yourself and let go of the day’s stress. Remember to be gentle with yourself if thoughts and to-do lists begin to creep into your mind.

4. Nourish your body. What you put into your body you will also receive. Trash In = Trash Out. Cultivate a healthier life by adding more fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Don’t forget to hydrate!

5. Make routine tasks enjoyable. Chopping veggies for dinner can be meditative when done with a willing mind. Cleaning tasks can become a dance competition. Washing dishes can become a tryout for American Idol. It’s all about how you approach everyday duties.

6. Savor solo time. Go on an artist’s date. Browse your local bookstore. Spend time writing that novel. Paint your emotions. Spend a little unaccompanied time enjoying your favorite activity.

7. Relish family time. Alone time is so vital to sanity but the same goes for spending time with those you love. Get the kids involved in making dinner together, have a family movie night, enjoy a girl’s night with your besties, or schedule a couple’s night with your honey. Love and laughter is the best medicine.

I hope you make the time for yourself, solo and with company, to dissolve the stress and add a little relaxation in your life.

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