time for me to relax

Time for me to relax and put stress on pause

As we travel this path, this journey of life, how much of it is filled with strife (stress and anxiety) and how much with just the simple pleasure of being alive? We seem to be so caught up in the daily “grind”. Providing for our families, meeting the goals of our employers, and maintaining personal relationships all take the majority of our
time and resources.

man taking notes on how to make time to relax

Taking time for just ourselves, the “me time” that we all need is often put on the back burner. It seems that all the self-help books and articles I have ever come
across preach the value of me time, but never really come across as being something I can do. Somehow I came away with only vague ideas and thoughts on
what I should be doing.

Recently I came across an article written by a young man named Jason. This was a real person, who was actually speaking plain and offering everyday solutions on how to develop the me time we all need in our lives. Jason wrote about how important it is to find the things we are passionate about. Our hobbies, the things we do just for ourselves. And he includes ideas on how to find those self-fulfilling missing parts. You can link to his article here.

“We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” Thich Nhat Hanh

“…the habit of running all the time.”

embers in the process of burning out

Isn’t that when and how we get burned out? I know it is for me. Not long ago, I was completely exhausted, stressed out and just could not continue on with the daily schedule and grind. Lucky me, it hit on a Friday and I had a couple of days to regroup and catch my breath before staring another week. That feeling of no motivation,
not even being interested in trying anymore, the why does it matter… not really even being willing to think about anything. Burned out. Being mentally on edge is not healthy for us. It slows us down, causing us to react differently than we normally would. Physically, it tears our body apart, leaving us more vulnerable to illness and disease.

I’ve long looked at life being broken down into different groupings. As I have gotten older, the groupings have blurred and merged together until I have them defined into just 3 groups. Professional, Social, and Me. Inside these three, the lines may cross and sometimes shift, it really depends on where and what stage we are in.

There is the Professional me; you know, the me that is presented to my employer, co-workers and the people I associate with for business. I tend to keep people at arms
length, to not allow them into my confidence and to be a little wary and skeptical of their motives. We all know and have co-workers who are only out for their own advancement, taking any advantage for the gain they seek.

Social me is just that. This is the me that I present to the people I hang around with. And I include Family in this group. Depending on the level of friendship and trust
developed, the greater the personal interaction and sharing.

The last group isn’t really a group. It is just Me. And this one is intensely private and kept away from everyone. My inner self where when it all is taken away is what makes me Me.

The lines blur, the professional and social aspects of our life have a major impact on our inner selves. And so, keeping Me centered and healthy should take priority over all others. After all, if you are not happy with yourself, how can you help others?

“…take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves.”

Not taking the time to center ourselves, to relax and allow ourselves to process information increases anxiety and can hinder our decision-making process. Have you ever
made a decision in anger and then regretted it? Ever wished you could have just waited before speaking out? We all have done this and we will all do it again.

The true little pauses are the ones we make for that inner Me we all have. And those pauses are not some mystical journey, some moments of enlightenment. No, like Jason said, the pauses are where we do something that is just for our own pleasure, our passion. Our hobbies or the way we fill our time.

headphones for talking time to relax with music

For me, listening to music, whether it is the old favorites or new musicians I find fills the void of spare time. I can combine listening with studying or reading for pleasure as well as with meditation sessions. And sometimes I just relax without any sounds other than the natural sounds that surround us. Living in a rural area gives me a different natural playlist than living in the city.

Finding a true passion does not have to be hard. Look for what takes your interest and holds it. It can be something as simple as putting puzzles together or as intricate as setting up a model railroad town and landscape. From having a flower garden to just watching a movie or TV shows to volunteering your time for charity.

Sometimes we don’t have the time or the energy to invest those precious hours that we should to nourish the inner Me. Let’s take just a few minutes each day for simple ways to relax and have a more peaceful day.

“…have a lot more joy in living.”

Developing good habits to have a better life sometimes means giving up on bad habits that take away from our time and resources. Why have negatives in our life when developing a healthy lifestyle can be as simple as learning to enjoy the simple things in life. Bad habits, bad choices can take away from our quality of life.

I believe that to be happy with ourselves is more important than is sometimes realized. I am a long way from being complete and there are a lot of things that I can and will improve upon. But each morning I can look in the mirror and be good with who I see there.

Something I read on FaceBook has stuck with me. Place your hand over your heart. Do you feel it beating? That is Life!

Meditation and Music

You can relax without meditation but to meditate you must first relax. In an earlier article, I talked about the 5 Mindfulness exercises that Thich Nhat Hanh teaches. These are simple but powerful tools to have and use in our daily life. They can be practiced together or mix and match to suit your needs. They form the basic foundation for a meditation lifestyle that may be a lot different than you are expecting.

One of my favorite meditations is the Desk Chair Body Scan. This one is about 15 minutes long but is a great way to re-center during the day.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a program that incorporates mindfulness to assist people with pain and a range of conditions and life issues that were initially difficult to treat in a hospital setting. It was developed in the 1970s and is the base for the style of mindfulness that I practice. I only recently found out that my style was a real form of meditation. I had stumbled my way thru life using wisdom from my Grandfather and others along the way.

With music, I can allow my mind to focus on breathing and slowly shift to the music. Thoughts are released unless I wish to explore and develop them. Sometimes being a little unorthodox has its perks, I don’t feel limited by traditional relaxation/meditation music, I like to look at different songs and artist. So, please check out America “A horse with no name” for a feel good moment.

Conclusion

Finding me time is important for us all. It is the time we spend just for our own self-improvement and growth. The time we spend with our hobbies should not just be considered as a past-time.

“We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” Thich Nhat Hanh

What little pauses do you take? Comments are always welcome!

Walking the Path of Peace,

Sanders

sanders@relaxationandmeditationmusic.com

 

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