“Just relax.” It sounds so simple. And yet, for busy women who have established a habit of juggling a lot and being “in action,” relaxing often does not come automatically. To make matters worse, many of my clients tell me they feel guilty because they have a hard time relaxing.
Last week I was on vacation with my family and our friends. Each year we look forward to our week by the lake. The plan is to settle into our cabins….and relax. Just be. No schedule, no expectations. We play, we rest, we sun and swim, we eat and sleep and start over again.
Sounds great right? and, the truth is, for many of us, completely unwinding and relaxing takes a little time. When I jump into a vacation like this, I’m immediately more aware of that little voice in my head that makes a schedule, thinks of things that need doing, and resists stopping. My friend and I joke about that first day of vacation when we have to consciously resist that thought of “What are we going to do next?”
By the second or third day, my brain has slowed down and I’m pretty content having a very minimal agenda and just floating through the day (and floating around the lake). For me, this annual vacation is a powerful reminder of the importance of switching gears and of creating opportunities for restful inaction.
I’ve set a goal to be more purposeful about creating more of this kind of space in my life throughout the year. I’m planning on making more retreats to the beach (in all seasons) and I’m making more space for down time in the day-to-day of my life. A few deliberate minutes every day can remind me how to really be present in my life.
How do you practice switching gears and stopping your mental “to-do” chatter? I’d love to hear. Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
Take good care,