Thursday, April 21, 2011

intentional relaxation

= something i need more of in my life?
this morning, i came across this post, which made me think. now, don't get me wrong: i am not putting out that clich├ęd whine about "needing more time." after all, even that concept itself is fraught with error; we each get 168 hours/week, and the number of weeks allotted? well, that part is left up to randomness and/or a higher power, depending what your beliefs are.

you don't have to be here to practice intentional relaxation . . . though sometimes it helps!

what DOES change from person-to-person is

a) the number of things we attempt to squeeze into that week [though that's a topic for another post!]


b) the way we think about the activities we do choose to engage in.

right now, for example, i am writing this post [obvious statement of the week!]. i could choose to view this act as a daily obligation, but a more honest and constructive assessment is that this is a a creative activity i choose to participate in . . . for fun.

and it is fun!

and relaxing.

and i should acknowledge it as such, rather than just another 'to-do' item to push through. i guess my point is that really, every activity we embark on is a choice, and FUN activities should be acknowledged as such. i am intentionally relaxing right now - i just had to realize it!

my take on tips from productivity your way
1. Understand your motivation
ie, figure out why you feel like you are in a need of a break. have you been truly working too hard, or just staying up too late and in need of sleep? do you need to schedule some intentionally fun activities into your days, or do you just need to realize that they were there all along?

2. Choose things that actually leave you feeling refreshed
perhaps watching your favorite TV show DOES do this for you -- then own it, and make it an intentional act of relaxation. or, maybe for you, activities like yoga, knitting, or uhhh, writing blog entries about intentional relaxation at 6AM feel like the right choices. it doesn't matter, as long as it feels intentional. just use your time consciously!

3. Make time for it ahead of time
ahhh, my favorite tip -- not only do i think it is good to build rejuvenating/fun activities right into your daily routine, but i think it's essential to schedule bigger FUN activities that might otherwise go by the wayside in favor of to-do list chores. it can be something as simple as a massage (mmmm), scheduled block of time for reading, or brunch out with friends on a sunday, or you can plan for something even bigger! i almost always like to have some kind of day trip or weekend getaway to look forward to where the only objective is to have fun + relax [ie: why i'm headed to boston to see my wonderful college girlfriends this weekend!]

what do you do to intentionally relax? and are there activities that could be reframed in this manner? in addition to blogging, YOGA definitely falls into this category for me.

list of the week
today's list is a little more high-tech, and it comes from my dear friend siobhan. before she moved from NC --> CA, siobhan and i covered many miles on foot together as running friends [you know, back in the days when i actually trained for marathons + things . . . ahh, it's starting to seem like forever ago!]. she has now moved up in the world from post-doc to full professor status, and has the cutest little almost-2-year-old ever to chase around. needless to say, she's got a ton on her plate!

here's how she keeps track of it all:

simple and effective . . . although i think that dentist item PROBABLY deserves to be addressed sooner rather than later :)



workout: 3.2ish mile run outside. perfect weather in the AM!! looks like i am going to get a rude awakening when i head to boston this weekend.

cooking did not happen. i played my weekly 'get out of the kitchen free!' card. josh ate leftovers. i ate cereal, and went to bed before 9. it was glorious.

quick reminder about the olay-sponsored giveaway -- right now your odd of winning a $100 spafinder gift card are 1 in 16!!!