How to make time for relaxation

Life can be a chaotic storm of emotions and experiences. It can also be blissful and euphoric. Whatever the state, you will benefit greatly when making time to relax and recharge often. Sometimes however, it can be a challenge to find the time. But if you find yourself being a constant busybody with a full calendar, demands from many areas in your life, or you just wish you had more down time to unwind and relax, the issue may be less about an unending gargantuan task list and more about a prioritization problem. No one sets out to be the source of their own problems, but this is what happens when you consistently put your self-care last. Sure, you mean well and aim to relax once you get this or that done, but how often do you find yourself crashing into bed at the end of each day before the relaxing ever happens? Also, sleep doesn't quite count as downtime/relaxation because it's a basic need. Purposeful relaxation happens when you're conscious, which can feel like self-care, self-love, and even a powerful personal investment. If you're one that does not prioritize self-care because you like to put others first, consider that the opposite of self-care isn't selflessness, it's self-neglect. Would you expect others to show up to be their best if you knew they were neglecting their self-care? The answer here is no. Now turn that question around on yourself and ask it again. Would you expect yourself to show up to be your best knowing you're neglecting your self-care? The answer here is still no. Also, an important sidenote, if you find yourself in relationships with friends/family who don't understand, hear, or respect what you say you need for your well-being, perhaps it's time to give yourself some space and time away from that person/persons. Understand that their reaction is not about you and your advocacy, but rather it's about them and their ability to accept the actions of those around them. Sometimes when you show up and act differently, it takes others time to adjust to change. What helps here is to be consistent with giving yourself what you need to recharge and let go of the things out of your control. Relationships with others aside, how do you make relaxation a priority when you're much to busy? The answer is to put it on your to do list, your calendar, a post-it note in your bathroom mirror, or whatever system you use to remember to do things. Making record of it somewhere will force you to see it, acknowledge it, make room for it, and see it for what it is -- important! Even if it doesn't happen immediately, a new habit can be formed through the repetition of intention, which eventually trains your mind to set a course for carving out time do something new. So the next time you are making a to do list, be sure to add 'RELAXING' in all capital letters at or near the top. Even if you start small with 20 minutes a day, you will be gifting yourself new space to unwind and slow your pace from constant motion. You will hopefully be able to take a deep breath and remember that you can hop off the chaos cycle any time you want and need. Relaxation is an essential way to recharge yourself. It should not be treated as a reward you get to enjoy only if you finish your never-ending to do list. It's about fueling yourself as much as possible so you can competently accomplish all the other things you aim for in your life as your best self. May you push relaxing to the top of your to do lists often.

Kelly Stone Cramer P.S. Want some recharging inspiration? Get your own recharge books here or explore your biggest recharges in this free virtual retreat.