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wavy lines and a saying, "You can't rush through lie and expect your nervous system to relax on command"

Thoughtful Thursday - Build Relaxation Into Your Days

Mar 31, 2022

(Image credit @myintegrativetherapist via Instagram)

Really, the caption in the image says it all.

We rush through life, producing, hustling, rush, hurry, grind, cram.

Then we get to the end of the day, the week, or finally to our vacation and what happens?

We crash and burn, baby.

We realize *can't* relax. We *can't* unwind. Our little motors just keep on spinning.

We think a little drink, or three, will help, and maybe it does, temporarily, but you go right back to spinning your wheels when you're "supposed" to be relaxing, enjoying the fruits of your labours. We snap at loved ones, have trouble sleeping, eat more, move less.

Suddenly, there's a vice around your chest, you can't breathe, it feels like there is a tea kettle screaming in your head, and you don't know how to get it all to *STOP*.

There is actually a solution, my friend.

And no, it doesn't come with 4 easy payments of $29.99, or a meal plan, or buying a book, or any of it.

The solution is building relaxation into your day.

Hear me out, I can absolutely feel your resistance to this. 

"Dude, my boss won't let me take a nap at the office!"

"I have a new baby! I can't RELAX when it needs feeding every 20 minutes!"

"I can't afford to go to a spa!"

I know.

I get it.

But here's the thing - you don't have to take a nap or go to an expensive spa, or abandon your newborn to be able to build respite into your days.

It can be as easy as putting on your favourite song and blissing out for 5 minutes (please be respectful of your coworkers and wear headphones if at the office).

Maybe you feed baby and after burping and changing, you put baby in bed and take 5 minutes to have a pee all by yourself (I'm so proud of you!).

Perhaps you schedule 5 minutes out of your lunch, or at the end of your day to put a face mask on (Amazon has some great deals), or burn your favourite candle or smell your favourite perfume.

Maybe you go for a little walk around the block, just 5 minutes, to enjoy the changing seasons. Maybe a quick stretch, workout, yoga session, or quick meditation.

Did any of those things make you relax just a little? Maybe you dropped your shoulders just a tad?

Perhaps you have an idea for something you could do for yourself throughout the day that doesn't take money, or even much time, but could put a smile on your face, help you relax and take just a quick breather (OOOHH! That's a good one! Do a 2 minute breathing exercise, like some of the ones found on our AnyTime Studio subscription - shameless plug, but true and very helpful!).

I used to think that if I wasn't producing, I was falling behind. If I wasn't hustling, I was losing, or failing.

So much of our society bases our worth on what we produce, when the reality is, we are valuable just for existing.

And we are MUCH more productive if we give ourselves scheduled breaks and rest times. We are also much happier, and have MUCH less anxiety, too.

When I started scheduling breaks and rest periods into my day, I thought I would get so far behind and never accomplish anything. I thought I would miss deadlines, not complete my tasks, lose my students.

The exact opposite happened.

I began to feel lighter in body and mind. I looked forward to my lunch, and post-lunch break, where I schedule a strict amount of time for video games with a timer (I'm a nerd, it's my thing).

I started to get excited for my afternoon deep work sessions (when before I'd be struggling not to fall asleep).

I produce *more* in *less* time.

My focus is even improved (I have ADHD, so that is saying a lot)!

So if you are at work, make sure you take your legally-owed breaks and use them to heal yourself. If you are at home, set a timer (that's what I do) and make sure to stand up and take breaks, have a pee, get some water, walk around your house. Take time for you.

To rest.

To relax.

Your body and mind will thank you.

What can you commit to for your little bit of rest throughout the day?

I'm so proud of you!


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