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Too many people in our fast paced society pursue relaxation with the same intensity that they use in their everyday life for time, productivity, and activity.  They just don’t seem to know when to slow down and “just be”.  As a friend once pointed out, we were created to be human “beings” not human “doings”.

There’s really no secret in how to get relaxation – it’s quite simple!  Figure out what activities give you the most pleasure and when you become involved in them keep your mental and physical well-being in mind.

So, go ahead and pursue art, music, education, physical fitness….whatever!  Keep in mind that the goal is relaxation, not achievement. 

There are two important rules of thumb when choosing relaxation activity:  Select activities you truly enjoy; not what you think others think you should do.  And, don’t be afraid to try something very different than “the usual”. 

To spark your thought process consider these options: 

  • Call your local recreation department, adult education program, volunteer services or colleges for their course selections. 
  • Try out a new personal exercise program such as walking around your neighborhood or a nearby woods.
  • What about bicycling, dancing, golf, swimming, gardening, or bowling?
  • If you’re already in shape (always best to check with your doctor), try jogging, tennis, basketball, racquet ball, pickle ball or squash.
  • If you have artistic talent try painting, pottery, carpentry, knitting, or cooking.
  • If none-of-the-above fit you – relax in a warm bathtub!  (While soaking read a book, listen to music, or just pop bubbles!)

Once you’ve discovered your form of retreat, plan to devote at least one-half hour per day or, at least, per week to pursuing it.  Most of us accept the responsibility to meet demands and deadlines, yet we fail to meet requirements for relaxation which is equally important for our minds and bodies.  Whether one works at or away from home, we must give ourselves opportunities to relax to maintain mental balance through stressful events and hectic schedules.

Finally, enter into this retreat time with enthusiasm and personal commitment.  Allow yourself to become absorbed in the relaxation activity chosen; don’t hold back physically or mentally.  Remember, this is not just for the “idle rich”, it’s essential for everyone’s well-being.  Don’t forget, God rested on the seventh day after six days of extraordinarily intense work and ... told us to do the same!

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