Find your oasis
Welcome to the 21st century.
Unless you’re a member of an undiscovered indigenous group in the Amazon or a professional Zen Buddhist living in a mountain monastery, it’s hardly a relaxing time for most of us.
Relaxation doesn’t accidentally find us.
Recovery doesn’t accidentally find us.
Calm doesn’t accidentally find us.
Yet we desperately need those things.
We can’t be busy, excited, or rushing all the time. We need periods of quiet rejuvenation.
De-stressing doesn’t accidentally find us.
We have to go get it.
De-stressing isn’t “blowing off steam”
De-stressing is different than “blowing off steam”, which some folks like to do with high-energy, aggressive activities.
- pounding the crap out of something in a kickboxing class
- pounding the crap out of yourself with high-intensity workouts
- screaming at the other idiots on the highway inside your closed car
This isn’t always bad. (After all, how is that %&$! moron going too slow in the fast lane gonna know what he’s doing wrong unless you tell him?)
In fact, it’s pretty awesome and important for women to turn our healthy aggression outwards instead of inwards.
Better we go ape on a punching bag, run some hard miles, or to get our frustrations out than yell at our kids or seethe silently until we explode.
But these activities — again, even if they’re healthy and appropriate — still amp you up.
They’re good stress… but still stress.
Same goes for recreational activities like:
- watching TV or movies
- surfing the internet
- playing video games
Electronic stimulation, while fun, is still stimulation. So — unfortunately for all you Candy Crush and Call of Duty fans — anything involving a screen is out.
What counts as de-stressing?
We’ll talk more about de-stressing in our next blog.
For today, here is a list of things that count as de-stressing.
- a relaxing walk
- being out in nature
- listening to relaxing music
- mindfulness practice and meditation (we’ll explain this more tomorrow)
- deep breathing
- laughing (may we recommend this guy?)
- snuggling a loved one or pet
- yoga, gentle mobility, and/or slow stretching exercises
- a solid, awesome, Kleenex-destroying cry, if you need it (crying actually helps us get rid of stress hormones)
- indulging in a trip to the salon to get your hair washed, or get a facial
- gentle swimming or water immersion (such as a hot tub)
- relaxing in a sauna
- singing along to your favorite song (the breathing for singing competes with “anxious breathing” — and you end up diverting worry energy into belting out your power anthems)
- physical, non-competitive play, like dancing or tossing around a frisbee
- moderate, occasional drinking — like, one beer or glass of wine once or twice a week… enjoyed slowly and mindfully
In other words:
Think of de-stressing as purposefully chasing relaxation.
And notice how many of these count as self-love and self-care. Which, by the way, you need and deserve.
What’s your oasis?
“What truly relaxes and calms me?”
What’s your oasis? The thing that makes you go quiet inside?
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