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The Gift of Relaxation

The Gift of Relaxation

The gift of relaxation is a huge gift and one that often gets overlooked in our busy lives.

But, the practice of continuing to find “The Gift Is In The Present” allows me the opportunity to stop and appreciate how I can find other gifts in my life.

While it would be nice to just take a long vacation or check out of work each day for a few hours, most of us have limited time and opportunities to truly relax. And these days, “relaxing” isn’t in many people’s vocabulary. Between the pandemic, new working from home rules, homeschooling, new apps to learn and now the holidays, when do any of us have time to relax? This practice of finding relaxation in my day gives me the opportunity to stop and appreciate the gift of relaxation and how powerful it can truly be.

The Gift of Relaxation in as Little as 10 Minutes

The Gift of Relaxation | Photo by Lonny McLaughlin

Most days we can usually find 10 minutes here and there for ourselves. Over the last few years, I’ve found 10 ways to relax in 10 minutes or less that I’d like to share with you. Try giving yourself the gift of relaxation a few times a day, and you’ll find that you might not need that long vacation after all (although you still may want one!).

  1. Meditate. The benefits of meditating are many. Experts often claim that even just one minute of meditation per hour is enough to gain benefits.
  2. Practice breathing. How do you practice breathing? Your breath is one of the few parts of your physiology you can control. Slower, deeper, breaths will help you relax. If you don’t have an app or SmartWatch to help you practice, focus on the feeling of your breath passing through your mouth or nostrils. Count your breaths if you find that helps. Quick tip: Practicing deep breathing for only 2 minutes brings huge benefits!
  3. Visualize a peaceful scene. Our moods follow our thoughts. Take a moment and think about something pleasant (an example is the photo above). More than likely, you’ll experience a more enjoyable mood — especially after 10 minutes.
  4. Spend time with your pet. Pets are a source of nurture, relaxation and love. They require little and ask for even less and they’re always happy to see you. Cuddle up with your pet for 10 minutes and notice how much better you feel. Your pet will love the extra attention, too. Don’t have a pet? Borrow a friend’s or find a stuffed animal to cuddle up with.
  5. Talk to a friend. Call up a friend, or even better, have a face-to-face on FaceTime or Zoom. Ten minutes spent chatting with a trusted confidant can do wonders for your stress levels. You’ll also be maintaining your relationships during a time when we can’t always see everyone in person as often as we’d like.
  6. Take a short walk. A long walk is even better, but if you only have 10 minutes, a short walk can help a lot if you’re feeling distracted or stressed. Pay close attention to your surroundings while you walk and breathe deeply if you’re in nature. It will keep your mind off your challenges for a few minutes and your stress levels will decrease.
  7. Listen to music. Music has the amazing ability to alter our mood. Think of a few songs that will put you in a mood you’d rather feel. Then, listen away! If you don’t have those songs available at the moment, Spotify, Pandora or YouTube have just about every song available with a simple tap on your smartphone.
  8. Chew gum. Chewing gum has been shown to be an effective reducer of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. Many people like to blow bubbles, too. You can lower your stress and amuse yourself at the same time, but best done alone so as not to disturb or annoy others.
  9. Sit outside in the sun. Take 10 minutes to relax on a nice day and enjoy the sun. The warmth on your body can be a great mood booster, and you’ll get a nice dose of vitamin D.
  10. Write down everything that worries you. One way to be less stressed and anxious is to take 10 minutes and write down everything that’s bothering you. Get it out of your system and down on paper (or virtually on your laptop via Google Drive or a notes application). By externalizing it, you’ll often find that things aren’t quite as bad as you thought.

Why the Gift of Relaxation is Important

If you’re regularly feeling distracted, frantic or stressed, it’s important to do something about it. Not only is it miserable to feel stressed all the time, but it’s terrible for your health and well-being.

And, if you’re feeling the need for self-care, that’s your body and mind telling you something — make time for it each day. Ten minutes can be enough to add a little nurture and self-care to your life. Don’t allow 10 minutes to go to waste. Give yourself the gift of relaxation. You’ll thank yourself later.

As a bonus, if you’re looking to up your meditation practice or just love the smell of essential oils in your daily life, take a look at the Aveda Chakra Balancing line. We think you’ll enjoy these. Let us know what you think.