The Art of Relaxing

relaxedThings have gotten pretty stressful around here.  Ok, things have been pretty stressful around here, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up anytime soon.  So that got me to wondering…

What do you do to relax?

I’ve tried different relaxation things.  I don’t have the patience for a bath, and the one single time I tried to bring a magazine in there with me, I ended up with Glamour Perfume-Page Soup.  Yuk.

So I try meditating.  But somehow, no matter how hard I try to ‘just let that thought pass through my mind, acknowledged but not trapped’… it gets trapped, and my mind keeps dragging it back to obsess over.  So much for clearing the mind.

I try going for a walk, which I do anyway for exercise.  But on those walks, I often find myself obsessing over the stress du jour.  So it doesn’t get my mind off of it, although it’s a good way to get rid of a good mad.

Sometimes reading a book will work, as long as it’s a good book that will grab me.  I’m partial to what I call “trashy romance novels”.  Used to be the ones with the shirtless, beefy guy on the cover, but those got cheesy really fast.  Now it’s just about anything by Nora Roberts or Sandra Brown.  I also like “chick lit”, and go for Sophie Kinsella (she wrote the “Shopaholic” series) or Sarah Strohmeyer.  If I’m not in the mood for a TRN or Chick Lit, it’s a thriller by Vince Flynn or Brad Thor.  Nothing like whacking a few terrorists to cleanse the mind.  Of course, Harry Potter is also an old standby.

boraboraFinally, and my favorite (although I don’t do it often because I feel guilty just “sitting there”), I sit and “woolgather”… pretty soon ,my brain has drifted to Bora Bora, and I’m in that tropical retreat, lying in the sand or drifting along a reef.  Sometimes, it’s Ireland (my dream vacation), or the moors of England and Scotland.  My mind spins stories for me, characters show up, and I’m involved in a novel of my own making.  It’s amazing, the people I meet during those daydreaming sessions.  It’s amazing, the person I become during those sessions, too.  Suddenly, all my problems are solved.  I’m at my ideal weight, the perfect weekend athlete, svelte and limber, able to undertake any task.  My hair is perfect.   I’m clever, witty, and able to debate even the most accomplished barrister.  I’m successful, too, having just written the Great American Novel, won a Grand Prix (national/world horse show), or won a massive lottery (if you consider that “success”) and am now enjoying the fruits of my labor and luck, flitting from vacation haven to vacation haven on an unlimited bankroll.  Sometimes I’ll even throw in a shopping spree – ChrIrish Castleistian Louboutin shoes, Tiffany ring, a dress to die for.  It’s all great fun, and most usually, very relaxing and entertaining.  Sometimes I even weave in my current troubles, and stumble upon a solution.

So, I’m curious.  What do YOU do to relax?

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11 Responses to The Art of Relaxing

  1. Tosha says:

    Music is the ONLY thing that relaxes me. Well that and xanax.. but thats beside the point..

    Music is my get away. My ipod is on me at all times and if by some screwed up chance its not.. My blackberry is loaded with the songs I need for escape. However since I tend 2 leave my ear piece at home I get strange looks when I need to use it. Not everyone appreciates the goodness that is mudvayne,staind,metallica, etc..

    Used to when it was too much 2 handle i’d escape up to the lake and hang out on the drop off there but its been af ew years..

  2. DM says:

    If something has got me stressed, numero uno way for me to get that peace I desire is to share what ever it is with someone- sometimes several someones…in person, via e-mail or even blog about it. If I were a winny the pooh character I would be tigger,- up most of the time…but @ one point I did hit the wall through some heavy duty stuff and it was the listening ear of a friend who gave me the most encouragement. Just feeling like someone has heard me. I’m a big U2 fan so for an occassional escape I will watch their shake rattle and hum dvd, but that is only good for about once a year. good question.

  3. mssc54 says:

    For casual relaxation I can just go out in the back yard and tinker in the garden or lay in my hammock.

    For extended/deep relaxation I like to go into the deep woods and sit in a stand. I meditate, pray and just enjoy His creation all around me. 🙂

  4. Lucy says:

    I either go work out or I watch TV/movies.

  5. Gary says:

    We belong to a resort and have a 30 foot travel trailer parked there. I like to call it our summer home. Anyway, I go there to relax. There is always something to do to get my mind off of things.

  6. SKL says:

    Depends what I need a break from. Sometimes I just sit in the backyard/patio/woods and experience the surrounding trees, critters, etc. for a while. Observing the ebbs and flows of nature can often lead me to an answer to problems that are troubling me. Other times it’s relaxing to clean, provided nobody is around bothering me. Sometimes sitting in my room, listening to music, and reading something that stretches the mind – though I rarely get a chance to do that any more. Sometimes just clearing up little work tasks that have been keeping my “to do” list unbearably long is relaxing.

  7. Joy says:

    I like to woolgather too Laura. It’s the best thing for me. I look pretty buff and perfect in my little world too after a session like that. I also like to do completely mindless things when I need to veg out. Knit and read are right up on top there. I really do love to read but knitting and stuff like I just “do” and don’t have to think about it. I don’t dream of travel though. I’m not to big on that in real life so I don’t go there in my “take me away” moments.

  8. Music and baseball with my son–not in that order. Ever sincemy first pair of headphones I’ve always been able to immerse myself in music, and if the songs have good harmonies, then I sing too.

    Baseball, on the other hand, is simply physical. The sheer act of legitimately hurling something at someone doesn’t give stress a fighting chance. And if that isn’t good enough, then I assure you that picking up a bat and swinging it makes for a great outlet, especially if you can project your stressors onto the ball . . . like salespeople, for instance!

  9. pammy wammy says:

    When I feel stressed,I like to go for a drive and listen to country music loud,with the windows down.I totally relax,clear my mind and LOVE it :)In winter I like to take a warm/hot bubble bath and listen to relaxing nature music with instrumentals.And a pina colada.I close my eyes and go to my “safe” place were I am on a beach 🙂

  10. joz1234 says:

    I communicate to relieve stress. I have to ‘vent.’ Once I do, I can feel the stress leaving my shoulders.

  11. Jenny says:

    Hey, you have a great blog here! I’m definitely going to bookmark you! Thank you for your Thank you For Best Content
    Books Nora Roberts

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