Updated: Mar 25
Time to relax and chill out.
There's a couple of words in that heading that we hear quite often but usually there is a “No” in front; no time relax or no time to chill out. Mostly we add yeah “chance would be a fine thing". But what we need to consider is the effect of saying no on the tension in our shoulders, the pain in our neck or head, the ongoing ache in our lower back. Or perhaps the anxiety and feeling of being constantly overwhelmed.
Our body fit and healthy
It's interesting that many of us will be careful about what we eat, perhaps we've decided to eliminate gluten from our diet or we always start the day with a green shake (this one would not be my choice -I prefer my porridge or a poached egg). Some of us will even find the time to start the day by going to the gym or to yoga or Pilates, as we want to keep our bodies fit and healthy.
To do the things I've mentioned above takes your time and sometimes energy. Energy, which can often be in short supply. As you read this I want you to think about not adding something extra to your busy life, but maybe a swap so that you can have time to relax or even catching up with friends to chill out and have a laugh.
Why is it important to relax
In this blog I'm going to focus on the time to relax and why it is important. Relaxation and the word meditation have become rather muddled and I'm not going to add to the discussion here, except to say what is important is taking time out, or what could be described this as "me time".
Tired and exhausted at end of day
First of all, let's address the tiredness and exhaustion towards the end of the day. Everybody's day is different so what I'm going to describe now needs to find its way into your evening. Perhaps you may have a five or ten minute space as soon as you get home, perhaps you can delegate various household activities (yeah, maybe lower the expected standard) and escape to a quiet place for those five or ten minutes. Sometimes it may be later in the evening when you have time to yourself. Although you may want to just go crawl into bed, or collapse into bed I'm asking you to set that aside for five or ten minutes.
Breathing slow, lying down to relax
There are two parts to describe how you use this relaxed time. Which incidentally can be longer than ten minutes if you have the time, or the inclination or perhaps like my husband, get so relaxed that you fall asleep.
The two parts are breathing and relaxing body position.
Breathing – slow it down, build it up
Often if we've had a busy day and you stop to notice where your shoulders are they may have gradually moved up and seem like they're trying to touch your ears. We are not supposed to breathe with our shoulders, breathing requires using our rib cage and diaphragm. Unfortunately, if you look around or watch friends and family particularly when they're in a rush or in getting stressed you will see their shoulders seem to be leading their breath.
Exhale – relax and lower shoulders
First step-exhale and at the same time relax or switch off your shoulder muscles and feel your shoulder blades gently move down and take your shoulders with them, at the same time making a little bit more space between your ears and your shoulder. This first step is so amazing and so quick and easy to do it can be introduced many times during your day. Just take a slightly bigger breath in and exhale perhaps through pursed lips as if you were blowing out a candle. This very simple action allows you to switch on your parasympathetic nervous system, the relaxing part of our nervous system.
Breathing – slow it down, build it up
The next step is fairly obvious you have relaxed your shoulders, as you exhaled. Take your next breath, breathing in opening the ribs a little and the diaphragm too. Here the tummy rises slightly BUT remember keep your shoulders completely out of this process. Don't worry if it takes time to disengage your shoulders, as it may be a habit that you've had for many years. The most important part of my relaxation process that I'm taking you through today is to be very chill about it there is no perfect way to relax, there is no perfect way to breathe.
If you are finding this difficult contact Jean for an online lesson