“Sometimes, the most productive thing you can do is relax.” – Mark Black
Hello, SOTGC community,
If you’re like me, you want to feel “productive” – fold one more load of laundry, send one more email, start one more project. As fulfilling as being productive seems, it has some disturbing side effects: racing thoughts, feelings of inadequacy, and exhaustion, among others.
While success as a woman has many definitions (job title, salary, number of children, I could go on), one such definition must be the ability to relax. In yoga, we practice balancing two opposites: hot and cold, male and female, and sun and moon. Relaxing is the yoga of the productive woman, balancing the ability to do something with the sublime ability to do nothing. Being productive is admirable, but relaxing is essential to our wellbeing!
So how can you start relaxing right now, today? Read on, amigas!
Getting out of your desk chair – or up off of the couch – is essential to your physical and mental wellbeing. A fifteen-minute walk after lunch, squeezing a yoga class into your busy Saturday, or even a roll in the hay will clear your mind and give you a boost. Get up and move!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, hit the pause button and take a deep breath. Let your lips press gently together and you inhale and exhale through your nose, lengthening each breath up to a count of five. Close your eyes. When you open them, you will feel the benefits of sending some extra fresh oxygen to the brain as well as gain a new perspective on your task.
- Do yoga.
All right, you got me. As a certified yoga instructor, I tell everyone to do yoga, but don’t take it from me, take it from two people who had never done yoga before until I insisted: my husband and my mother. After easing into a gentle practice one to two times per week, both are happy to admit the mind and body benefits of stretching, breathing, and relaxing. Husband’s mid-back pain? Gone. Mom’s aching neck and shoulders? Soothed. Mission accomplished.
- Reach out and touch someone.
Human connection makes life worth living. If you feel chained to your desk or tied to the laundry room, take a five-minute break to reach out to a friend, family member, or other loved one. Reconnect with a former college mentor via email. Check up on an elderly neighbor with a quick phone call. Talking and laughing with others releases feel-good endorphins and sharing the human experience will give you a boost. So if you’re feeling out of sorts or lonely, reach out and touch someone!
Remember, you are important, and I’m not referring to your job title, salary, or number of children. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, irritable, distracted, or just plain tired, stop. Breathe. Take a fifteen-minute walk. Email a friend. Sometimes, the most productive thing you can do is relax!
What helps you relax? How do you make time for yourself to chill out? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.