How to relax and have more fun!

Here it is! The final installment in my series on bringing healthy living back to basics by focusing on sleeping, moving, eating and relaxing well!

If you missed parts 1 through 3, you can check them out here:

How to sleep better

How to get more exercise

Easy ways to eat better

So now on to the fun part!

Most of us under-prioritize fun and relaxation in our lives, because, let’s face it … there just isn’t time right?!

But taking some time to relax and unwind, even if it’s just small pockets, is sooo integral to being able to show up as your best self in all other areas of your life.

Research has proven that working more and longer does not lead to getting more done. In fact, our productivity tends to DECREASE the longer we keep at it. So although it’s counterintuitive, taking time to relax, even when it feels like you have none, might actually help you get MORE done than just pushing through.

Okay, so that’s all well and good, but how do you actually make it happen in your day-to-day life.

Here are my tips and tricks:

Give yourself permission

It starts with the right mindset. We need to stop feeling guilty ladies! You work hard. You are so many things to so many people in your life – a wife, a mother, a manager, a cook, a team leader, a chauffeur, a caregiver.

You DESERVE a bit of relaxation, and then some!

So give yourself permission to prioritize your own wants and needs from time to time. And if the guilt creeps in, as it inevitably will, try coming at it from this angle. You will be a BETTER partner, mom, employee, etc. if you’re able to fill your cup a few ounces. So really, you should feel guilty for NOT taking that time 😉

Don’t make it feel like work

The goal here is not to make “relaxing” another thing on your to-do list.

Taking a time-out does not have to involve a three-day retreat, or really anything elaborate at all. Keep it simple. If all you can manage to start is 10 minutes with a cup of tea and a book, do that! Take 5 minutes even and walk around the block.

The key to making these micro-moments actually feel like relaxation is to be mindful during that time.

Turn off your phone or remove it from your reach. Avoid distractions as much as possible and really FEEL into whatever you’re doing. Notice the smell of your coffee fully, the way the crisp pages feel in your hands as you turn them, the cool breeze or warm sunshine on your face. Soak it in. It sounds corny but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! Trust me on this one.

Commit

If you know that, despite your best efforts, you’re unlikely to follow through with allotting yourself some time, you might need to put some skin in the game!

Depending on what your idea of a fun and relaxing time is, you might consider signing up for a yoga class or a beach volleyball league. Or maybe you book yourself into a hotel for a night in the next city over, and just watch movies without interruption in a cushy robe. Ahhhh.

Regardless of what it is, by assigning it a day and time on the calendar, and some dollars to boot, it becomes a lot harder to back out of or just not get around to.

Examine your bucket list

Earlier this year I made a list of 30 things to do in my 30th year.

If you’re in need of some revitalization, new experiences are a great way to inch up your energy meter!

What lights you up? What have you always wanted to do but never got around to? Big or small.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t what to wake up in 10 years and realize I’ve lived the same exact day or year over and over again. So what are you waiting for?

Buy the theatre tickets. Sign up for guitar lessons. Start saving a dedicated amount every month for that vacation. Just do the thing. Whether it takes 30 minutes, 30 hours, 30 days or more, it’s time to stop sacrificing!

For some reason, when it involves other people, say your kid’s soccer practice or your coworker’s retirement party, even if it feels like you may not have time, you always seem to MAKE IT WORK. So why can’t you do the same for yourself? Try putting your own stuff in your calendar FIRST then working other commitments around YOU, and not the other way around.

So that concludes this 4 part series. (If you’ve not yet checked out the other posts, start here.) I hope you enjoyed it and are able to take away something tangible to apply in your own life!

If you have any other tips or ideas that could help other women in this arena please share in the comments!

Until next time …

xoxo

Laura

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