Relaxation puts you back in touch with your body so you know when to push and when to yield. (For more on this see the balanced mama planner.)
As mamas, we tend to be so used to being busy that we forget how to slow down. I think we can even get addicted to busyness because when we pause, we are confronted with the bubbling up of thoughts, sensations, and memories. Sometimes this can be unsettling, so if stillness doesn’t resonate with you right now, I totally get it, and there are many different ways to relax.
Here are some of my favorite:
1) Take a meditative shower. Be totally present and just let the water unwind you. Immerse yourself in the sensation of the water against your skin, connect with the cleansing properties of it, feel your troubles wash away with the water.
2) Really FEEL your breath with yoga mudras (hand gestures.)
3) “I am” meditation. This can be a formal sitting practice or you can do this on your commute/ at your desk/ while nursing your baby… As you breath in repeat the words “I am” and as you breathe out choose a word that cultivates the way you want to feel. I usually use the words “Calm” or “Patient.” Keep repeating the one phrase or change it with each exhalation.
4) Seek out beauty! I love this one because it reminds me to be on the lookout for something inspiring. You can also do this from anywhere. Perhaps you glance up at the trees during your commute or you pass a vase of flowers and you vacuum your living room.
5) Create a relaxation library. This can include magazines, books, photo albums, or netflix movies. Even your own journal can be included here. Build a collection of mindfulness resources and use these to be led into a calm state.
6) Practice Yoga Nidra. This is a type of guided relaxation, which is not only a great way to unwind, but can also help alleviate depression and anxiety.