by Angela Counsel
A lot of mums, particularly those in business, find it hard to relax. They often think they don’t have time to relax, that they should always be ‘doing’ something. Quite often the guilt sets in if you actually just sit down for one minute.
Think about this.
Relaxation is not something that you do. It is something that you can be.
Relaxation doesn’t have to take a lot of time. You can spend as little as 10 minutes a day taking some relaxation time for yourself. Do that and you will be able to function better and cope with more.
Here’s some ideas on how to relax;
- Muscle Relaxation: lie down somewhere quietly where you won’t be disturbed. Close your eyes and take several deep breaths, then starting at your feet, tense your muscles for about 5 seconds then relax. Continue to move slowly up the body, tensing and relaxing each muscle. Do this for 20 minutes. You’ll feel warm and relaxed and may even fall asleep!
- Gentle Exercise: Exercise boosts metabolism and circulation and release feel-good endorphins. But if you’re already feeling stressed, don’t put more stress on your body by going crazy with exercise and doing a massive cardio workout or a tough hill run. Be gentle on yourself. A gentle walk in nature, 15 minutes of yoga or some mindful stretching will help.
- Self Care: Yes, I know I harp on about this. But it’s because it works. Taking care of yourself allows you to take care of others. Take a scented bath, read a book, hide in a corner and have a cup of herbal tea savouring every sip, have a mani, get out into the garden, sew….whatever it is that fills up your soul. Do it!
- Meditation: Take five to ten minutes to sit quietly and close your eyes. Take deep breaths into your tummy. To clear your mind of chatter, silently repeat a word. Something like ‘peace’ or ‘relax’ will work. When your mind starts to wander, gently push away the thoughts as though you were pushing away a cloud.
- Tune into Touch: Touch is settling, reassuring, healing and grounding. Massages are great but if you can’t get one, give yourself a relaxing face and neck massage to release tension.
- Gratitude: Taking 5 minutes a day if that to thank the universe for all it has given you, for the positive in your life. Even if you are feeling as though there is a lot of negatives in your life, focusing on the positives will shift you rmindset and help you brain relax. I often practice gratitude in the shower. I let the water wash over me and think of the many things I have to be grateful for….my family, my health, my wonderful clients, living near the beach….I could go on and and on!
- Ditch the Guilt: Living in the moment and practising mindfulness will help you ditch the guilt. Do not compare yourself to anyone, do not use guilt as a form of martyrdom and do not try to meet other people’s expectations if they are unrealistic. And most importantly, have a close look at your own expectations. Don’t set yourself up to fail.
It comes down to priorities and whether you are willing to prioritise your emotional and physical wellbeing. Taking time out to complete one of these activities above once a day will have a positive impact on you.
And isn’t that worth prioritising?