Wednesday, May 23, 2012

{Life Well Lived} Getting to a happy, relaxing place

Half way through the week and I've {so far ...} forgotten about a class we were finishing before church on Sunday, lost someone else's check {although a stranger later found it and returned it}, lost a key {still looking ...} to a door we had installed at the lake house last week, driven to the lake house to take care of some things but left some of the things at home, forgotten to run a fairly important errand, and ... well ... probably forgotten something else.

And, really, all of it just irks me. Seriously. I like being an organized person with a to-do list who helps people without complication. And this week that's just not happening.

I think my mind is on vacation. And I hope it returns from relaxing on the beach soon. So, really, I had to chuckle when I saw this blog prompt in my inbox this week: What are your favorite relaxation techniques? And what benefits do you see from practicing them?

Clearly, I need to return to some of my relaxation techniques. It's summer around here -- both with preschool being out and my daughter anticipating her August start to kindergarten and with the heat that makes me want to swim. After a few busy weeks, my mind must have decided it needed a break. In hopes of reigning it back to reality, I'm going to return to a place that is more relaxing than the scattered one I'm currently in.

  • Reading something encouraging toward the beginning of the day. I subscribe to Proverbs 31 devotions, often visit (in)courage, and have a Google Reader full of other stuff by Shaun Groves, Lysa TerKeurst, Kristen Welch, Jessica Turner, Jill Savage, and others.
  • Keep an on-going to-do list. This helps me run errands with less frustrating, remember what I need to do, move things from the front of my brain if they don't need to be immediately addressed, and provides an outlet for the satisfaction that comes with crossing those items off when they're finished.
  • Text and call and write and email friends. Really, these days there is no reason not to be connected. Use technology to help you live in community in real life.
  • Spend time with said friends. Spend time with their kids too. It may not be relaxing in the literal sense, but that's life. And life lived together is the best kind.
  • Mommas with small kids, have rest time. My 5-year-old girl doesn't actually nap most days, but to have a couple hours of quiet while she plays quietly with dolls, puzzles, books or Leapster and my 2-year-old boy naps is good for my soul as well as their attitudes. 
  • Date your spouse. Life is busy. Schedule time for a relaxing dinner away from the house where you can regroup as a team. 
  • Turn the TV off. The kids have been on a TV break at our house. They don't watch all that much anyway. It helps them come up with ways to interact with each other, appreciate the times they do get to watch something, and enjoy the outside. And it's so peaceful not to have the TV on.
  • Eat dinner together around the table. Again, with small kids this may not scream relaxation, but being together as a family is important to us and this is one way my life flows in a more peaceful rhythm. 
  • Fold clothes while watching TV. I do like to watch TV when there is a show or movie I actually want to watch. And it's a great way for me to make myself sit down long enough to fold piles of clothes. Plus it's nice to mentally escape life for awhile.
  • Plan not to have plans. I love making plans. But sometimes I need to leave openings on my calendar just because. Those mornings without commitments or evenings that leave us wondering what we should do between dinner and bedtime are precious. 
  • Make at least some time for a hobby. I like to read. I like to write. And I like to scrapbook. When I leave some dirty dishes in the sink or don't mop the kitchen floor the second I notice it needs it and choose to pick up a fiction suspense novel, sit down to blog, or organize some pictures with cute accessories in an album, I feel refreshed.
  • Swim. You know, it's summer, and, really, when you live in a place that has already experienced 90-degree days before Memorial Day, having plans that involve water is a good way to relax. My kids love to be around the water. Our favorite life jacket caters to my boy's fearlessness. So we're ready. And keeping a close on two little ones in a pool is relaxing in the sense that we cool off, have fun, and they use lots of energy. 

I'm not in an overly relaxing season of life, but I find myself most at peace when I'm connected to God, my family, and my friends. Peace comes for me when life flows with a balance of productivity, fun activities and down time. For whatever reason, that flow was interrupted this week. Being out of sync is certainly not relaxing, but I'm confident I'll return. My first step is to tackle some small mountains of laundry while catching up on "Army Wives."

How do you relax in the season of life you're in? You can read more about relaxation techniques on Blogher. There is even a sweepstakes you can enter.


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  1. I love the ideas of dating your spouse and turning off the tv. As I read that, I actually got up and turned off the tv and put some music on. I feel better already!

  2. KristinHillTaylor9/28/2014 6:58 PM

    I'm glad this encouraged you. It was actually good for me to go back and read this post. Some days I'm better at this than others. :)