Relaxing Can be Challenging

My friends all know me as the one who never stops going. Like the infamous Energizer Bunny, some used to tell me that when they heard what I did before lunch, they were exhausted just at the thought. “Doing” has always been something I’m good at. “Being” and relaxing, or as my friend Amy says, “being a bump on a log” has always been challenging for me. I know that I’m not alone in that either.

Truth is I’ve slowed down a lot of the the years–especially in 2014, mostly with the help of several big life changes. But my body is starting to say no, and so I feel as though I need to do even more relaxing in 2015. If relaxing more, reducing stress more is your plan too, let’s connect and share ideas. It’s so important!

Afternoon Tea (with a Twist)

IMG_8609Anyway, inspired by my recent trip to New Zealand, I purchased a coffee/tea press, “Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down“, and an entire tin of assorted tea biscuits (i.e. tiny cookies). At precisely 4 pm (a total coincidence, honestly!) I pressed some tea out of fresh ginger, lemongrass, turmeric, and a sprig of rosemary. I then selected 3 biscuits from the tin and placed them gently on a small pretty plate. A mug, napkin, two lit candles at the table, and relaxation patiently waited for me to sit.

Though it may seem amusing, I actually set a the kitchen timer. 30 minutes to savor my tea, allow the biscuits to melt in my mouth, and enjoy a light funny book. I didn’t need the 30 minutes to remind me to stop. I needed it to remind me to continue.

I’m pleased to say that the one time the “get the ice for your back so you could do that while you sit here” thought popped into my head, I told it “later” and returned to focus on relaxing. It was like a meditation: “yes mind, I hear you wanting to multitask, but I’m choosing not to.” The second time my brain said something more like, “Is it time yet? It must be close. I don’t think I can sit much longer”. And then the timer went off.

Truly feeling warm, grounded, and relaxed, I went about the rest of my afternoon.

The Relaxation Ripple Effect

Only I didn’t do anything after that either!

Given my recent back issues I’ve not been sleeping well, and even after the sugar of the biscuits I felt just how tired I really was. So I crawled up onto my Reiki (massage) table–which is the one place my back always feels better–covered up with a blanket, and closed my eyes.

Another 30 minutes later and my entire body felt better. I hadn’t fallen asleep, but was in a state of absolute stillness. It took a little while to get there. While lying, thoughts would arise about stuff to do, but when they did, I’d reassure myself that rest is what I needed in this moment. I kept refocusing on resting, just like I’d refocused on my tea and biscuits at the table.

Tea and biscuits, a faux nap on a Reiki table–both were just the restoration I needed, timer or not! So much so that I ended up calming, mindfully cooking a lovely dinner for my partner, that was completely ready just as he walked in the door! I was in a good mood, and we had a lovely evening together.

What about you?

Have your own tips and tricks for getting your body and mind to relax, or is it easy for you? Share your stories here. Or try one of mine, and let me know how you feel after!

Won’t you join me for a nice cup of tea?
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