3 Tips to Create a Space of Rejuvenation
When was the last time you heard yourself say: “I am so tense and worn out— what I need is a brisk walk, a healthy dinner, a warm bath, and a good night’s sleep”? Be honest. Although I can guarantee this prescription would be wonderfully restorative, I’ll bet most of us would rank it well below a night of binge-watching Netflix and online shopping.
Amazingly, most people don’t have a clue what will actually make them feel better. Instead, they run to short-term fixes… sugar sprees, over-indulging in a bag of chips, or drinking one glass of wine that quickly turns into two or three glasses. They reach for an anesthetic rather than a rejuvenator.
I certainly understand the urge to escape now and then. Some forms of escape can be very nourishing…a great book, getting a massage or drifting into the evening waiting for the sunset.
But there are constructive, positive ways to unwind that do more than just mask your stress: They rejuvenate you—fill you up spiritually and return you to the world feeling stronger, calmer, and more in control.
Here are 3 strategies to regroup, rejuvenate, and restore your soul…
Cutting stress is one of the best weapons against midlife problems, and yoga provides the perfect combination of techniques to accomplish the job. By toning the nervous system and improving circulation, yoga exercise can pull you back from emotional plunges and rejuvenate your energy supply. It clears your mind and puts your body at ease so that you can concentrate during the day and sleep at night.
Certain postures affect the endocrine and reproductive systems, which can help balance erratic hormonal shifts and awaken the sex center.
In addition, yoga lifts your spine and lubricates your joints and muscles, helping eliminate low back pain and body aches. Most of all, it gives you the flexibility and strength that keep you young and vital. Ready for a sanity stretch?
Play this 10-min Stretch and Flex video….With both standing and sitting movements, this graceful routine brings suppleness to the joints, hips, shoulders and legs…and clarity to your mind.
Most of us shy away from feelings of loneliness, sadness, or anger. We spend a lot of time and energy trying to “hold it together,” while the feelings are percolating just under the surface. As a result, you may find yourself breaking down or snapping at people at inappropriate times.
Here’s a technique called Controlled Crying from my friend and psychologist Ann Christie, that’s designed to help you really open up to the feelings that are trying to surface…
When you feel that tension rising in the pit of your stomach, create a safe place and time to release it. Go someplace where you feel comfortable and secure and won’t be disturbed. Then let it go: Cry with your whole body. Experiment with bringing more focus and power to the experience by speaking your feelings out loud, in simple, direct terms: I’m lonely, I hate my life, and so on. Keep going until you can’t cry another tear. I guarantee this will change your state. If you wish, discuss any insights you gained this way in your journal.
It takes courage to open up to the full force of your feelings, but it’s the only way to move through them.
BEFRIEND A BULLET JOURNAL
Different than a typical journal where you solely write stories from your day or life, the trendy “bullet journal” combines a diary with a planner system, including certain elements, such as daily thoughts, to-do lists, daily and monthly calendars.
Basically, this is an organized system that allows you to plan for the future, track the past, and keep your sanity in the present.
When organizing your daily thoughts, set a timer for five minutes and write whatever comes to mind. Don’t worry about clarity or continuity—just write your thoughts down as they come. This technique is very useful for breaking through emotional blocks and getting in touch with your feelings. It can also be a wonderful stimulus to creativity. This form of journal writing is a great way to complete the dream process in the morning, or clear your mind at night.