Four ways I take a break or relax:
1. Read a good book. Not a professional book, not preparation for the next Bible study, not the one that my mentor recommended, but a fun book, on a topic that interests and absorbs me. Preferably done with a mug of a hot beverage (winter) or on the porch with iced tea (summer).
2. When I could afford it, I used to have a manicure every other week; and once every six weeks or so, a pedicure. I loved having hands that looked nice and toes that were clipped, and it was so nice to just sit and think of nothing. Also, the pedicure chairs were massaging… And in connection with an earlier Matriarch question—one family (at a previous church) gave me a gift certificate for a manicure/pedicure package for Christmas. Now THAT was appreciated!
3. This is much like No.1: bookstore or library browsing. Just wandering, looking at all the different books, reading a chapter or two here or there, trying to remember the title of the book someone mentioned last week that sounded good…sneaking in a little “guilty pleasure” in the “true crime” section…checking out the latest feel-good title in the Christianity section. It’s all good. And if I can keep myself from buying any of them, so much the better!
4. Games, usually on the computer. The thing is, though, I feel guilty, like I’m wasting time instead of taking a break. At least with the other three items, I can at least feel like I’ve accomplished something—polished nails, read a book, etc. But what do I have at the end of a long session of Mah Jongg? Zip, except maybe feeling a bit relaxed. Which tells me maybe I need to find another way to relax.
One way I would like to try relaxing:
Regular massage. I have a friend who is a massage therapist, and when I visit, I get a freebie ½ hour (we’ve been friends for forty years now…that earns a free one, I think!). I would love to have that experience on a regular basis, say weekly, an hour at a time. I once heard a pastor I respect greatly say that he trusted in the Holy Trinity: his psychotherapist, his doctor, and his massage therapist. Between the three, he felt they kept his mind, body and spirit in balance.
What I did to relax once upon a time:
Ride my bike. We lived near a forest with paved paths, and I loved to bicycle through it. Exercise, out of the house, fresh air—all good things
Dance. I used to do Jazzercise ™ and I would also just dance when we were out for the evening. I could use my knee injury last summer and my (ahem) injury more recently as excuses, but it’s been longer ago than that since I stopped.
Meditate or pray. Fact is, I’m so chronically short on sleep I’m afraid I might fall asleep if I stopped and closed my eyes!
Write. I do blog (obviously!!), but not as often as I would like. And I do have those books in my head that I keep talking about. And then there are prayers and poems and stories rattling around, too.
So—one of the ways I do relax is not really making me happy. Time to get out of that rut! Clearly I need to get more exercise, and I need to reconnect to the other things that I used to enjoy. Right now, other things are taking my energy and likely to for a few weeks—but by spring, perhaps I’ll be able to add a few of those used-tos, and maybe even the wish-I-could!