Our contest winner Rebecca’s relaxation idea was a family fun night, with meditation, yoga and laughter with her family. And now… the top 10 countdown of runner-up suggestions. Thanks to everyone who entered!
10. Julie and Amber suggest a mini get-away. Julie says hers is “having a hand massage with a manicure, or foot massage with a pedicure. Both are very relaxing to me. They require that I set aside everything else and be present in the moment, since I can’t use my hands or move about. It also feels like I’m treating myself to something, which adds to feeling special.” Amber likes “drinking hot tea, taking a hot bath, and getting Swedish massages.”
9. Abe enjoys “going over to a friend’s house for a barbecue, having a beer and a burger, and shmoozing.”
8. Jeisea and Louise find their gardens relaxing. Jeisea “chills out by watering the garden. Falling water is enormously calming and I get to observe the minutiae of garden life as it captivates the senses.” And Louise finds that “working with my plants is very stress reducing – whether they’re in the house or in the garden. How can one feel stressed being with beautiful flowers?”
7. Diana loves knitting, which is “by far my best relaxation method. For whatever reason, it’s the only thing that turns my mind off and gives me a chance to let go of all my worries and fears. It’s an awesome hobby. My work isn’t great yet, but the journey’s a lot of fun.”
6. Music is popular, too. Louise writes that “I’m an amateur musician. When I sit down to practice, it’s so relaxing that hours can pass before I realize it. Sometimes when I have a new piece to practice, I’m reluctant to sit down to work. But once I’m playing the music, it makes me relax.” And Milton “finds nothing more effective than a pair of headphones and “Eyes of the World” and “China Cat Sunflower,” but ONLY from the disc “Without a Net”! Although I suppose just about any early- to mid-career Coltrane or later years Frank Morgan discs would be about as transportingly relaxing as can be…”
5. Being with your partner got some votes. Will writes “With Crohn’s and migraines, I’m constantly looking for ways to relax, as well as distract myself from the pain. The best way I’ve found is having sex. By focusing my attention away from my physical pain, it subsides and I can sleep peacefully. There’s never a bad time for this kind of pain relief – unless it would get you fired, arrested or make you the butt of the jokes at many a family function ” And Micah recommends the PG version, “cuddling with my wife. I’ve actually been able to lose headaches simply by laying down and embracing my wife. It’s also the most straightforward way for me to move beyond states of depression.”
4. Animals help us relax too. Lauren writes that “I love playing with my Hamster, Hammy. Watching him run, finding new things to feed him, and watching him put a gigantic carrot in his mouth pouch is funny.” Nathan likes hugging his cat and “nibbling on really, really, really good quality chocolate (min 70% cocoa solids), and drifting away into my happy place (a sunny hillside from my childhood).” Yummmm.
3. Sarah suggests “sitting by the beach with a good book, and walking along looking for shells.”
2. Creativity is also relaxing. Dara suggests “doing ceramics. Take a piece of cold, damp clay. You can use all the muscles and tendons in your hands to work the clay; use your fingers to massage it, pinch it, poke it, squeeze it, flatten it with your palm, or strike it with your fist to pound it into shape. Your hands are at work all day long, whether typing, grasping, carrying, or making. Now you can relieve all that tension that’s built up in your hands into the clay. As you continue to work with the clay, the tension in your body will vanish too. Liberate your imagination and creativity as you reach your Zen state.”
1. And our best runner-up suggestion is from Louise. Very simple, and very relaxing when we allow ourselves a break. Louise “love to take an afternoon snooze.”
Many of the suggestions involve losing ourselves in another pursuit, or letting our minds wander. Using our senses helps us relax… through music, the texture of clay, a juicy hamburger, and the smells of the garden.
I hope you take 1 or 2 of the suggestions here and try them today. Happy relaxing!!
Thanks to My Summer Vacation for the beach picture!