5 Ways to Relax Right Now

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Got chaos?

Sometimes it seems nearly impossible to get into a healthy routine and change habits while taking care of husband, family, kids, work, housekeeping, bills… basically, LIFE is STRESSFUL!  Stress takes its toll on body, mind and spirit.

Permission to take care of yourself

We are here to tell you that it is okay to take care of yourself too! We moms tend to put our own needs last on the list. Look at your calendar. If the only thing you see on the calendar with your name on it is something like “annual doctor checkup,” or not even that!, then you are probably having trouble finding down time.

Rest needs to be intentional

Jesus made time for rest and prayer (Mark 1:35). He instructed the disciples to rest as well (Mark 6:31-32). Moms are constantly “pouring themselves out” for the needs of their family. Taking a mom break from the chaos provides much needed time for mental and spiritual health, as well as providing many physical health benefits!

God promises to wrap His arms around us and bear our burdens.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

In learning to relax and rest ourselves in God, you will find He gently leads us away from our innate response to worry. He wants us to know in all things that “He’s got this!”

Here are 5 tips to help you physically, mentally and spiritually break away from the chaos.

⭐️ Meditation

Mediation is often seen as a way of “emptying yourself,” sometimes by reciting a word with no content over and over again. That is far from the original meaning of the word. To meditate actually means “to think over, contemplate, dwell upon.” It involves being intentional about actually adding content and not removing it. 

Be sure that the content of your meditation is not your schedule, your need-to-be-balanced checkbook, or your social media! Opening up the Word of God (Colossians 3:16) and a good devotional are excellent starting points for meditation.

One of Kelly’s favorite devotionals is: Becoming a Woman of Excellence

One of Cheryl’s favorites is: Treasury of Daily Prayer

Beyond spiritual growth, which is reason enough, meditation also reduces blood pressure, improves heart rate and improves cognitive skills, just to name a few benefits.   

⭐️ Contract – Relax

Lie on your back. Start at your toes, curl them, hold 3-5 seconds, then relax. Now point your feet down, hold the contraction. Then relax. Keep moving up your body contracting and relaxing the major muscle groups. End by tucking your chin down like you’re making a double chin. Repeat another time if needed for full-body relaxation.

⭐️ Daydreaming

When you let your mind wander, you recharge brain power, which is refreshing and relaxing! Every 45 minutes of intense concentration or focus, take a 5-15 minute break and let the daydreams flow. Some of the best problem solving occurs during daydreams. The unconscious mind gets a chance to be heard.. Rather than being a waste of time, sometimes there is a sudden gushing forth of novel ideas.  “A daydream …is just a means of eavesdropping on those novel thoughts generated by the unconscious. We think we’re wasting time, but, actually, an intellectual fountain really is spurting.” (newyorker.com)

⭐️ Walk outside

Connecting with nature does the same thing daydreaming does for your brain. Take a quick (or long) walk to help you relax. Walking releases endorphins (happy hormones) and enhances cognitive functions as well. There is something intrinsically rewarding about seeing a point on the horizon and conquering it!  Check this out for health benefits of walking.

⭐️ Deep Breathing

Your stress level and or pain level can be dramatically decreased with deep breathing. Try the sitting posture recommendations of the Postural Restoration Institute while taking the deep breaths.   Always breathe in through your nose (fill up your chest with air) and out through your mouth. Push all the air out and pause 3 seconds before the next breath in. Do this in sets of 4-5 breaths for a total of 5 times.

You Don’t Need to Do All of these Tips to relax

One or two above the above tips will probably fit into your life better than the others. What if those sweet little ones are stomping playdoh into the carpet while you are daydreaming? Does your relaxing walk include a small, screaming child in a stroller? Then it’s not all that relaxing, am I right?

I’ll be very honest, I’m a working-outside-the-home mom and I’ve found that I can do most of these things at work on a lunch break or a break between patients. It is much harder to relax at home! I can do a Bible study if I get up before the kids, and sometimes I can also walk on my driveway (when my husband cuts me some slack and keeps the kids inside after dinner!)

Actually, sitting here watching my silly kids laugh and dance is pretty relaxing. But that’s my life and yours is probably totally different. The key is that something will work for you to be able to release what is stressful and put God’s blessings into perspective. What are your favorite ways to relax? Tell us!

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