- Mental Health
Relaxing On Limited Time
It would seem,
now that the kids are all in school full time, that I would have all this extra time, right? HAH! Again, I say HAH! So, in the spirit of never-enough-time-to-relax here are some ideas for quick relaxation. You know, getting rid of that tension headache, saving your sanity, steps to relaxation.
1. Eat Something Healthy.
Fast food DOES NOT COUNT; keep some mixed nuts in your car or stop and grab a deli sandwich. I know, I said the bad word, stop, but this one of those things what will actually save you time in the long run. How do I figure? Because when you are hungry you are more likely to do stupid things, like forget something important on your to-do list or lose your keys. You know, the kinds of things where you have to take extra time out of your day to fix your mistake. Five minutes to grab a sandwich can save you ten minutes of 'where the heck did I leave my keys' time. Not to mention, preventing the inevitable 'I have not eaten all day' headache.
2. Hydrate Yourself.
It is recommended that people drink a minimum of 8 eight oz (a total of 64 oz) glasses of water a day. A lot of people are die hard about the water thing, but every doctor I have asked says that juice, decaffeinated pop (like sprite and 7-up), and decaffeinated tea will do the job. Pop, coffee, and alcohol will not do the job, and in fact works the other way and dehydrates you. Dehydration can lead to headaches, sleepiness, and muscle cramps.
This is something you can do while sitting at a stop light, but it will do more for you if you can stretch your whole body. According to SparkPeople.com, stretching not only reduces muscle tension, but it also improves energy levels (due to increased blood flow to your muscles). Beyond that, it will reduce your chances of suddenly pulling a muscle doing something you have done a million times. Like ... making a bed. Take my word for it, you do NOT have the time to deal with back pain.
4. Deep Breathing.
If done right, deep breathing 'allows the body to take in more oxygen and release more carbon dioxide' (AssociatedContent.com). This, in turn, lowers your blood pressure, and helps you relax. This is handy when you are in traffic, running late, and the person in front of you is in no hurry.
To 'do this right' you need to take a precious moment to teach yourself the hows of deep breathing. Lay down, some evening, and put something on your tummy that you can see move (I suggest a teddy bear). Breathe so that you can see the teddy bear move up and down. Then, breath so that the teddy bear moves up before your chest does. Do these slowly, take your time. As soon as your lungs are full hold it for a second, and then SLOWLY release your breath. Once you can do this without the teddy bear, you can do it anywhere; taking just five slow deep breaths will help.
5. Do-it-yourself Accupressure.
Acupressure 'releases tension [and] increases the circulation of blood .... [by] relieving pain, trauma, and burnout ' (Acupressure.com). There are tons of acupressure points in your hands and lower arms. You can do this, literally, in the car. Keep a small bottle of lotion in your car, and rub it into your hands and lower arms. And I mean RUB; rub like you are giving a massage. You will be surprised at how good it feels and how much better you feel afterward. Not to mention the good all that lotion will do for your skin.
6. Take A Power Nap.
This is for when you only have a half an hour break. I call them naps, even though I would not suggest sleeping. Lay down, get a book, or turn on the TV - whatever it is you do to relax. Do some of the aforementioned deep breathing. You will be amazed at how much better you feel after a half an hour horizontal. The reason I suggest not falling asleep is because with most people that is just enough time to fall asleep, and you will either wake up cranky and tireder than before, or you will not wake up on time, and be running even later.
Laughter relieves tension, and releases endorphins that make you feel good. Beyond that, a sense of humor will help you get through your day, and your life. (HelpGuide.org) Or, as Bill Cosby said, 'You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it .' Keep a CD of your favorite comedian in the car, or a book of jokes. Think of something funny that happened.
8. Pray or Meditate.
A Harvard scientist did MRI scans on the brain of people who were meditating and praying. The scans showed that 'physical changes take place in the body when someone meditates . . . [resulting in] the body becomes more relaxed and body activity becomes more evenly regulated.' (FrTommyLane.com) I am personally a Christian, but other studies have shown that actively spiritual people, regardless of religion, live longer. A quick prayer is very helpful in relieving tension and relaxing.