Joyful Living

4 Ways to Relax Today

“Sometimes, the most productive thing you can do is relax.” – Mark Black

Bonjour!

If you’re like me, you value feeling “productive” – start one more project, fold one more load of laundry, send one more email. As fulfilling as being productive seems, it has some disturbing side effects: racing thoughts, feelings of inadequacy, and exhaustion, among others (le sigh).

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While success has many definitions (job title, salary, number of children, I could go on – le sigh encore), one such definition must be the ability to relax. This year, I’m trying to focus more on self-care and letting myself relax through mediation and restorative yoga.

While being productive is admirable, I advocate embracing the sublime ability to sit in stillness and do nothing (it’s harder than it sounds!). You can replace FOMO (fear of missing out) with JOMO (joy of missing out). Today’s post shares free and easy ways you can start relaxing.

Breathe!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, hit the pause button and take a deep breath. Sit quietly and close your eyes. Let your lips press gently together and you inhale and exhale through your nose, lengthening each breath. Inhale through the nose for a count of four, hold for two beats, and exhale for a count of four.

Continue this sequence for two to three minutes and notice if you feel less tense. When you open your eyes, you will feel the benefits of sending some extra fresh oxygen to the brain as well as gain a new perspective on your task.

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Exercise!

It might seem counterintuitive, but exercising can help you relax and reduce inflammation. Getting out of your desk chair – or up off of the couch – is essential to your physical and mental wellbeing. A fifteen-minute walk after lunch, squeezing a yoga class into lunch hour, or any other moderate activity (like organizing a closet!) will clear your mind and give you a boost. Get up and move!

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Do Yoga!

All right, you got me. As a certified yoga instructor, I tell everyone to do yoga.

For a quick pick-me-up, go for Ragdoll. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Drop your shoulders away from your ears and let your chest come forward. As you inhale, sweep the arms up and reach for the sky. On the exhale, fold at the waist and sweep the arms toward your feet. Bend the knees slightly to protect the low bac k and hamstrings. Grab opposite elbows and let the head and neck release towards the floor. Sway and breathe.

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4. Connect!

Human connection makes life worth living. Right now during the pandemic, staying in touch with friends, family, and colleagues is more important than ever. If you feel chained to your desk or tied to the laundry room, take a five-minute break to reach out to someone. Reconnect with a former mentor via email. Check on an elderly neighbor with a quick phone call.

Because sharing the human experience releases feel-good endorphins, talking and laughing with others will give you – and them – a boost. If you’re feeling out of sorts or lonely, be the person you need and reach out to comfort someone else.

Remember, you are important. I’m not referring to your job title, salary, or number of children. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, irritable, distracted, or just plain tired, stop. Sometimes, the most productive thing you can do is relax!

How can you find ways to relax during a busy day?

Merci for reading and please subscribe and share!

À votre santé,

Katie

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