I’d always been the type who’d choose to continuously keep working. I took up two jobs when I was just in college, while everyone was having the time of their life: partying and hanging out with friends; I chose to sit back and find ways to either gain more knowledge, or study harder, or earn some money. I was constantly working. I remember my first year was wreck because of this.
I thought all those things, which a lot of my friends and colleagues did were a waste of my time. For this driven nature of mine, I came across as someone who was “snooty” or “snobby” to go out, or even rude, or someone who didn’t wanna make friends. [Well don’t take me wrong, I don’t think what others did was wrong, instead I feel I needed to do things differently. AND, I did make my set of groupies, who really understood why I did what I did. AND till date, I am super thick with them and a call away.]
But, for a very very very long time, I was the type who would choose to not have “fun”, or go out or really know what it meant to enjoy myself. I didn’t know what relaxation meant. I had a clear vision in my mind and I knew I had to achieve a my goals, faster. This attitude did help me initially, but it drained me completely, after a couple of years. I lost my mojo to work. Because of which, I started questioning myself. I started questioning my ambitions too. In that moment, I realized that I truly needed to sit back, take some time off and truly evaluate what I needed to do.
To truly explain where I’m going with this, I’ll tell you a story. I recently learned how to swim. And I am soooo thankful for my teacher because, I’ve picked up all the strokes quite well, in just one month’s time. I practice them daily. One day, while I was swimming, something hit me. I’d swim better if I am relaxed in water. I knowwww, it isn’t some rocket science or a big revelation, however, it did teach me a big lesson. When we’re in a relaxed state, (which comes from conscious decision making in the moment), we can achieve our targets better and more easily. Our life is fluid like the water, therefore, if we panic more, we don’t allow the environment around us to keep us afloat, instead we allow it to pull us down and drown us. When we are calm in the fluid state, we’re automatically buoyant, so we’re afloat.
After reflecting upon this simple yet strong emotion, I realized, how important it is to relax ourselves in our busy lives, to actually perform better in any sphere. And it also helps us to be completely present in each and every moment. Here are 3 simple and doable ways by which you can achieve a relaxed state of mind, body and soul, for a more productive and better you:
- Realize your version of down time: We all crave down time to truly be our best possible versions. From time to time, relaxation comes in different forms. From naps to sabbaticals; from meditation to workouts; from mindful thinking to simple activities; from listening to music to creating art; from taking long/short vacations to indulging in a good spa. It could be ANYTHING, depending upon your circumstance, situation or even time. When you indulge tools that relax you, you soothe your mind, body and soul. So, what’s your version?
- Make a decision to fit it into your schedule: To all my dear ‘type A’ personalities, who are driven and goal oriented go-getters; I understand that the term relaxation may seem TOO MUCH to handle. I’ve been there. But what it truly means is a period of time, when and where, you can detach yourselves from your “regular chores” to give your mind, body and soul, the recovery it needs. Imagine the recovery phase every body needs after a good week of workout… it is something similar. When we indulge in things that relaxes us, it restores, our emotional, mental and physical well-being, it strengthens our mind and our bodies to perform even better. There are days when it may feel that you cannot take those couple of days off, or take a break… however, even if it is a down time of one hour in a week, what is the best thing you can do then? Given your situation and circumstance, to truly relax yourself. I’m sure you will be able to consciously find a way out.
- Make the down-time happen: Just thinking about relaxation is not going to work, right? So, your down time won’t magically occur, you need to make it happen. Just by saying that you need a break, you will only overwhelm yourself. You need to make it WORK for you. See where can you fit the down time in your schedule and how. I know it sounds so simple but soooo many of us fail to understand this concept. Once you truly fit the ‘unwinding’ time in your non-negotiable schedule, you’ll see how productive, creative and energetic you’d be afterwards. So, make it happen.
You know, I usually take care of my downtime, every single day; so I ensure that I workout and meditate. Beyond this, I often try to make time for a short break where I can totally detach myself from my work.
Now, you tell me what works for you, to truly relax you and rejuvenate you? If you have any other thoughts regarding relaxation, put it down in the comments below.