How do you relax?

There a a million ways to skin a cat.  There are also a million ways to relax.  The issue becomes some of the ways take time, money and removal from our daily lives.  As desirable as it is to think about an existence where we were able to take unlimited days off or had never ending funds to use for massage; this is far from the reality most of us live.  It is time to find ways to relax that are everyday accessible and free!

Get Outside- Nature

We all know we feel better when we get some fresh air. This time of the year there are very few places any of us can use the weather as an excuse for not going outside and getting some sun.  In addition to the fact that sun exposure helps to regulate our mood and lift our spirits, the vitamin D also helps our body absorb nutrients more readily.  While outdoor activities are ideal, even just sitting outside on the porch will give you the fresh air and sun you need.  All this will cost is the $10 for the lawn chair and the freedom to step outside and we are good to go.

Get Inside- Meditate

Take some time to quiet your mind.  This can be done anytime anywhere and is completely free of charge. No need to invest in a yoga outfit or a meditation cushion; quieting the mind and finding a moment of inner peace does not require any special equipment. Meditation can be as simple or complicated as we would like.  We can join a community and attend formal sessions.  There are apps and free resources on the net to help us if we choose to go the guided route.  Or we can simply take some time to focus on our breath and observe our thoughts.  This mindfulness of internal processes can help connect us to our bodies and our minds.  Through repeated use, we can learn to control our emotional responses, choose our words and actions wisely, cultivate peace and even lower our blood pressure.  Meditation requires discipline of thought.  This is much like discipline of habit.  Once there it is relatively easy to maintain, but often the process of getting started can be challenging.  With daily effort to spend a small amount of time focusing on our breath, we can be on our way to inner peace. Free of charge, accessible anytime, but requires effort.

Exercise

Here we have the solution that requires the highest amount of effort and might involve a financial burden as well.  Exercise is an investment in both our physical and mental health and wellness.  Exercise has the ability to produce serotonin and endorphin's that create actual biological adjustments in our brain chemistry.  This can counteract stress and help us keep a positive perspective.  In addition, we are conditioning our bodies to be physically stronger and more conditioned.  While exercise can be done at home or outside, often people prefer health clubs or fitness classes for connection and motivation.  While these options may cost money, the benefits can save us by improving our fitness levels and creating a lower risk for some medical issues.

No matter which option we choose, we need to remember there are ways to relax each and every day.  By investing our time in daily relaxation rituals, we improve our overall health and our psychological state of well being. These are just a few of the ways we can invite relaxation into our daily routine.  Maybe something else works for you; a hot bath, lunch with a friend, or even shopping at the local mall.  By finding affordable and accessible ways to make relaxation a part of our life, we can improve both our mental and physical health.