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Why you need to relax and my favourite relaxation activity
If you’re a mum, are you secretly looking forward to Mother’s Day?
Is it one of the few days in the year that you actually give yourself permission to RELAX?
For some reason, society seems hell bent on making sure we all suffer ‘burn out’. If you’re not proving to everyone that your life is super busy, then society deems you a failure or loser.
I’m not religious but there is something to be said for the old fashioned view that Sundays should be a day of rest. Nowadays, Sundays are just another day to get the cleaning and shopping done and run the kids from one activity to the next. The weekend just merges into the stresses of the rest of the working week.
The problem with constantly being ‘on the go’ is that your cortisol levels remain in the ‘flight or fight’ zone which places enormous stress on your body. Cortisol affects your digestion, lowers your immune system and increases your heart rate. This can cause weight gain, insomnia and general exhaustion. Sound familiar?
The human body needs periods of rest and relaxation to activate our parasympathetic nervous system. This reverses the affects of cortisol and helps us to de-stress, sleep better and digest our food better. Your overall health will improve immensely if you give yourself permission to relax for short periods every day.
If you are reading this and saying ‘I don’t have time to relax’, then you my friend, probably need it the most!. You really need to make time to relax.
Start with 10 minute rest periods here and there in your day. Take 10 minutes to savour your coffee, take a short walk at lunchtime or read a magazine article. When you start making some ‘me’ time for yourself you will see improvements in your general health.
Some of my favourite forms of relaxation are:-
- having a coffee with a friend
- going for a walk
- yoga or pilates
- a long hot bath
BUT my absolute favourite form of relaxation is READING.
I will read anything but I especially love a good book.
With four children, my opportunities to read are limited but I always read for about half an hour before I go to sleep at night. Even if I’m reading a page turning thriller, reading still helps calm my brain down ready for sleep and I drop off much easier than if I don’t read at all.
However in my opinion you must read a physical book – no gadgets allowed! I believe Kindle now has a white page facility but generally gadgets omit blue light which messes with your melatonin (your sleep hormone). You’re also much more tempted to check out your emails or social media which could trigger your cortisol levels back up.
As Mother’s Day approaches, how about dropping a few hints to your loved ones and making a wish list of books you might fancy reading.
Here’s my wish list for this Mother’s Day:-
I do have lots more on my list but I think that will do for starters!
If any of you have read these, do let us all know what you thought of them in the comments or on the New Leaf Facebook page
I try to always recommended a good read in the New Leaf newsletter so if you’re interested you can sign up HERE. (Just so you know, I only ever send you information and tips from New Leaf and would never sell your email address to any third party).
I hope you all give yourself permission to have some rest and relaxation and enjoy your weekends.
For any readers in the Denver, US area, I came across this website Mile High Wine Tours – they have a 5* rating with TripAdvisor. Unfortunately I’ve not experienced their Tours but I thought it looked like a wonderful Mother’s Day treat!
Wishing all my mommy readers a wonderful Mother’s Day.