Relaxation & Mindfulness: Key Self-Care Practices

Relaxation is something we all say we need; yet, when push comes to shove in our busy schedule, it gets bumped from our priority list. As we get caught up with day-to-day life and the many external factors demanding our attention and energy, we put off self-care, relaxation and mindfulness. Although this is in an effort to reduce our to-do list and make room for other priorities, the effects can be damaging to our mental, physical and emotional health. Finding a way to bring ourselves back into balance is essential for reaching optimal wellness.

What I have learned over the last two decades is that, regardless of how hurried and hectic things become in life, I can always fall back on simple and steady relaxation methods. Here are a few of my favorite techniques for re-centering, rebalancing and relaxing.

Meditate.

Regardless of how busy your mind is, take some time to focus on a meditative practice. Whether you practice at home or with a group, just a few minutes per day will make a huge impact.

To begin, try focusing on one word or phrase that brings peace and stillness within. When your thoughts wander away, return to your word or mantra.  One mantra I recommend is “I am peace.”  Short, simple and powerful. Notice how your whole body and mind relaxes. If there was such thing as cellular peace and relaxation, meditation helps tap into that.

If you’re new to meditation or prefer guided mediation in a group setting, try out Alive + Well’s free community meditation class every Tuesday at 3pm!

Get moving.

One of my favorite workouts is jumping on my mini trampoline. Each time I jump, I notice a boost in my mood and brain focus, as well as better circulation, lymphatic drainage and digestion. This high circulation experience floods my brain with feel good chemicals, which relaxes me and allows stress to dissipate. Any type of movement will work though, even if you have only 5 minutes to dedicate to it each day. The key is to simply do it!

Float.

Of all the amenities being offered at Alive + Well, one of my favorites is the float tank. Used for sensory deprivation, a float tank is a very large pod that you literally float in, with no effort. The pod is void of light and sound, and filled with roughly 1000 pounds of Epsom salt dissolved in about 200 gallons of water.

When I get in and close the lid, I quickly begin to notice my busy mind calming down as I slip into a deep feeling of serenity and relaxation. My muscles immediately release tension and tightness, and I feel like I’m almost transported into a whole other peaceful place. While I’m floating, I like to practice deep breathing and try to focus on bringing my wandering thoughts back to a peaceful word to help me soak (no pun intended) even more deeply into the float.

Make Self-Care a Priority.

So, how do you cultivate inner relaxation in your life? Don’t take “no” for an answer. When you find yourself beginning to compromise self-care time, it’s important to keep perspective on the fact that the effort you put into maintaining your (mind and body) health will provide you the physical and mental capacity you need for your other priorities.

And remember, whether you incorporate at-home practices, or take advantage of all the relaxation amenities and services Alive + Well has to offer, the key is keeping your routine simple and consistent.