Tag Archives: relax

Staying AWARE; the eye of the storm

I must say I was pretty surprised not to find “moving” on the list of the 10 most stressful life events. And when you factor in a cross-country move with a significant other and an animal, I’d expect it to at least be in there!

When I moved to Austin at the end of 2013, I was lucky. I was by myself, felt I had nothing to lose, and had someone there ready to accept me (and my stuff) with open arms and empty drawers. Although I loved the weather, my teaching gigs, my students and my clients, the energy and atmosphere of the South just doesn’t work for me, and it’s almost immediately noticeable when I’m back in Boston. So last week, I flew home with 2 big and 2 small suitcases, received by a gracious friend and her equally gracious beau, and hit the ground running on the apartment-hunt front. I can feel the almost 24-like timer in the corner of my screen, counting down the days I have to find something that’s do-able for my family for a year.

I’d love to say that being a Mind-body Wellness Consultant means I’ve taken GREAT care of myself. But honestly, it’s been quite hard.

I was up way too late the night of arrival, busy catching up, socializing, and then wound so tight sleep eluded me. The following 2-3 days were a frantic pile of running around–renting a car until mine arrived, looking at places I’d already lined up, texting / emailing / calling multiple people trying to show me places, etc. I ran around from mid-morning to early evening, and then last night had an agonizing decision to make over two “doable” but “not quite right” places I finally turned down, when 3 tosses of the coin came up tails and that was clearly the answer from the Universe. Talk about stress.

But I will recognize and even give myself some “kudos” (wow, that word hasn’t come up in a few years ;-)! Even as I was driving around–which BTW is SO SO much easier here than in Austin!–I became AWARE that I wasn’t hydrated; that I was hungry; that I was tired. When I NOTICED these things, I ACTED to make better choices in the next moments. I stopped at Whole Foods for a lunch break. I got a quinoa salad thing (at Starbucks of all places!) in the morning and put it in my lunch sack for later…I bought bottles of water and healthy GF nutrition bars. I even took my pile of supplements with me in a little plastic baggie–and I haven’t yet missed a dose. I also haven’t missed a day of my morning yoga practice, because I KNOW how much I need it.

This morning was more of the same, but after I turned in the rental car, I’m in, no where to go and nothing to do. In some ways, having this self-care day is exactly what I needed. I’m ensconced in tea and “Tuesdays with Morrie” (which I started on the plane and just finished). I had my first “meal” this morning around 11 o’clock: rotisserie chicken, basmati rice, and green beans, all smothered in olive oil. Ah…so soothing. When realtors text me, “I’m sorry, I can’t see anything until tomorrow.” And that’s true. For today, I’m hanging out in the eye of the storm. Trying to find some bit of stability, peace, and comfort with everything whirling around me.

What have you done to find some peace and stillness when everything around you is in upheaval? Do you NOTICE and CHANGE your behavior before it’s too late and you’re completely spent? I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts and advice!

Won’t you join me for a nice cup of tea?

Relaxing Can be Challenging

My friends all know me as the one who never stops going. Like the infamous Energizer Bunny, some used to tell me that when they heard what I did before lunch, they were exhausted just at the thought. “Doing” has always been something I’m good at. “Being” and relaxing, or as my friend Amy says, “being a bump on a log” has always been challenging for me. I know that I’m not alone in that either.

Truth is I’ve slowed down a lot of the the years–especially in 2014, mostly with the help of several big life changes. But my body is starting to say no, and so I feel as though I need to do even more relaxing in 2015. If relaxing more, reducing stress more is your plan too, let’s connect and share ideas. It’s so important!

Afternoon Tea (with a Twist)

IMG_8609Anyway, inspired by my recent trip to New Zealand, I purchased a coffee/tea press, “Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down“, and an entire tin of assorted tea biscuits (i.e. tiny cookies). At precisely 4 pm (a total coincidence, honestly!) I pressed some tea out of fresh ginger, lemongrass, turmeric, and a sprig of rosemary. I then selected 3 biscuits from the tin and placed them gently on a small pretty plate. A mug, napkin, two lit candles at the table, and relaxation patiently waited for me to sit.

Though it may seem amusing, I actually set a the kitchen timer. 30 minutes to savor my tea, allow the biscuits to melt in my mouth, and enjoy a light funny book. I didn’t need the 30 minutes to remind me to stop. I needed it to remind me to continue.

I’m pleased to say that the one time the “get the ice for your back so you could do that while you sit here” thought popped into my head, I told it “later” and returned to focus on relaxing. It was like a meditation: “yes mind, I hear you wanting to multitask, but I’m choosing not to.” The second time my brain said something more like, “Is it time yet? It must be close. I don’t think I can sit much longer”. And then the timer went off.

Truly feeling warm, grounded, and relaxed, I went about the rest of my afternoon.

The Relaxation Ripple Effect

Only I didn’t do anything after that either!

Given my recent back issues I’ve not been sleeping well, and even after the sugar of the biscuits I felt just how tired I really was. So I crawled up onto my Reiki (massage) table–which is the one place my back always feels better–covered up with a blanket, and closed my eyes.

Another 30 minutes later and my entire body felt better. I hadn’t fallen asleep, but was in a state of absolute stillness. It took a little while to get there. While lying, thoughts would arise about stuff to do, but when they did, I’d reassure myself that rest is what I needed in this moment. I kept refocusing on resting, just like I’d refocused on my tea and biscuits at the table.

Tea and biscuits, a faux nap on a Reiki table–both were just the restoration I needed, timer or not! So much so that I ended up calming, mindfully cooking a lovely dinner for my partner, that was completely ready just as he walked in the door! I was in a good mood, and we had a lovely evening together.

What about you?

Have your own tips and tricks for getting your body and mind to relax, or is it easy for you? Share your stories here. Or try one of mine, and let me know how you feel after!