Why Relax?

This is not a shameless plug for my new business. It is however, a journey that became a business. Some readers may have mastered the art of relaxing. Others (like my former self) may not even want to read the article, because in our minds – relaxing means laziness. Not sure where we got that idea from, and I'm her to share with you the importance of relaxing. Relaxing allows others to develop. Relaxing allows you to appreciate your accomplishments. Relaxing allows for creativity. Relaxing sets a good example for others. Relaxing is not lazy and please do not confuse relaxing with sleeping.

You're wondering just who I am and those of you who knew my corporate former self can't believe I am encouraging relaxing. It's true. I'm the world's worst relaxer. That makes me the best person to tell you about it, because it does NOT come naturally to me. I enjoy waking up at four in the morning to read emails, I love driving and talking on my cell phone while drinking a cup of coffee. I sit in my living room furniture for about two hours every year. I scoff at people who take sick days, and I take pride in staying up until midnight to finish a project weeks ahead of schedule … no wait … that was the former me. Who I am is someone who needs to plan relaxing into my day. I need to remind myself of the importance of taking time for others, time for myself, and time to simply sit and relax.

Relaxing is not the same as being lazy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with sitting down with a cup of coffee and thinking or reading (not a business book). Relaxing and letting others "do" something will help them grow and learn new things. Allowing others to do things for you will help them gain skills and confidence as well as building the relationship between them and you. This doesn't mean you will never have to mow your lawn or do laundry ever again; as with everything, it should be done in moderation.

Relaxing allows you to appreciate your accomplishments. It feels great to organize the garage or spring clean the living room. When you are done with a project, take a moment to relax and look at what you've done. This doesn't mean clean the entire house and then collapse in a pile of exhaustion on the floor. This means, break a large project into smaller more attainable projects and as you complete each one, take five minutes to survey what you've done. Sit down in that recliner and look at your living room as if you were a guest, seeing it for the first time. Check out the garage and enjoy having a place for everything and everything in its place. Compliment yourself on a job well done before moving onto the next task. Relaxing doesn't have to be done in hourly / daily / weekly increments. A stolen moment here or there is enough to put your mind at ease and offer you an opportunity to smile and regroup.

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Relaxing allows for creativity. Would Mozart have ever heard a song in his head if he had been working non-step twelve plus hours every day? Do you notice the birds chirping outside your window, or are you too concerned with the deadline you have to meet? You'll miss creative and inspirational opportunities if you don't take time to relax. Find a happy place and spend time relaxing there. That place may be the beach, a comfortable chair, your own backyard, or behind the steering wheel of your car. Use that place as a reward. When I finish project X, I am going to spend Y number of minutes in spot Z. Let others know what you're up to and ask them politely to respect your time. You may want to let them know that you're doing this to be more creative, more patient, etc … or don't tell them, and see if they notice something different about you.

Relaxing sets a good example for others. A boss who takes time for himself / herself sends a message to their employee that relaxing is important. A boss who says that relaxing is a good idea but doesn't do it themselves looks like nothing more than a hypocrite. No one wants to work for someone who is so driven that they inadvertently come across as a 'slave driver'. Relaxing sets a good example for your children; encourage your children to spend time doing things they enjoy, and time doing things by themselves. They'll emerge from their happy place with a clear mind and a smile. Depending on the age of the child, you may have to help them find a happy place. Help them decorate that area with things they enjoy, and things that are calming. Never underestimate the power of music for some individuals. A radio, MP3 player, or CD player might be a must have for some people. Avoid television though – TV can be distracting and may take away from the creativity portion of relaxing.

Last but not least – as a recovering work-a-holic and slave-driver type … relaxing should not be confused with laziness or sleep. Because I sleep five hours each night, does not mean I've mastered the art of relaxing. However, you will sleep better if you learn to relax. Your mind will be clearer and your body will be less tense. Why relax? Because you're worth it!

Source by Crystal J Casavant

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