“Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu
In our hurried world it’s easy to feel like you “should” be on the go constantly. Getting caught up in day to day activities and neglecting ourselves seems to be a common occurrence. Rather than relaxing you might be staying late at the office to finish a report, sending emails, or connecting with friends on various social networks.
For instance, practicing walking meditation and yoga have helped me relax and slow down. But, I still get caught up in the idea that I “should” be doing something. Yesterday, I decided to follow Leo’s advice and do less. By embracing the idea of doing less, I accomplished more and took a tiny nap too!
So let go of the need to constantly be doing something. Learn to relax and embrace “laziness.” I’m not arguing you should turn into a sloth; however I think it’s perfectly okay to take time out of your normal routine and take care of yourself. By taking time out to recharge you’ll be more productive and creative.
The art of realization is about cultivating focus and giving yourself time to think. And to really take notice of your hopes, fears, and dreams.
Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Take frequent naps. I’m convinced that naps are the key to a happy life. When I worked at a traditional day job, I always joked that we should have a designated nap hour. That might not be possible in the “real world,” but taking naps on weekends is something you can do.
2. Listen to your body. How many of you actually listen to your body? Do you slow down when you get tired or become ill? Or do you keep going into the office and working long hours?
3. Snuggle up on the couch, with a blanket, and be still.
4. Spend time with your pet. Numerous studies have show that spending time with a pet is relaxing, fun, and can lower your stress level.
5. Practice deep breathing and meditation.
6. Give hugs. Hug your friends, family members and partner. Hugging more often not only increases happiness but makes us happier.
7. Cook a healthy meal at home. Savor your time in the kitchen by making a simple healthy meal. Use simple ingredients like whole grains, vegetables and fruits in your dish.
8. Ask your partner to give you a massage.
9. Take a dancing class with your partner.
10. Participate in activities or hobbies that relax you. What are your favorite hobbies? Do you like going for long runs or slow leisurely walks?
11. Smile and laugh. Have fun and learn to smile and laugh more. If you have trouble laughing, look into laughing yoga.
12. Listen to calming music. It really does help!
13. Observe your surroundings. If your home is loud, find a quiet place to cultivate laziness. Bring a blanket to the park and observe your surroundings.
14. Take a long hot bath.
15. Read a good book. There is nothing more powerful and relaxing than getting lost in the power of a good story.
16. Imagine a personal paradise.
17. Learn to prioritize your tasks. By prioritizing your tasks, you’ll have more time to relax and do what you love in your down time.
18. Go on a slow meditative walk.
19. Take a long, leisurely bike ride.
20. Hit snooze. Rather than jumping out of bed in the morning, slowly wake up. Allow yourself an extra half hour to doze on and off. Hitting the snooze button a few times isn’t a bad thing.
21. Exercise everyday. Take time out of your busy routine and take a long walk, run or bike ride. It’s amazing how much exercise can help reduce levels of stress.
22. Do less. Learning to relax doesn’t have to be so complicated. We just have to do less and make the time for self-care.
Micro-actions: Read The Lazy Manifesto: Do Less, Then Do Even Less and start incorporating relaxation tips into your everyday life.
What would you add to the list?