This fortune is perfect for that over-worked, stretched-thin, stressed-out person. So many people in today’s society work themselves ragged. They push their schedules to the limit to accomplish as much as possible in the shortest amount of time. It’s not healthy.
Personally, I have to shuffle running two jobs (writing/illustrating and my e-commerce store), family (including running my two teens around town, for all of their activities), community service (church volunteering, Venture Scouts, and The Clarence Bluebird Trail), and household chores—who am I kidding? The chores haven’t been done in ages.
There isn’t enough time in the day to get it all done, but I sure do try. I know that if I don’t take some “me time,” I will go completely batty. The time you spend decompressing is extremely important for your mind and body.
The body and mind need three things to recover from stress: exercise, rest, and relaxation.
Getting the right amount of exercise in our lives can benefit nearly all aspects of a person’s health. It can help you control weight, improve your mental health and mood, strengthen your bones and muscles, and help you live longer. From jogging to jump roping, marathons to medicine balls, and swimming to sit-ups, there is an exercise for you.
Getting the right amount of sleep restores your energy, and repairs muscle tissues—especially if you overdid it at exercise, and is essential to your ability to learn and process memories. The amount of sleep you require depends on your age. Generally, children need more than adults do, but the quality of sleep is also essential. This means how much time you spend in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
REM sleep is the restorative cycle of sleep and should account for one-quarter of the time you spend sleeping. How many recall the song “Everybody Sleeps” from Sesame Street? It’s true because we all need it.
Relaxation can come in different forms for different people. There are no guidelines on how much you need, but it is required for maintaining good health. You can relax by sitting in a park, or snuggle in your favorite chair and read a book. You can play some music and sing along. You can also relax by having a light conversation with a friend—avoid topics like politics, religion, and sex, or relaxation goes right out of the window.
I prefer to get my prescription of nature to help me relax. Sometimes I take a double dose. There is even a video of it.
People who practice deep relaxation, like meditation, can relieve their stress and anxiety while decreasing their blood pressure, relieve pain, and improve their immune and cardiovascular systems. Sometimes taking a few deep breaths can make you feel better.
These activities don’t have to take huge chunks of time out of your day either. Ten minutes of deep breathing or a brisk walk can transform your mood and give you a lift. Even a pleasant smile, or laughing, can brighten your mood. Spread them throughout your day, and you will feel refreshed and able to tackle your next duty.
Most importantly, enjoy yourself. Take some time to unplug from the stress, sit back, and smile. Life is too short to let those good times slip on by.