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Monday, August 1, 2011


Relax. In order to face life's little challenges, you have to know how to relax and make the time to do it! Life can get hectic and stressful given the obstacles thrown at us at times.

Do you make time for yourself each day and just relax? Everyone relaxes differently and everyone needs time to relax. My idea of relaxing includes taking a walk or reading a book, even Facebooking is a relaxing activity for me. My husband can relax sitting in his chair and watching sci-fi for hours. He is the poster-child for "Relax" and has taught me to slow down a lot. I'm still a work in progress, though!

I used to think that the day wasn't well served if I didn't have a list of accomplishments completed at the end. I would review all the tasks and activities I did each day and feel like I really conquered the day. I am a lot like my father and not my mother who would sit and stare at a lamp for hours just thinking about where it might look best.  (for real!) My husband has taught me to just sit and enjoy a TV show. I do, but I am usually multitasking with my computer and Nook-yes both. Maybe that is a female thing? Maybe it is just the way I am wired. I feel relaxed and I don't feel stressed, so it must work for me.

What do you do to relax? Are you taking care of yourself? You have to take care of you before you can take care of others. You have to make time for yourself. Everyone needs downtime. I know a number of young (30's-40's) mothers who have anywhere from 2-4 kids each. They are all runners-most are very new to the sport. They run 5k's, 10k's half-marathons and full-marathons. They work and either have full-time working husbands or are divorced, but somehow they make the time for themselves each day. To some, running is relaxing. It calms the mind, clears your thoughts and also releases endorphins which allow you to feel better about yourself. These mothers seem very relaxed when I see them at work or at social gatherings. I am impressed with their drive to take care of themselves so that they can take care of their families. They relax through running and that works for them!

Set aside 30 minutes a day just for you. Wake up a half an hour before the family, go to bed a half hour later or take off some time when your spouse gets home. If you are a single parent, work something out with a friend or neighbor. Watch their kids while that parent relaxes and then he/she can watch your kids while you do the same. It can be a  simple activity: meditate, stretch out, do yoga, walk, run, watch TV, Facebook, look at old pictures, garden... anything, as long as you are relaxing and not doing household chores at the time.

You will find that by giving yourself one half hour each day, you will actually have the time and energy to get through the rest of your day. You will work smarter not harder and you will work with less stress on your mind. Try it. Relax!!!

Teach your children to relax, too. This seems to be the generation of kids having to be overly  involved in sports, dance, skating, clubs, etc. Every day the kids have to do something, be somewhere, have something scheduled. It's ok to let them just go outside and play and it is ok to let them just relax. They can sit under a tree and read a book, ride a bike, play in a treehouse, fish, take an afternoon nap. They have to learn at a young age how to relax so they are prepared better for life's challenges, too!!!

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