Life is too fast-paced and busy these days to be wound up and unable to act on it. We have to be ready to jump for opportunities and keep up with a fairly demanding lifestyle. Hence, the most important part of this routine is the down time we get to relax. Even if we cannot afford to set aside a significant amount of time for this, here are 3 little ways in which I can feel more relaxed mentally and physically:
This has to be #1. Showers are warm, comforting and so wonderfully relaxing. I do indulge myself with a few extra minutes. After a full day of work, this is the first thing I do when I get home. Feeling fresh and clean in a new, comfy outfit, I am refreshed to really relax or tackle the other demands of my day. I also work in a big city and live in the suburbs so I just feel the icky urban atmosphere around me that is hardly refreshing. Yes, that is in my head but the mindset I have after a shower is worth indulging. It gets me ready for the next phase of my day.
Laughter is the best medicine. Comedy and sarcasm have really helped through a lot of frustration. I let it out, laugh it off, and get back to productivity. It is an effective tool against circumstances and people that I just cannot have any power in dealing with. Lately, on particularly tired nights or weekends, I have been enjoying the reruns of Friends. I have seen it all before but I had forgotten how funny the show was. And I am different now too. I have loosened up and encourage hearty laughter in reaction rather than a little smile to feel all the benefits. The stresses and tension just melt away.
There are those days when I am tired enough to be that extremely exhausted person you may see sleeping and drooling on the train. Unplanned power nap! Even otherwise, I do try to make good use of the time. My unavoidable (not possible to walk instead) train ride is 25-30 minutes which is a perfect chunk of time to get some things done. I try to make the most of it and that actually comes pretty easy. I catch up on a lot of email responses, review my to do list, catch up with the occasional train companion, complete the next blog post, read a book, or tie up some lose ends for work. On any given train ride, I can do 1 or 2 of these. Yes, this is not exactly relaxation time. Sometimes it is. I can also close my eyes and daydream. But the little tasks I can complete really create a better situation. The commute is a lull between one part of the day and another, insulated from all issues to give me a nice little chunk of time for catching up on life.
Do you follow these techniques? How do you relax? What are your must-do techniques or new ones that you would like to turn into habits?