Warning: If you find yourself doing any of the following while trying to relax, you're going about relaxation the WRONG WAY:
1) Strangling small children (or any children really, but, with small children it's particularly cruel) to create quiet
2) Setting the house on fire. (NOT relaxing)
3) Trying to perform self-acupuncture (Bad. VERY BAD.)
4) Eating your body weight in chocolate. (It always sounds like a good idea at the time, but from experience I can tell you: You will feel like a fatass afterwards.)
So how do you relax properly then, if you can't do any of that stuff?
1) I like to start off by taking a nice shower and releasing the stresses of the day (or the week, or the ever since my main character's stopped listening to me and started driving me nuts). I try to focus on the feel and sound of the water and imagine my issues washing down the drain.
2) Light some candles--remembering not to burn the house down--and turn off or dim the lights. Even if you end up staring into the light of your computer screen the whole time, I’ve found that candle light still greatly adds to the atmosphere.
3) Put on music that helps you relax. It doesn't have to be your traditional waterfalls. Just something you like.
4) Stretch a little. No, nothing rigorous. Stretch your arms, wrists, hands, fingers, legs. Touch your toes if you’re feeling festive. I like to do a mini yoga-type thing. A mix of downward dog, child’s pose, and cobra. If you don’t know yoga, no worries, just do whatever you feel you need to wake your muscles up.
5) Lay down, stretch out your body, and zone out. (I ask so much of you, I know, but this will help you get rid of mind blocks later.)
6) Put on comfy clothes. Pajamas. Yoga pants. Boxers. You choose.
7) Keep some snacks with you. Something light that won't make you feel icky afterwards and something that won't get all over your keyboard as you eat it.
8) Be productive in your new, zen, candle-lit, snack-ready space. Do that editing or blogging or query writing or work report that you need to get done.
9) Celebrate reaching your goals by doing something fun that you don’t usually have the chance to do.
So, what d’ya think? Easy enough?
What do you normally do to stay relaxed? Is there anything you've find that works really well for you? Or maybe something that works for your friends but not for you?
<3 Gina Blechman