Learn to Relax

The Importance of Relaxation

In today's day and age when we are busier than ever before and studies show that we are spending more of our time at work, it is even more important to find time for ourselves.

So often it seems there are never enough hours in the day to get things done. For those who own or care for a home, there are chores around the house and garden. For others who also have children, there is always something to be done such as cooking meals, taking them to sports practice, mending a scraped knee.

For people who run their own businesses there is always something demanding their attention, often requiring them to stay at the office for ever-increasing hours. And there are those who have to attend to all the previous mentioned areas. One could go on and on about the demands of every day life and how those demands differ for each individual - I am feeling stressed by simply writing about it. So we get to the topic of the article - the Importance of Relaxation.

A vital part of life is about finding time to ones-self. It is of utmost importance to our body, mind and soul to have quiet time or to participate in an activity that simply enables us to switch off from everything pressing in our world.

Relaxation is vital for a healthy mind and is required to maintain motivation and interest in our lives, our careers and in ourselves each day. Not being able to relax and unwind can be damaging to your health. Even when there are huge demands on your life and you may have a family, a career, a home and be the president of the local tennis club amongst other weekly commitments, it is still necessary to find your own space. And you CAN do it, you just need to start prioritising and also learning to say "no".

If you find yourself ever lying awake at night, unable to switch off or feeling as though you never stop running around, then you may be one of those people who finds it impossible to say "No" and to relax.

For those of you out there who know you need to relax but simply don't know where to start, we have put together a few pointers for you and asked some of our friends and colleagues for their ideas on how they spend time relaxing:

  • Learn to say "No".
    Be selfish occasionally, the world can go on without you, someone else CAN baby-sit, drive your kids somewhere, the meeting can wait, the garden/washing/house work can wait.

  • Ask yourself - "If I got hit by a bus tomorrow, would all these things I am worrying about really matter?" - you'd be surprised how many times the answer to this question is "No".

  • Have a Bath - It's true, having a bath really is wonderful! I forgot how lovely it was to lie in a bath full of warm water, smelling of delicious scents and closing my eyes. Even if you're only in there for 10 minutes - it truly is fabulous!

  • Put your favourite music on and turn it up loud! Dance around the lounge room and who cares who is watching!

  • Play with your pets - Studies support the theory that those who own animals live longer healthier lives. Watching your dog tear around the back yard chasing a ball or patting your cat and listening to its purr is a great way to take your mind off things.

  • Go For A Drive - Now this one isn't for everyone, as some people cannot relax when they are driving. But if you like to drive, drive somewhere pretty, stop the car and sit and look at the surrounding nature.

  • Go to the Beach

  • Read a book

  • Draw a picture - it doesn't matter if you're a natural-born artist or not. Just getting some pencils or textas and drawing whatever comes to mind can be great fun. The same can be said for painting!

  • Gardening - there is much to be said for grabbing a shovel and digging in the garden!

  • Go for a walk

  • Pack a picnic

    We hope you can utilise some of these ideas. These things may seem incredibly obvious, however you may be surprised how quickly we forget. Make yourself a list of your most favoured ways to relax and stick them up on the fridge so that you remind yourself to do some form of relaxation at least once a week.

- Michelle Palmer-Weidemann


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