As we head into one of the more stress filled times of our year, I thought I’d share with you a list of things that I prepared as a presentation for teachers, park administrators, parents to be used for themselves and with their children.

I’m very aware that we absolutely do not need yet another list of things to do.  I often feel overwhelmed when I leave retreats, events, presentations because I fear that I need to squeeze something else into an already packed day.  MY list is based on things I already do that I’ve tweaked (by reframing how I look at them) to be more relaxing.  Try some and let me know what works for you!

This is a baker’s dozen of things you likely already do that—with a tweak— could change your day from ARGHHH to AHHHH!

*  We do a fair amount of standing in our day so, Stand up straight!  

Line up your feet with your hips (not as wide as you think).  At the same time: Press down the balls of your feet and your outer heels.  Lift your knee caps.  Spin your thighs in and back.  Let your butt go with.  Lift the pit of your belly.  Lift your heart, widen your collar bones.  Lift the crown of your head.  Make your chin parallel to the ground.  Breathe.  Do it anywhere!  No one knows but you! (I have a link to a video that I did demonstrating this yoga pose of standing up straight–Mountain/Tadasana.  When I find it, I’ll share it here!)

*  Sit with knees wide open.  This relaxes your hips and eases and strengthens your back.

*  Close your eyes.  Breathe with awareness:  Are you breathing in through your nose or your mouth?  Where does your breath go?  Which is longer—your inhale or your exhale?  Where do you breathe out?  Is your breath smooth or raggedy?  Place hand on your belly.  Breathe into your belly, sides, back.  Count your inhale.  Make your exhale a count or two longer than your inhale.

*  Roll your shoulders.  Relax your hands to relax your shoulders. Reach your arms out in front of your, palms face away.  In succession, on the exhales, use the pointer finger of the opposite hand to gently pull each finger and thumb toward your body. Return to the thumb and hold for 3 breaths.

 *  Close your eyes.  Ask your yourself:  What am I grateful for today?  

 “I get to…” instead of “I have to…” Changing these words alone, changes your perspective.  It’s amazing.

* Play recordings of nature sounds.  Close your eyes for a moment or two or ten!  ‘Tis better to go outside in nature, but when you can’t, you CAN bring nature to you.

* Scan your body from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet.  Visualize your breath going into any spaces where you feel tense or tight or sore.  You could also say to yourself, “Relax my head.  Relax my eyes. Relax my ears.  Relax my shoulders…”  etc.

Remember:  When you bring awareness to a body part, that body part responds by relaxing, softening, letting go of tension.

* Soften your psoas.  Sit sideways to the right on a chair with no arms.  The right buttock is on the chair; the left buttock is off.  The left knee is pointing toward the ground.  Place your right forearm on the top of the back of the chair.  Close your eyes.  Visualize your breath moving into the left side of your body from just below your rib cage to just above your knee cap.  Repeat on other side.  Soften instead of stretch.  🙂

  • Cultivate an attitude of gratitude, a positive mindset. We must see it in our mind before we can make it happen in our lives.  “I get to.” instead of “I have to.”  Henry Ford said, “If you think you can do a thing or you think you cannot, you will always be right.”  You CAN change your mindset to be more forgiving of yourself (and others), to be more compassionate to yourself (and others), to expect the good, assume the best.  Here are some key phrases that help me:  How human of me/them! Begin again.  Make a mistake?  Yell at your children? Hurt a team mate’s feelings?  Begin again.  It all counts.  Every little thing and every big thing you do as you’re moving in the direction of wherever you want to be…counts!  I have all the time in the world.  This one’s tough…too!  Rushing, pushing to get stuff done, feeling like you’re running out of time, say to yourself, “I have all the time in the world.”  It releases something in our brain that frees us to expand time and we feel less pressure and we get more done.  It’s amazing.  I have all the time in the world. You’re worth the work.
  • When you’re driving, let go of the death grip on the steering wheel.  Relax your hands.

* Put on a happy face.  When you smile, you change your mood for the better.

* Rub your hands together.  Cup them over your eyes.  Receive their warmth in your eyes, sockets, cheek bones, heart.  

* Place a smile behind your eyes, your lips, your heart.  Receive the softness that moves into your thoughts, your words, your actions.©

Key phrases to start saying to yourself:  Begin again.  It all counts.  I’m moving in the direction of.  All that you do, do it with joy!  You’re worth it!  I have all the time in the world! 

Start with choosing ONE.  Be kind to yourself! Remember:  You have all the time in the world!

 

Many Blessings Always,

Paula.