When you think of the holiday season, what are some words that first come to mind? Family? Friends? Faith? Food? Fellowship? All of the above? Is stress one of the words that you think of? Hopefully not, but if you are like most people, the holiday season can tend to bring on at least a little bit of stress. The extra commitments and gatherings alone tend to add a little (ok, a lot) to our already full plates. Hence the need for an article about relaxation, just in case you needed permission to take some time for yourself to relax.
Relaxation is beginning to get its reputation back. For a while, it seemed it was “bad” to relax and “good” to be as busy as possible. Relaxing was synonymous with lazy. Now it seems the tables have turned. Busy isn’t best. Being productive (not busy) and making time to relax is ideal for your health. Relaxation has numerous health benefits. They include, but are not limited to, protecting your heart, boosting your memory, lowering your risk for stroke and depression, easing acne, and even keeping you slim! (per The Huffington Post)
Now that you realize the importance of relaxation, let’s give you some ideas on how to relax. This may sound silly, but I would be willing to bet many of us don’t know how to relax. Relaxing is going to be unique to each person. Something that one person may find incredibly relaxing, another may find to be stressful.
Begin by thinking about things you enjoy.
Do you like to read? Go for walks? Spend time with your dog? Watch television?
Next, think about how doing each of these things makes you feel. Reading may make you feel sleepy, going for a walk may rejuvenate you, and watching TV may leave you feeling lazy or unproductive. This is not to say you shouldn’t watch television, but if relaxation is your goal, binge watching TV (or other activities that don’t leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated) may not be the best idea.
Take time each day for at least one method of relaxation. Even if it’s only 10 or 15 minutes! Here are some ideas for you to consider.
Write in a journal.
Get a massage.
Spend quality time with your loved ones (one-on-one time may be more relaxing for you).
Cook or bake something.
Go for a walk or a jog.
Brush your dog.
Take a bath.
Listen to music.
Do some type of exercise.
Call a friend.
Making an effort to take time to relax is important all year around, so instead of waiting until the first of the year to practice relaxation, start now! Your body, your mind and probably your friends and family, will thank you.