Guaranteed Ways to Relax
(Ten In alphabetical order)
1) Communicate. Talk with someone close. Express yourself, confide in them. Get it off your chest. Then, reciprocate and practice listening. Be empathetic. Share and exchange.
2) Love. As in make. As in make it last and take it slow. Can be therapeutic, stimulating and relaxing all at the same time. Let go.
3) Meditate. Just sit quite and breathe. Notice the thoughts come, accept them, let them go. Count your breaths. Return to breathing, nonjudgmentally when distracted.
4) Massage. Pay a professional to soothe your muscles and rub tension away. Sometimes just the touch of another is enough, other times we need deep tissue release, either way this is worth every penny.
5) Return to Nature. Talk a walk in the forest, collect sea-glass, hike into the hills, kayak. Listen. Look. Breathe.
6) Shut off the TV. With the exception of 12 Fall Saturdays per year, I watch zero TV. As much as I sometimes feel like an outcast for not knowing what star is dancing with whom, or who has survived what, I get to ride, run and read instead.
7) Steam & Sauna. The Scandinavians know it. They add the snow element, here, we can do dry steam and heat alternating with a shower for similar effect.
8) Swim. Ahhh, water. Do an easy 500 meter freestyle (10 laps) going long and lean in the pool, relax and glide. Then hop in the jacuzzi.
9) Walk. Slow. As walking meditation. Smell. Think. Breathe. See. Hear. Concentrate on every step. Bring some gratitude to your gait.
10) Yoga, Stretch. The downward facing dog wags more. Hold that pose and release into balance. Breathe.
After all our high-intensity cardio work, a session for counter balance is mandatory if we are going to make it for the long haul. It is mid November, the racing season six months away. If, as many of you have commented upon over the last few days, and perhaps even more importantly because of the upcoming Holidays, you are having trouble with down-mode, sleeping and/or relaxing, try one, a few, or a combination of above on for size. Also please notice that breathing deep and slow is a common element of each.
Come to think of it a PERFECT day might be:
An early swim and jacuzzi.
Honeydew, museli and french roast talking with a friend.
A slow meditative walk from the water, through the trees to the mountaintop.
Steam and sauna.
Get all that done and you can watch Dancing with the Stars.
Pix: Walking the marina in Australia, off-load in Mexico and a water break in Alaska. Did I mention vacation?