Michele the Trainer wants to teach you how to relax
If you have medical questions, please see your doctor or medical professional.
Have you ever heard that from your own negative self-talk?
You are not lazy, because relaxation will help you to be MORE productive. And remember that relaxation is something everyone can do.
Relaxation is actually the number one productivity tool that we possess, yet not everyone uses it. Say it out loud, if necessary, to re-frame relaxation with the truth.
Most of us have felt guilty at one point or another in our lives. Guilt can wear on us like we’re toting around a ton of bricks. One negative side effect of guilt is stress. Stress can contribute to health problems such as (Follow link to CDC for specific data regarding stress and disease):
- Heart disease
- Depression and anxiety
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Alzheimer’s disease
Some of these are diseases of lifestyle, which means that our life choices make a difference.
Relaxation is self-care 101
What do you think when you are told to relax? Does it feel “Woo, woo” New Age? First, it is a myth that relaxation is laziness. And second, relaxation is a tool to survive these trying times.
Relaxation is subtle and one of the main ways that you can take care of yourself. It is important. And it is cost effective.
The main thing to do is relax and let your talent do the work. Charles Barkley
When I relax I feel guilty
Often our mind can guilt us into not relaxing because it relaxation is not productive. But think about it: relaxation is a conscious way to achieve a sense of happiness and improve a feeling of balance. The more stress you face, the more you need a counter, the more you need to have intentional time to relax.
Many of us don’t know how to relax. The good news is we can learn!
Sometimes I do need to go to karaoke, sometimes I need to relax. Jackie Chan
How to relax
Relaxation with body and breath is one of the most important skills I’ve ever learned. Sorry to tell you, but wine and TV are not the best ways to relax. All that you need to start is a body and breath.
We have to make the decision to make relaxation a priority. I say it again: Are you avoiding relaxation because you associate it with being lazy?
If we are not relaxing, we are not at our productive peak! Did you get that? Relaxation will make you MORE productive.
Experience is the best teacher. Once you experience the benefits of relaxation, that may help you to avoid drinking that afternoon cup of coffee (which might also be interfering with the quality of your sleep at night).
Here are four relaxation tips:
- Remember that if we feel stuck, that is your bodies way of saying you need to relax. And, if we fall asleep during relaxation, we needed that sleep.
- Find your relaxation spot: It should be a safe, warm, quiet place. It can be as simple as closing your door. It may be your favorite chair, or it may be your bed. If you have to work at it, you’re not alone, many people have to work a little to identify their spot. Many of us have been working so hard for so long that we don’t have any space in our lives to sit or lie down. If you’re stuck on this step, let me know if I can help you create your spot.
- Time for Timers: I recommend putting your smartphone into airplane mode and using it as a relaxation alarm clock.
- Props? Props are personal but think about what you need to sleep at night and to feel the most warm, safe and comfortable. Do you want an extra pillow or blanket or hoodie or sunglasses or eye mask? Do you want your feet covered or not? Sort that out and bring your props to your spot.
When to relax?
At first, you may need to schedule your relaxation. I recommend beginning with 20 minutes. 5 minutes is usually not long enough and you can go for as long as you want.
A sign that your body needs to relax is when you’re ready to get that second wave of coffee, or you’re working and feel like you’re not being productive anymore.
Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.
William S. Burroughs
Set your timer or alarm, tuck into your spot and close your eyes for 20 minutes, and just listen to your breath. If you fall asleep remember that you needed the sleep. Give yourself the gift of time and let go of the burden that comes with adding more guilt to your relaxation!
Most folks find that they are totally rejuvenated after their relaxation, and can start getting things done again. They become unstuck. The great thing is that relaxation is a healthy tool that we can use whenever we need it.
Still not convinced?
Does $500 bucks get your attention? Aetna’s paying their employees to show up to work well rested! If a company is willing to put money into relaxation, maybe that will remind you and I that the bottom line should be spelled: R-E-L-A-X.
If you have any questions or need further help I’m here for you.
Photo by Michele the Trainer