How To Relax / by lee tilghman

If you think this is a joke post, you are wrong! Today we are going to talk about RELAXATION. Yep, that's right. Relaxation, or the relief of work. 

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

This is a post about relaxation. I'm not going to tell you today how to do a crazy workout. I'm not going to list a bunch of superfood ingredients and tell you to blend them all together, like I do most days :)

Today, I want to highlight one very important (and often overlooked) aspects of living a healthy, wholesome, fulfilling life: and that is the power of relaxation. Relaxing is really important, I think it plays a very large role in having a happy and balanced life. it is to relax, just as it is important to have a regular workout and healthy eating routine. Do you know how to relax?

Whenever I think about something that has to do with living 'healthy', the first thing I normally do is take a look at our society. As a country, it's no wonder we don't really hold relaxing to a very high standard. I think we look down upon it, as it has become synonymous with "doing nothing", "being lazy" and "unproductive".  I think we are always turned ON so much that it can be hard to settle down and unplug, especially when we need it most. These days, we are so glued to our phones and computers, that we are getting a constant stream of information sent towards us.  We reach for our phones and immediately, we are offered a sense of gratification or stimulation. 

Take the weekends, for example. Many of us on our days off spend it tidying the house or running errands. This is not a post telling you to let your bills pile up and let your lawn overgrow. Nope. This is a post on how to spend 10-15 minutes at the end of each week, either at night, in the morning, or whenever you have time, to unplug, de stress, and relax, if for nothing more than just for yourself.  

Create a Sacred Space

Find a place in your home where you can be undisturbed. Maybe that's in your bathtub, in your bedroom, or even in your basement! Light some candles, spray a few drops of your favorite essential oil into the air with a water mister, and place a pillow or yoga mat on the ground. 

Find a spot that works for you. It obviously doesn't have to look like this - but you get the idea.

Find a spot that works for you. It obviously doesn't have to look like this - but you get the idea.

We often overlook the power of a sacred, distraction-free space and the powerful effects it can have on the mind. Have you ever walked into a space, such as a yoga studio, spa, massage parlor, nail salon, or even someone's thoughtfully put together home- and immediately felt lighter? That doesn't happen for no reason! We as humans are extremely sensitive to the areas around us, and we soak up all that energy on a daily basis, whether we are aware of it or not. No, you don't have to sell your home and buy a beach front property on Tulum to get that same zen, tranquil feeling. All you need are a few things: such as a rug, a pillow, a yoga mat, and a few candles! Feel free to add anything else that calms you: plants, photos, paintings, or any art are some things that also have a very tranquil effect on me.

Get Rid of All Distractions

This is so important for relaxing.  I can't stress this enough. Turn your phone on silent, or on the "Do Not Disturb" mode if you are an iPhone user. Leave it in the other room. It won't go missing. I promise. Put it out of sight so you can really turn inward. Even just the site of those mobile devices will make our heads start spinning and take us out of the moment. Be unavailable, it's totally okay. 

Get Comfortable

Make some warm tea. Lately, I've really been loving Aloha's New Tea Collection. This tea collection features 4 different flavors, all organic with no added artificial flavorings. Like many of Aloha's products, they are vegan, soy-free, gluten-free, and cruelty-free!

I'm into herbal teas because I can drink as much of it as I want without getting too concerned about the caffeine content. The four flavors are Lover'sClean, Protect, Beauty. Their teas contain plant-based ingredients like nettle, dandelion root, hibiscus, chili, cinnamon, nutmeg, and more. 

For me, wearing comfortable clothes is one of the first things I keep in mind when it comes to getting into that relaxation headspace. Restrictive jeans or sweaty yoga clothes can make me feel antsy and unsettled. One of the first things I try to do when I get home is change into comfy clothes. These Ultimate Fleece Tapered Pants from Adidas are PERFECT for these chillier autumnal days in LA. I love that I can also leave the house in them without feeling embarrassed.  The pockets come in handy as well as I don't normally carry a purse around. I'm just not a purse kinda gal, although I've tried!

Unwind

Let yourself go. Savor these moments of inner peace. Moments away from all worry, calendars, deadlines, and responsibilities. Give yourself permission to really let go of all worry here. Of course, it can be hard to just sit on a mat and forget everything. Be an observer. Do not attach to any thought. Let them pass on by without giving them a chance. The mind will play tricks on you to stay busy - focus on your breathing here to stay connected. Sometimes in these moments, I struggle with planning. I found out during my first meditation class that I am a planner. My mind would take me out of class and into the rest of my day- the people I had to email, the errands I had to run. I struggled to stay present. One thing that really helps me is allowing those thoughts to come in, and to just recognize them let them pass on by. Believe me, it's not easy, but if you can do it for a few seconds or even a minute, it will have a profound impact on the rest of your day.

Yesterday at Trader Joe's I brought my things to the clerk and he asked why I seemed so happy. The first thing that came to mind was the peace of mind I have. I think that stems from doing lots of yoga and meditation, which forces me to calm down, come to center and slow everything down by a hundred decibals. 

What are your favorite ways to unwind, let go, and completely relax?