Between work, kids and the chaos of everyday obligations, most women are stressed—and stretched—to the max. Each day has most women playing different roles: wife, mother, boss, partner, volunteer, employee. And, frankly, the obligations can be overwhelming.
Telling a busy woman to just relax is lip service. Every woman knows she needs to find time to relax. But how? And…when?
Solving the overstressed pressures of daily life as a woman is about setting priorities. Most women never set themselves as a priority…ever.
There is no ‘good time’ to relax, any more than there is a ‘good time’ to buy a house, get married, have a baby, start a new job or take on a new volunteer obligation. For women who are coming undone at the seams, the answer to the overwhelming sense of stress and pressure is to simply pick a time for you. Schedule you in the daily planner….because YOU are important.
As for winding down and relaxing, that part is easy. However, relaxation should NOT involve screens, electronic devices or distractions. To really relax, plan for quiet and comfort.
No, you don’t have to hum “ommmm,” unless you really feel the urge. Meditation is a state of relaxation: of calming the mind and soothing the soul. The Conscious Life offers online instruction on how beginners may learn to meditate. While you can take professional classes to learn techniques, the easiest way to meditate is be mindful of the breath and the breathing pattern. Breathing is the key to meditation. Listen to music if that inspires you. Keep the music wordless, however. Words beyond one simple thought can be a distraction. If a word or thought doesn’t work, let thoughts drift to a place that is relaxing and safe. Then let your body and mind go there.
Gemstones and crystals are often linked to certain energies that help relax the body. Even if you feel foolish at first, try wearing gems or crystals around the neck or purchase smooth stones as a ‘worry stone’ or touch stone to see if they make a difference. Worry stones were very popular in the 1970s and the unique imprinted and smooth shape allowed the gems and crystals to be held between the thumb and forefinger when anxiety or worries struck. Popular gems and stones that are often used as ‘touch stones’ include amethyst, quartz and even shells like abalone. Amethyst is a popular choice as it “is believed to minimize the stress and anxiety of the wearer.” Rose quartz often is associated with love, and abalone channels the beauty of the sea. Worry stones still can be purchased online or at holistic retailers.
Not much of a sit-in-silence kind of gal? You don't have to be to find space to relax. Some women, for instance, find exercise to be incredibly freeing and relaxing. Running often helps the mind let go of worries, as the body is focused on breathing and keeping a solid pace. Heading to the gym and hitting the treadmill, or jumping into a kickboxing class with some fun music, also helps the body and mind unwind. Exercise releases endorphins, which then makes us feel happy and energized. And bonus - you've probably burned enough calories to truly enjoy a few scoops of chocolate ice cream, a guaranteed strategy to relaxation ;)
Nothing relaxes like a spa treatment. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to schedule a manicure, pedicure, facial or massage. Feeling pampered helps make the body feel (and look!) good. Plus, having your hands massaged during a manicure hits pressure points that trigger a relaxing response. If you’re worried about denting the budget (we’ve all known the struggle!), treat yourself to a DIY spa day at home. Paint your nails and toes, buy a face mask or just soak in a hot bath.
Regardless of how you choose to relax, find a way, a time, and a place to take time for you. Stress is toxic for the body, and busy women who are overstressed place their bodies at risk for sickness and other health issues. There is time in the day for these meditation & relaxation tips. You are important, so make YOU a priority!
The above post was provided by Naomi Shaw, who lives in Southern California with her husband and three kids. She is a free-lance journalist and stay at home mom that enjoys writing on fashion, beauty, jewelry, and health. Follow her @naomijshaw or visit her website at www.