live with physical challenges.
I am NOT a DOCTOR!!! I don't even play one on TV!!! It is my goal to live a more healthy lifestyle. Living well and being happy is what this blog is all about.

"Nothing,' wrote Tolstoy, 'can make our life, or the lives of other people, more
beautiful than perpetual kindness."

- Gretchen Rubin

I write about my own experiences and what works (or does not) for me. Nothing I write is to be taken as medical advice.

Only your health care provider, personal physician,Disclaimer:
I am not a doctor - I don't even play one on TV! This
or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wellness A-Z: R=Relaxation to Reduce Stress

R=Relaxation to Reduce Stress
Is it just me, or does it seem as though life on this planet gets more crazy with each passing day?  Go here, go there, do this, do that!  I was listening to a talk show the other day and the discussion was about how back when my generation was growing up, we used to be able to go to the neighbor's house, knock on the door and ask if Suzie could come out and play.  In this day and age, the mothers have to actually schedule play dates for their kids.  What a simple time I grew up in - and I'm so thankful!
Since life is such a hectic mess these days, how important is it to take a little time out each day to just relax?  Well, let's take a look at all the great benefits of relaxation:
  • Decreases muscle tension
  • Gives the heart a rest by slowing the heart rate
  • Increases blood flow to the muscles
  • Slows the rate of breathing, which reduces the need for oxygen
 How does relaxation make you feel?  Many people experience:
  • Less overall pain
  • More energy
  • More even emotional state - i.e. less anger, crying, anxiety, frustration
  • Better sleep
  • Greater efficiency, more productivity
  • Enhanced immunity
  • Better problem-solving skills
  • Increased concentration - better able to focus
A rule I abide by in my own life is K.I.S.S. which means Keep it Simple, Silly!!!
If anything - even my relaxation routine - gets too complicated, chances are I will not continue.  My personal relaxation routine is very simple indeed.  One power nap - every afternoon at 2pm.  I sleep one hour.  I do not set an alarm.  I've always awakened at 3pm.  I feel great for the rest of the day!  I'm more productive and a very happy camper with this routine. 

I reached out to my wonderful friends in my facebook group to ask how they incorporate relaxation into their lives.  These are ways to relax that are simple and anyone can do them:
  • Listen to music or a guided meditation CD
  • Walk along the beach (by the ocean)
  • Take a power nap
  • Horseback riding
  • Breathe deep and relax with the breath
  • Gently stretch
  • Lie down and rest at some point in the day
  • Take a soothing bath - incorporate some aromatherapy
  • Have your wonderful partner give you a massage (with the intent of returning the favor, of course)
Other ways to relax involve paying for services at a spa which may or may not fit into your budget.  If I have a little jingle in my pocket, I enjoy going to the spa for a facial.  There's just something about that...  it's so relaxing, and it makes me feel so feminine and pretty. 

Life is full of stressful situations and one of the best defenses we have against all the outward pressures is relaxation.  Every day it's important to just stop and "be".  It's okay if you feel foolish doing that at first.  Trust me, the more you purposefully stop and "be", the easier it becomes.  Pretty soon, you will wonder how you ever got through the day not doing it.

When I was a kid, I had a real problem taking an afternoon nap.  I fought going to bed tooth and nail.  Today, I can honestly say - when 2pm rolls around, I'm curling up in my bed saying bye bye to the cruel world for one hour of blissful escape into dreamland.  I love my afternoon nap - my relaxation!

Power nap guided relaxation.  Ahh...


Today is NATIONAL INSPIRE YOUR HEART WITH ART DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!  What could be more relaxing than art appreciation?  Whether it's paintings in an art gallery or a concert at the local hall, art has a way of speaking to the heart like nothing else.  Let some art inspire your heart today!


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