Interestingly this is a question that often stumps people when I ask it at their initial consultation. They usually have to take some time to think a little or the answer is “I don’t really rest” or “I watch television” (which is not always the same as relaxing, as we often do it out of habit).
It can be really important to have some time set aside each week to consciously rest and relax. Ideally it would be daily – but with busy lives, the London commute, dealing with family and so on it’s easy to let it slip down the list. I know it often slips off the list for me and I need to consciously make sure I build it into my weekly schedule.
I’ve been chatting with my clients coming for acupuncture over the last couple of weeks – and we’ve come up with some ideas on ways to help rest and relax.
Enjoying a Cup of Tea
I love this idea – of taking the time to brewing a pot of tea and sitting and just drinking your tea. You could try some of the great herbal tea options around or your favourite traditional english tea.
Take some time and just stopping and resting and taking some time out of your day for you.
I have to admit that I am an on again, off again in my meditation practice. I know that I feel better in many ways when I have this as part of my daily routine – but it also often slips to the side when I am busy or if I just get out of the habit.
If you are new to meditation there are hundreds of resources available and sometimes it’s just about finding what’s right for you. Here are some of the apps and websites that I’ve found helpful and often recommend to my patients. Sometimes it’s worth trying a couple to find the one that works best for you.
Or perhaps a class would be better for you – take a look on Meetup.com or other local websites to find a meditation class or group local to you.
Listening to Music
When was the last time that you just sat and listened to your favourite music? Not whilst on the go, or doing the housework or some other task but just sitting or laying and really listening and absorbing the music with all your senses.
Pop on your headphones and tune in to a favourite – or try something new.
Another simple way to take some time out to rest is some conscious breathing. Often breath is included as part of a meditation practice, but you can take some time to do it alone – and even better -wherever you are.
Set a timer on your phone for as little as 60 seconds and just take that time to focus on your breath. It doesn’t have to be in any special way – just stop and focus. See how many times you can do this throughout the day – stopping and connecting.
Taking a Bath
This is a favourite for many of the mums that I see – even if they don’t do it as often as they would like. Use that time in the bath to really settle in to relax. Allow the water to soothe your body and mind. Add some epsom salts or essential oils to the bath and take the time to enjoy that time to yourself.
Of course this is one of my favourite ways to include some relaxation in my week (and yes I am slightly biased). Many people find acupuncture to be relaxing, not only through the treatment but in the hours and days afterwards. Settling in to that time for you and allowing your body to relax carries on throughout the week.
What’s your favourite way to add some rest and relaxation to your week? Any suggestions or ideas that I’ve missed – I’ll add them in for the next installment.