I made a decision to step out of my busy, active therapist’s role this week, and step back into my role as Mom and Grandma to my visiting kids and grandkids. We’ve had so much fun, and we’ve all put relaxation high on our priority lists.
This morning, I got an email from Lorrie Thomas Ross, of Web Marketing Therapy, letting me know that this Thursday, 8/15/13 is National Relaxation Day! She sent a link to a really good article in Forbes, “Why You Need to Participate in National Relaxation Day,” by Mike Montano. After I read the article, I realized that my family has already gotten a head start on this unofficial holiday!
Lorrie and I have had several conversations throughout the years on the crucial need for people to balance their busy, often demanding, work schedules with downtime — a time to relax and replenish energy and focus. If we’re constantly giving to anyone and anything that needs our attention, we become depleted. It’s only by stepping away from the busyness that we have an opportunity to get back in touch with the very things that “fill us up!”
What helps you relax? For me, I relax best out in nature. There’s just something so soothing about being outside, and soaking in the beauty and wonder that are all around. There are many different ways to relax, though.
Become an observer of your body. Where are you, and what are you doing when your breathing slows down and deepens? What about when you notice that your shoulders are low and relaxed, and you don’t feel any tightness or tension in your face? There are very clear signs that our bodies are tense, and there are equally clear signs when they’re relaxed.
What calms your mind? Are you aware of when the constant “chattering” stops, even for short periods of time? Do you notice when the worrying — the buzz of all the “what if’s” — has eased off? What brings those changes about? It could be the sound of music, the sight of children playing, the feel of a soft breeze on your cheek, the smell of a fragrant rose, or the touch of a loved one’s arm around your shoulder. Whatever it is, learn to recognize the easing of your mind!
If a national holiday can help us focus on the value of relaxing, that’s okay with me. Whatever works! Let’s choose to unwind and slow down enough to reap the benefits of a day of relaxation this Thursday. I’m definitely going to do that all day. Thanks, Lorrie, for giving me an extra reason to just chill!
Until next time,
*Picture credit goes to my son, Paul Menesez!