As Labor Day weekend wraps up I’m a mix of emotions. Refreshed and excited to start a new week after a long and restful, yet adventurous weekend. But I’m also feeling lazy and stressed because there was so much more I could’ve done with my time, besides shove my face with delicious foods and catch up with family.
Rest is vitally important. I think it’s oftentimes the most underrated category of health. You could hit the gym 7 days a week and eat a perfectly balanced diet, but none of it would matter without rest. Your body and your mind depend on downtime. They’re like a crabby toddler – much better behaved after a good snooze.
Rest doesn’t necessarily mean sleep. It can mean lots of things – like kicking your feet up and flipping on your favorite show, lying in your backyard reading a good book, or sitting around a table chatting with good company. Whatever rest means to you, it’s important to let yourself have it regularly and enjoy it without getting down on yourself.
However, if you’re anything like me your mind quite literally doesn’t know how to slow down. My thoughts constantly race around my head at 1000 miles per hour and if I even THINK about rest it stresses me out. This is something I’ve been working on a lot lately: slowing down. Enjoying the now. Taking a deep breath and soaking it all in. (Because not to get too sappy here, but life moves fast enough on its own, ya know?)
Do you have a busy-bee mind like mine? Let me save you some time and share 5 ways I like to slow down and live in the now.
- Cook. I love finding a recipe, scouting the ingredients at the grocery store, coming home, throwing on some tunes, and making a massively delicious meal. With a recipe already laid out, your mind doesn’t have to do too much thinking. It’s a nice hour or so of mindfulness, with a gift at the end – whatever masterpiece you made!
- Stretch. Yoga does the body good. However, “zen” isn’t a place on my world map. I can never get “in the zone,” whatever that means. So I’ve settled for stretching: no instructor, no rules, no special breathing. Just me, the floor, and some good stretches. This cinches recovery time and gives me a few minutes to really connect with my body.
- No tech walk. Nothing beats a nice stroll around town. Your circulation is pumping, and depending on who you’re with, the conversation is too. My new habit is leaving my phone at home (as long as I’m in a safe area). This gives my mind a break from the exhaustion that is social media, and lets you focus on whatever is happening around me.
- Watch a movie. Not a series. Ever notice how once you stumble upon a series you really love you practically lose track of time. Next think you know you’re on season 4 episode 9 and you can’t remember what year it is. Next time you just need to kick back with Netflix, flick on a movie and allow yourself to fully enjoy it (guilt free) with the knowledge that once it’s over, you’re back to the grind.
- Visit home. As crazy as they are, nothing brings my heart and mind back to center like a weekend with my family. Seriously! Go visit your grandma and ask about her favorite childhood memories. Grab the clubs and hit the range with your dad. Take your mom out for lunch. Watch a movie with your little sisters. Go for a bike ride with your bro. Next time your life and mind are hectic, visit home for a little reminder of the most important piece of life: family.
What’s your favorite way to get some R&R? Let me know in the comments!