What do you do to relax?

What do you do to relax? Is the question I innocently asked a client and her answer blew me away. She told me she uses social media to relax.  It came down to the fact that while she likes connecting with people, but social media was not helping her relax and de-stress.  Social media is not a relaxation technique and all too often it is a source of stress.  
Yoga mat #3
 First I think we need to define what relaxing means to you.  For me it can vary anything from reading a book, gardening, baking, nutrition, and yoga.  Sometimes just sitting down and reading chapter can shift me into a better place or taking the time to make some really good bread can be very meditative.  All the activities make me feel better, calmer, and help me clear my mind.

I love to garden and find it enjoyable to get outside and dig in the dirt and grow some of my own food.  It is soothing and I can think or not think depending on what I am doing that day.  For me it is an active form of meditation.

Eating food that is nutritious helps make one more resilient. Do you feel terrific on a diet of junk food and overly processed foods?  I know I don’t.  I also notice that I do not deal with problems as well and my workouts start to suffer when skipping food with real nutrients. Put the  focus on what you eat and it will help improve your mood.

Yoga, yoga, yoga, how I love you.  One one thing I have learned from years of yoga is to recognize how I am breathing.  Short and shallow breaths are a signal to your body to flee and panic and once you know you are breathing that way you can change it to long deep breathing.  Long deep breathing will take you out of panic mode and bring to a place where you can deal with the issue at hand in a healthy manner.  It can also help you get to sleep at night. Long deep breathing is easy to do and is always available.

The gist of it is hitting the refresh button on the computer to get new updates is not a form of relaxing.  Find something that is, it can be simple and short as taking a few deep inhales and long exhales.  What do you do to relax?