Rosebuds, today is officially Summer! What a lovely day to kickoff our June Cruisin’ issue. This issue is all about slowing down and learning to take the scenic route. Our time is flooded with work projects and extracurricular activities that have us running from point A to B, leaving us out of breath. By continually neglecting our need for rest, we inevitably send ourselves the message that we must carry the weight of the world on our shoulders; and if we miss a beat everything will come crashing at our feet. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. Actually, there comes a point when putting in the extra hour isn’t only unproductive but also counter productive to our physical and emotional state. Plus, devoiding ourselves of rest wreaks havoc on our relationships; as spending time with the those who we love most slowly turns into an obligation rather than an outpouring of our affection. In order to flourish and prosper we must clear our minds, slow down, and take the scenic route.
Learning to find rhythm and balance is essential for our body, mind and soul. Purposefully, taking the time to reset our inner compasses nourishes our souls and heals our hearts. We are able to connect to others and ourselves more intimately when we embody relaxation. Earth was created with rhythm and cycles. The world as we know it beats to a rhythm. From seasonal, circadian, lunar to tidal rhythm; each have a profound influence on our daily walks. Even our breathe exudes rhythm…. inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale! What better time than Summer to take the time to slow down and enjoy the scenic route. Summer is a season that allows for us to curate spontaneity and allow time for unexpected joy to enter into our daily routines. Let’s take the scenic route together this Summer, find the rhythm of our souls, and explore the art of relaxation…..
How to Relax
We often forget the simple yet extremely restorative power of breathing. Our bodies naturally have a built in break that can be found even in the simple activity of breathing. Try it for yourself…. Inhale through your noise and exhale through your mouth five times. Notice the natural pause between your inhale and exhale, and then between your exhale and your next inhale.
A very important lesson to cultivate is loving and caring for yourself. This can take on many forms from taking a hot bath, getting a massage to dabbing on some essentials oils. Some people find tending to their home or whipping up delicious and nourishing meal relaxing. However you choose to tend make sure it brings you calmness, order, and the reminder that you are cared for.
A great way to unwind is by writing in a journal. Make sure that this activity is a stress relief for you instead of another task on your to-do-list. I enjoy finding scriptures and quotes that remind me that I’m valued and loved. This is extremely therapeutic throughout the week when the stress starts to accumulate, I can easily recall or look up those lines to ease my anxieties.
When we’re stressed, we tend to focus on everything that is going wrong, which makes it even harder to unwind. Instead, try focusing on the top five great things that happen to you today. Reflect on these positive things as you let go of your stress.
Have you ever tried to unwind but your thoughts keep returning to your endless to-do lists? Instead sit down for a few moments and compile a list of things you can accomplish today and in what order and then let the rest go until the next day.
Getting clear also includes focusing on what you can and can’t control. When you are in the midst of a stressful situation think precisely about what your concerned about, then ask yourself if you have any control over it. If the answer is no, and often it is, let it go and trust that God is control.
Play is my favorite way to unwind. Play is anything that’s purposeless and pleasurable. For instance, going to the park, throwing a football, singing in the rain, or playing tag are great ways to forget about your stress and have fun.
Another great activity that helps us release any stored up energy we may carry is gentle movement. Most of the time we don't associate unwinding with movement, however, doing something active allows us to release the stress and anxiety that may have built up over the week. Take a walk around the block, better yet bring your fun loving pooch with for extra joy for you and them both!
9. Enjoy Nature
This coincides with the previous tip. Get outside and let your mind soak in the quietness of nature. Engaging your senses is a powerful way to relax. Observe nature around you, what do you see, hear and smell?
In order to truly unwind you must understand what works for you. Every person has there own unique way of unwinding..... some people enjoy going for a run while others prefer sitting down to read a book.
The most important thing you can do is learn to embrace and schedule in time for relaxation. We often yearn for days where we can find some sort of relief from our relentless schedules yet when the opportunity arises, we neglect it out of guilt. Instead of feeling guilty for slowing down embrace taking the scenic route. Go ahead and roll down those windows, and let the Summer breeze tousle your hair. When you’ve returned from your journey you’ll be more refreshed and ready to conquer the day!
What keeps you from taking the break that your mind, body, and soul crave?
Remember, that nothing you do externally can add or subtract value from who you are. You are valuable simply because you are you! Your identity doesn’t come from the outside in, but instead from inside out. You add value to this world by being the best you and allowing kindness to flow from your heart into others.
Hugs and Kisses,