Relaxation Rituals

If you asked me what my favorite relaxation activity is, it would for sure involve a self nourishing practice like a warm bath, restorative yoga or a visit to someone else’s healing hands. These practices ease the never-ending sticky accumulation of stress that builds up just from living our full lives.  For me it’s been a steady climb with goals coming to fruition and lots of ambitious efforts happening all at once. Life is consistently borders on not just multi-tasking but SUPER-tasking. After 10 years of small doses of concentrated downtime, the husband and I recently made a special occasion getaway happen. I was so excited to break free of my typical task master mode, but even in paradise it’s a challenge to feel not only relaxed but also at peace.

Looking at this photo, you may assume that is my most relaxed self. Wellll, I WAS getting there at this point, but to be honest, I crashed landed on that beautiful island the day earlier and had completely forgotten how to let. it. go. Even with having a (mostly) regular self care ritual at home and knowing a thing or two about simple techniques to elicit my own sweet relaxation response- this was an immersion situation and I felt a tensy bit pressured to be relaxed AND at peace. After all this was our long imagined dream trip as a reward for years of exerted effort in building a life!  Now I did find my off button in time to enjoy this long awaited deep dive into rejuvenation and even managed to make peace with leaving the to-do lists behind despite the initial vacation amnesia. But it left me wondering…

Why is SLOWING down DIFFICULT anyways?

Shouldn’t we all naturally want to find calm and quiet to nurture our softer, soulful (big S) Selves?

I think we do… it is likely our connection to this place of relaxation and peace is often buried under a pile of distractions, even positive ones like running your dream business, fun social commitments, or just generally being hyper scheduled without EVER giving yourself space to even accidently relax.
How can you find relaxation and peace in everyday life when an island spa is not on the agenda?
I firmly believe and am an advocate for identifying your own unique formula of self care activities that lands you in a peaceful state of mind. This formula is likely balanced with both movement and stillness.

Here’s my optimal ritual daily or many times a week ritual that integrates physical & emotional release and well as spiritual connection.  The basic premise is that we are nourishing ourselves on a few levels regularly and by this we are better equipped to serve the world around us.

  • 15-30 min brisk walk outside or movement linked yoga practice (concentration on breath) 
  • 30 min seasonally (or emotionally) supportive yin yoga postures 
  • 15-30 min mindful stillness in meditation 
We consider it a MUST to plug in and recharge our phones when alerted by that red battery light. Now can you turn some of that urgency on yourself? Replenish the reserves and do it often.

It is important to be KIND and flexible with ourselves with these rituals. They may look different depending on the season, time of the month or how much sleep I have gotten the night before. There are days when I creatively carve out a few minutes of stillness by sitting in my car at the grocery store or taking an extended evening shower or bath. One of the most effective ways to find my breath is by aromatically breathing in an essential oil. This immediately influences the olfactory nerve in our brain to support your desired state of mind immediately. It’s a fast and safe way to affect our mood without medication.

We have to give ourselves permission to relax, be still and breathe. NO, you are not lazy or unmotivated and will be feeling better in your body for it.

With heart,