Being a Type-A personality, spending time ‘relaxing’ just doesn’t come very naturally to me. I have to ‘work at it’.
I am a goal orientated person and enjoy setting and working towards goals and plans.
So in order to better value time spent in relaxation, I reframed my thinking around it with the help of a coach :
From Thinking :
“I’m wasting time if I’m doing nothing productive/goal orientated”
To Thinking :
“Downtime, relaxation time, or chilling – whatever your word for it is – is PRODUCTIVE.” It’s restoring my body, it’s restoring my mind and helping it process the day and it’s good for my soul.
First things first though….more important than any of these activities is SLEEP.
If you’re not getting the right sleep or suffering in some way from insomnia, in spite of trying everything (natural remedies or CBT etc) you’re still not getting to sleep then I’d encourage you to seek medical/professional help to give you what you need to restore your sleep and your body and mind’s functioning.
Thank God for doctors and medication when we need it.
A friend of mine showed me this picture recently and I love it because it sums it up really well.
If you’ve been ‘going hard’ and had a season of work, work, work with little rest or relaxation – or if you’ve had a season of lack of proper sleep -then have a look at this :
How much are YOU allowing yourself to rest?
Perhaps your sleep is fine and that’s great.
But then ask yourself: Have I forgotten how to relax?
Are you like me, needing reminders to do it?
Now I love lists. I’m just that way. Some of us love to write lists for things and I’m one of those people.
And because this whole relaxation thing just isn’t INGRAINED in me, I’ve written ideas for myself of things I could do to relax.
Here’s MY ‘go to’ list of activities for relaxation – some may spark ideas in you, some may be totally boring to you or even work. I get that. I know people who find baking and gardening therapeutic. Me? I think baking is just work and gardening is both mind-numbing to me AND hard work.
Some people relax by watching sports on TV but to me, that can be like watching paint dry….
Great thing about the human race is WE’RE ALL DIFFERENT.
Just as we’re all different, so different things are relaxing for different people.
So, take any ideas that are useful FOR YOU or let it just help you to get creative and start thinking about what YOU will do to destress.
~RELAXATION IDEAS and ACTIVITIES~
1. Doodling in an adult colouring-in book
2. Painting my nails
3. Sitting on the sofa with a cuppa
4. Being ‘in the moment’
So many of us don’t enjoy exactly where we are, right now. We don’t always relish the moment we are in. I have a plaque in my kitchen which helps remind me of this.
It simply says :
Enjoy this moment. This moment is your life.
5. Going to a favourite coffee shop with a book
6. On sunny days, sitting on our bench in our garden with a drink
Disclaimer: This only works if we’re up to date on mowing the lawn and getting rid of those darn weeds that keep popping up! Lol.
If our garden aint looking that great then there is nothing calming about sitting out there til it’s tidied again. OK – disclaimer over ☺
7. In the evenings, sitting in the lounge with lights dimmed and candles lit
8. Sitting or lying on our sofa listening to calming music
9. Getting a back massage
10. Taking photos for fun – especially of God’s creation
Nature, people, children, beautiful settings…I like photographing it all. I just love capturing moments, treasuring special memories and I love seeing some of life through a lens. It’s part of my creative nature, and gives me a creative outlet.
In creation, I especially notice flowers. I just love flowers. Gerberas, tulips, daisies, great big sunflowers, lavendar and cherry blossoms. The brighter and more colourful, the better.
11. Watching a light-hearted movie
Not interested in big dramas or heavy emotional stuff…if I’m going to watch a movie to relax then I either want it to be exciting, inspiring or funny and heartwarming.
12. Learning to draw
I have a book with cute pictures of animals which goes through step-by-step instructions on how to draw. I bought something similar for my children years ago.
It’s fun and not very demanding or difficult.
13. Taking a nap
There’s research that shows that naps during the day will restore your energy and is a productive thing to do. I’ve found myself feeling over-indulgent by taking a daytime nap as though it were somehow wrong for me to do it, but I’ve had to realise that sometimes I need it.
14. Reading a magazine
I don’t always do this enough…I lean towards reading something that I’ll ‘learn from’, but sometimes picking up a magazine and just browsing through it is relaxing, fun and helps take my mind off responsibilities or anything serious that may be going on around me.
15. Reading a novel
16. Reading the Bible
Still the best book in the world. Has the answers we need in it too. Verses on the subject of Peace and reading Psalms is particularly helpful for me when life is tough or frantic or difficult in any way.
17. Playing a brain game
There’s an app I’ve downloaded called ‘Brain it on’ which is a fun way to challenge your brain to solve some brain games. I’m having difficulty working out the latest activity I’m on.
18. Writing or journaling
Writing can often be enjoyable for me and not feel like work. It depends on the subject I’m writing about. So this is one activity that can relax me.
19. Catching up with a positive, uplifting friend
I’ve tried all of these…but not all at once!! Currently a few I’m enjoying are writing/journaling, reading and catching up with friends.
What about you? Do you have more ideas of how you find ways to relax and enjoy life just as it is?