Summer may be a time of supposed relaxation, but some of us find ourselves busier than ever. Between the pool, the beach, fireworks, picnics and family reunions, we may find it difficult to find some downtime to hear ourselves think. One thing to remember, it’s important to take time for yourself. Slow down, stop rushing. Yes, it’s good to have fun, but it’s good to carve out a few moments to keep our minds in good working order.
So, as a mother of three little ones, I’ve had to refine the art of relaxation, taking those little breaks within a busy day that recharge you.
Here are five ways to help you relax, even in the midst of summer chaos:
1. Journaling – During the day, when the children are most active, I don’t always have the time to write down the odd thoughts that occur to me. I use my cell phone, or a pad of paper that I keep in my purse, to jot down the thoughts that pop up in the course of waiting for the camp bus or hanging in the car while camp is winding up. You can use journaling to write down a specific thought, sketch and observation or even write down an emotion.
2. Take pictures – There is magic in the ordinary, believe it or not. A bird sitting on a telephone wire, a squirrel making its cautious way across a street or sidewalk. In my travels, I have seen birds, cats, squirrels, deer, dogs, groundhogs, turtles, ducks and geese. The other day, I saw a mother and father goose with their four goslings. I snapped a quick picture and every time I look at that picture, it reminds me of spring and renewal. Pictures don’t always have to be spectacular. They just have to be special to you. Note: the picture doesn’t have to be posted and shared across thirty five social networks. Keep some pictures as special and private to you.
3. Look at pictures – I have old National Geographic, Ranger Rick and other nature magazines. Some of the pictures are awe-inspiring and breath taking. Pictures can give you a visit to another part of the world, even if it’s only for five minutes. A beautiful ocean scene from Bali can refresh you enough to face that afternoon traffic.
4. Talk to your pet – We recently rescued a pit bull after our American Bulldog/terrier mix passed away in January. What a beautiful dog she is, with such sensitive eyes. If I find myself getting stressed out or dwelling too much on the negative, I take a moment to pet her on the head and look into those trusting brown eyes. She’s a great listener.
5. Aromatherapy – Spruce up your home with some new scents. Some new potpourri or room spray can give you a whole new outlook on life. My favorites are citrus scents – I keep a small bottle in the glove compartment so I can freshen up the car anytime I need a boost.
What’s your five minute fix to brighten your day or to eliminate stress? Leave them in the comments!