Ten Tips for Relaxation
"I don't want to relax", said no woman ever.
Why is it so hard for us to relax? We are constantly on the go, hustling. Our shoulders are always wound up to our ears. We have a million things on our plates and even more on our minds. And I almost cringe when my well-meaning husband says, "You need to relax!" Oh the words that I would love to spit at him!
"Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax." -Mark Black
Here are my top tips for relaxing. These are in no particular order...and don't all have to be done at the same time!
1) Take a deep breath.
No, really, I'm serious. Do you know how shallowly (is that a word??) we breathe on a regular basis? Our brain needs oxygen. Take a minute...a literal minute, and breathe. From the depth of your diaphragm. Breathe.
2) Find a quiet space.
Yeah, I know. Mom life, right? Quiet space doesn't exist. Girl, I hear ya. So go to Home Depot and find yourself a doorknob with a lock. And put it on your closet door.
I can't tell you how many moments I have locked myself in my own closet, if only for 5 minutes, to gain my sanity, find my brain, put my emotions back in my chest, wipe away that stray tear and get on with my day.
3) Drink a glass of water.
Just do it.
4) Turn on your favorite music.
This may seem counterintuitive, especially if the music you really enjoy is not necessarily relaxing in an of itself. However, because its your favorite music, it will give your brain and heart a rest from whatever it is struggling with. If even for a few minutes. And oh, how precious those few minutes are!
5) Get a massage.
Okay, this is not just a shameless plug. Just kidding, it totally is. But seriously, when was the last time you got a massage? A Raindrop? A chiropractic adjustment? These are things that we like to throw in the "selfish" bin of our brain and we feel guilty about scheduling appointments like this for ourselves. But Momma, there is a difference between selfish and self-care. Self-care is so important. And this category of self-care can make a big difference in your day to day life.
6) Take a bath (or shower).
I hear moms all the time say that they don't even have time to shower each day. Girlfriend, its time that we took 5 minutes to wash away the guilt of the day and start fresh. I know its not that easy. But you are worth a 5 minute shower. Maybe even 10. Find a way to make it happen.
7) Give your spouse/ significant other a hug.
No, not just a quick side hug. I mean a real, genuine hug that lasts at least 20 seconds. This type of physical touch, whether we know it or not, makes us feel safe, secure, loved, wanted, which in turn, makes us feel relaxed.
8) Girls night out.
Its a must. Scheduling it. Once a month. Twice a month. Once a week. Whatever you can manage. Make it happen. Get a baby sitter. Have hubby handle the kids (they should be in bed anyway, right?) When you are with your girls, its easy to just cut loose, relax and be yourself. The best version of you.
Not 50 pages. Although if you can spare that kind of time, then please do. Find a devotional book that you like. Those are like 2-3 small pages, max. It gives you a few minutes to yourself and with God. A chance to breathe, say a prayer and refocus your day. Read a Psalm of the day or a Proverb of the corresponding day of the month. Even just a few minutes of reading can really help refocus the mind.
10) Take a moment to be grateful.
Nothing makes me relax more than when I can take a moment and say a prayer of thanks to my Father for all the good things that are happening in my life...in the midst of the chaos. Be grateful. Always. God's got this.