On Blogher’s Life Well Lived series, the current question is: What are your favorite relaxation techniques? And what benefits do you see from practicing them?
Many years ago I was a single mom, working very hard at a job I loved, and trying to juggle mom duties, the real job, the finances and find a few minutes for myself. It was during this time that I learned the importance of finding techniques that helped me relax . . quickly!
For each of us, there are different techniques that help us to relax so what works for me may not work for you but my advice is to figure out some techniques that help you relax — things you can do quickly and get instant results.
My best advice as far as relaxing is to figure out the things that cause you to be uptight and try to avoid those things. But there will always be times when we need to relax.
Here are some of the things I do that help me relax:
- Listen to Soothing Music – Years ago I made a CD of songs I love . . songs I love to sing along with. They’re songs that are happy and love type songs because that’s what I like. They’re songs like “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “It’s Your Love” by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw”. I can always put that CD on and either turn it up full blast and sing or turn it down low, close my eyes and sit back and enjoy the music.
- Take a Walk Outside – Thinking about the seasons and seeing plants growing, whether it’s spring, summer, fall or winter, always invigorates me and makes me smile and feel like I’m walking on air.
- Knitting – I love to knit so I keep a “no brainer” type project . . something that doesn’t require a lot of counting or charts to follow but something I can pick up where I left off and sit for a while and knit and let my brain relax while my hands are busy.
Do you have any special techniques that help you to relax that you would like to share?
Please visit the main blog at Blogher to read Dr. Aymee’s post on Relaxing and more in the Life Well Lived series. Be sure to check out the Life Well Lived Sweepstakes and get yourself entered!
Ava Crotinger says
I realllly love Elaine Petrone’s exercise / therapy which is relaxation based. Gets rid of tension. I’ve been using it for several years and have given it to sisters and friends. I see it’s on sale at Amazon and I recently gave my kit away so I’ll need to order another.
This may be scary for some but for me it works fast! I lay down and close my eyes and imagine I am floating in a hot air ballon. I can see wheat fields and rivers and landscapes that looks like patchwork quilts.I can hear the whoosh of the burners of the balloon and feel the floating sensation. If not careful I can feel myself drifting right off to sleep……so relaxing…for me.
Mel Meister says
I have a color that I meditate on. It’s a blue green piece of silk. It’s really kind of odd how relaxed I can become visualizing that color. If I am getting an upset stomach, it will take it away immediately.
I like to think of a deserted beach, on a cool late afternoon. The breeze is blowing, rustling the grasses growing on the dunes. I sit on the dunes with my hair blowing around me and feel the breeze, gaze at the ocean under a slightly overcast sky and let myself drift with the breeze and the waves.
I do things like ironing (fabric), wash dishes by hand, laundry, bathe the dog, make 9-patches or 4 patches. I know it sounds weird but if I do things like that I have to think about what I’m doing (but not concentrate hard) and I am able to not think about what is stressing me.. If I am angry I tend to clean the kitchen. As a matter of fact I told my husband just this weekend I needed to get good and angry at someone since the kitchen really needed some deep cleaning. 🙂
I found that if I took a long bath or went for a walk or swim I tended to dwell on the problem and didn’t relax.
when I sew I relax. I can almost feel the tension leaving. It is funny but so true. It doesnt matter if it is mindless sewing of squares, strips or what have you but I feel like new again after sitting at the machine. My cats also help me destress. Nothing like coming home from work after a hard day to two cats greeting me at the door with headbutts and rubs saying I miss you! One of them will drop his toy mouse at my feet to get me to play with him. How can your blood pressure not go down?
Dawn in MA
i find that when i’m the most frustrated is when i have little to no control or power to change what is making me angry. when that happens i withdraw from the situation and give it to God, who does have all the power necessary to change the situation. that gives me peace, knowing that the best outcome for everyone concerned will be in His hands.
Goblinf Lois says
I find my body doesn’t relax when I’m tired or stressed. I use this 3 minute stretching routine from the UK Chiropractic Association. It’s amazing how fast it gets rid of stress headaches!
I used to go to a yoga class twice a week that really helped with stress – but then the teacher with the very relaxing voice, knew what music to play, had a good routine moved away – I tried various classes since and never found one to replace her – it just wasn’t the same – wish I could find a good DVD that does it basically the same way – until then I will continue to hand quilt for a d-stresser!
Music & reading does it for me. I can lose myself in the music and a good book in a heartbeat.
It depends on where I am. If I’m at the office, which is usually where I’m most stressed, I practice some deep breathing exercises at my desk. It’s amazing what filling your lungs and letting it out slowly does for you.
When at home, any repetitive activity can relax me. Repetitive sewing is one of the best for me, of course. I used to do a lot of counted cross stitch, but anymore the eye strain counteracts the relaxation of it. Sometimes I lay down on our bed and watch the ceiling fan, too.
To relax at work I spend a couple minutes reading your blog. It takes me away for a couple minutes and always makes me smile! I also listen to music, work in the garden, pet the chickens (my laying hens are lap trained), and try not to think about all the housework that needs to be done.
Linda Steller says
Well, now that I’m not working in an office anymore, I don’t get nearly as stressed as I used to. When I feel knotted-up because I’ve been doing too much sewing, cutting, or other close work, I either use my roller (a styrofoam roller I got in physical therapy that helps my back even out) or my shiatsu massage pillow (love this thing), while I have a cup of tea brewing in the kitchen. Then I take it outside into the garden and sit in my adirondack chair, where I just close my eyes and breathe. Being free of the office is grand.
When I get myself stressed out about something I’ll get busy doing chores around the house. Scrub a sink or clean out a junk drawer! Put away clutter! Or I leave home for a little while. I’ll go poke through a thrift shop or head to the library. For me, the trick is to get my mind to focus on something other than the stressful topic.
vickie van dyken says
Hello everyone 🙂 Thanks for all the great ideas!! I am not sure what I do besides sewing…but I am finding things here that I will certainly try.
Carla in Ma says
I find my self cleaning or moving rooms around when I get up set and need to relax.
I tried sewing but I always end up making some kind of mistake and have to do some frogging or recutting
Diane S. says
I’ve always found that sleeping or napping cuts one day off and begins another. That adage that you shouldn’t go to bed angry at your mate never made sense to me as I’d always wake up happy and refreshed and not dwelling on what happened the day before. BTW, never nap in the same place you sleep at night. A couch or recliner is where you “take a break” rather than get your hours.