Friday, September 11, 2009

The "R" Word--Relax

Do you know how to relax and reduce stress? Frankly, I’m not very good at it, but I’m better than I used to be. When I was practicing law and had the occasional day off (about once every six months) I would spend more than half of it trying to figure out what I was going to do. Because, after all, I can’t just waste it, right? So I would waste it trying to figure out what to do so I wouldn’t waste it. So when I ask if you know how to relax, I must first ask myself that question. Here’s what I’ve learned.

There’s all the standard stuff, like take a bubble bath, a walk on the beach, listen to soft music, do yoga, take deep breaths, get a massage, take a long shower, read a good book…these are all good things. But relaxing isn’t necessarily about being quiet and still. Try dancing. I don’t mean the slow, just swaying your body kind. Put on some Credence Clearwater Revival and rock! Let your body go, be goofy, and don’t think about anything else. You can’t relax if, while taking your bath or your walk on the beach, you’re still thinking about what you have to get done.

There are also some basic techniques that help with relaxing and reducing stress, such as getting plenty of sleep, and good nutrition. And don't miss the chance to laugh. Laughter is so important. Find something to laugh about, read some funny jokes, watch a sitcom, or dig out old photos from high school. I’ll bet they’ll make you laugh.

If all that fails, you can do what I do when I really need a break. I drive to the movie theater, buy the largest popcorn and a box of chocolate covered raisons, shut off my cell phone, and watch a no-brainer movie.

What's your favorite way to relax?

Teresa Burrell