One of the reasons I created this blog, Kinetic Motions, is that my life is hectic and I needed a vehicle to make me slow down and think. I, like so many people I know, am very busy and carry many stresses around with me every day. Slowing down, relaxing and taking some time for myself is hard, and I will admit that I am not good at it. So today I am taking time to think and consider some better ways to relax.
I believe that relaxation is different for all of us. What one person finds relaxing may be another person’s idea of stress and misery. For example, some people choose extreme sports like jumping out of an airplane or rock climbing or swimming with sharks as a way to escape life and relax. For me any of those activities are a cause for only added stress and sheer terror. Then there are those that see relaxation as a week on a beach doing nothing or a day at the spa. These activities are not for me (no, I’m not a beach person and I have never stepped into a spa), but I see the appeal for others.
So how can I relax? How can I get away from the hustle and bustle of life, for a few minutes, hours or days?
After a busy day, if my house is kind of cleaned up and the kids are in bed (not necessarily asleep but in bed) I like to relax with a mindless TV show. House Hunters often does the trick, but a serial drama or comedy often gives me the escape I need. Or if I happen to find a good book to read, taking 30 minutes in my day (often when I am semi-conscious in bed) to read a few pages is most enjoyable.
Sometimes just a bit of silence helps me relax. Have you ever noticed just how loud life is? My house, my workplace, the streets of downtown Toronto, stores, noise is everywhere. Sometimes the quietest place for me is my car. My drive to or from work is when I can be by myself and alone with my thoughts. It may not qualify as silent (honking horns can ruin the moment), but it’s quieter than the rest of my day!
How about an evening out with friends? I don’t do this enough, and I want to give a shout-out to three of my oldest and dearest friends today – Elli, Dvora and Galit – who joined me last night for dinner so we could just catch up, relax and enjoy some sushi. A night out with the ladies – or for my male readers – with the guys – is so important and I highly recommend it. Leave the screaming kids, stressful job and messy house behind for a few hours and go out for the evening.
I wish I could say that exercise is relaxing for me, but I just can’t get into a routine. People tell me about spin class or yoga (I did do that for a while and need to try it again), running, jogging, a personal trainer and so much more. They tell me how it gets the adrenaline going and releases something within them that gives them strength and a sense of well-being. If someone wants to help me with that and lead me in the right direction, I’m all for it.
Skiing is one of the greatest ways I relax during the winter. As I have written previously, when I am at the top of the mountain, and I look out at Georgian Bay and crisp white snow, I can’t wait to fully disengage from the world for a few minutes and fly down the hill. What I just described may make another person shake with fear, and I respect that, but for me, skiing is a great release. I feel energized, healthy and confident. I am often freezing cold and can’t feel my hands and feet after a few runs, but it’s worth it.
And of course, there’s writing. My blog is giving me exactly what I needed. As I wrote many months ago in my “About Alicia” page, “Life is busy. I always seem to be in motion, trying to balance the many demands in my life. Here is the place that I can think, reflect, discuss, debate and just write.”
And of course, relax.