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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Destressing 101

For this Labour Day weekend, I wish all of you at least one hour of relaxation, renewal, rejuvenation and resurgance.

With all the stresses, cares and worries of daily life, it is necessary to make time for the contemplation of peace, of the beauty of creation. Did you really need more than 200 studies to prove that mind, body and soul need time to destress and detoxify?

Salons and spas make a living at pampering and beautifying our physical selves, but what time do we give to pampering and beautifying our mental outlook?

Yoga does a great job of reviving mind, body and spirit. Tai Chi, and meditation also are great for reinvigoration. But, what about building such practices into your daily care plan?

One suggestion is to have a certain spot in your home dedicated to peace, serenity and tranquility. I have a curtain, behind which I have a picture of my green Tara, a picture of Jamaica, a notebook, fresh flowers, a bowl of stones and my yoga mat. When I get stressed during the day, I take a moment to close my eyes and think about how lovely it will be to take time for myself in my little cubbyhole.

Just the thought of a calm spot is enough to lower my stress level. Here are eight more suggestions for destressing 101:

2. Take a warm bath. Remember the old commercial? "Calgon, take me away!"

3. Read a good book. Choose a bestseller, chose an old favourite, just choose one!

4. Listen to good music. Remember how good it feels to just dance and enjoy music? If it's Mozart or the Pogues, just put on what you like and let it go, baby!

5. Take deep breaths. Here's an easy one: inhale in for 5 seconds, exhale out of your mouth for 5 seconds, repeat 5 times.

6. Use aromatherapy. My favourite is lavender, but there is a world of fragrances that will calm, soothe and relax. Candles, bath beads, body scrubs...let your imagination flow!

7. Use visualization. Shut off the tv, dvd, computer, blackberry etc. Get into your comfy chair, sofa or on the floor. Close your eyes. Think of the place you would like to be most, of the person you love the most, of the best time you ever had in your life. Don't worry if you fall asleep; that means your body needs the rest and you did it through relaxing your body.

8. Spend time outdoors. Get to a place where there are trees, by the ocean, by the mountain top...just get out!

So use this long weekend to revive the inner you. Your life will thank you!

"As I continue down this journey of life, I know one thing: It's the beauty that sustains and nourishes me..."

Kate Porter, Life In Beauty

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