Tag Archives: relaxation

Water and walking

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post we stayed in a cottage just out of Masterton, close to Henley Lake. This fresh water lake is extensive and the surrounding park area has various paths to follow.

You can see from the photo that the day was glorious. It was warm, sunny and calm that afternoon. Sometimes in my country the blue sky has a dramatic intensity to it and a vastness that makes me feel like a very small dot in the universe. It was one of those days as we walked for an hour enjoying the large numbers of waterfowl, birds and the soothing properties of the water around us.

There is evidence on some of the paths indicating that regenerative planting has been done with more planned.
My time here in such a beautiful environment certainly eased the stress and busyness I had been feeling as I packed to leave for our holiday.

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Books I dip into regularly

I love books and turn to them on a daily basis for either relaxation, information, inspiration, or wisdom.

Here are a few of my regulars:

The Mindful Woman, by Sue Patton Thoele

Plan B. Further thoughts on faith, by Ann Lamott

This piece of earth, by Harvey McQueen

Shift happens, by Robert Holden

Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach.

And I have two new books that I am dipping into for the first time:

A cup of sunshine, by Juliet Batten

Growing into wisdom, by Juliet Batten

Do you have books that you regularly dip into? I’d love to know about your favourites.

Regroup time

Yesterday I blogged about the importance of time to yourself after I witnessed a checkout operator describing her enjoyment of a morning to herself. I can see some hours today which are already labelled “time to myself” and I am really looking forward to those.

As I was thinking about the regenerative nature of a chunk of unpressured time to ourselves, I also thought about how all human beings, no matter their age need “regroup time”. A transition space where they allow time and often personal space to shift from one activity or focus to another. I am very aware of this in my own family as the adults come in from work and often settle with a newspaper or magazine while they regroup from the pressures of work, the drive home and a shift into more leisurely time in the evening.

School children benefit from regroup time as they shift from the demands of the school routine, learning, noisy groups of friends and any personal challenges of the day. A slow drift home on foot is ideal, some food and water when they arrive home, and time outdoors just mucking around allows them to restore so many aspects of their being.

I noticed my two year old grandson needed some regroup time when he woke up from his midday sleep recently. He was happy to sit on my knee and allow me to cuddle him but apart from that he just needed regroup time to shift back into full of energy and movement mode.

No doubt neuroscience could explain what happens to our brains and why we need regroup time but for now we simply need to care for ourselves and our children by providing this important part of being human.

Time to myself

At the supermarket today I heard the checkout operator say to the woman packing my groceries that she had not started work until noon today and just how much she had enjoyed having time to herself.

She went on to describe what she had done in the morning and how good it had felt to slow down, to go at her own pace without the usual constraints of time and work; to think about things that mattered just to her and to really enjoy having lunch with her daughter in a lovely location.

She sounded and looked very relaxed and refreshed from having some time to herself. I felt more relaxed too as she described the benefits she had felt.

I hope you can find that same “me” time too.

Ha Ha Ha!!

We have been talking around here about laughing more to help reduce stress, build resilience, lift mood and generally stay lighter.   Years ago I was given this piece about Laughter and its huge benefits to us.  Sadly I cannot acknowledge the author.

Laughter is highly therapeutic.  Circuits in your brain reverberate.  Chemical impulses flow rapidly through your blood.  Your temperature rises, your pulse and blood pressure increases, your arteries and thoracic muscles contract.  Your vocal chords quiver and your face contorts.

Pressure builds in your lungs.  Breath bursts from your mouth at 70 miles an hour (110kms).  There is hardly a system in your body that a hearty laugh doesn’t stimulate.  When you laugh your chest and abdominal muscles, as well as your diaphragm, heart, lungs and liver contract.  Laughing also has a stimulating effect on the digestive organs and brings more oxygen into the blood and cells. 

The aerobic benefits come when your blood pressure soars and your pulse doubles.  When a spasm of laughter subsides, your pulse rate drops a little below normal, resulting in less stress, less hypertension and fewer muscle tension headaches, as an all round relaxation.

Good laughing releases endorphins which are 200 times stronger than morphine!!

Mild laughter is good exercise, like “internal jogging”.  Laughing 100 to 200 times a day, equals the exercise benefits of rowing for 10 minutes.

Laughter is one of the greatest preventative medicines known to man.”

I hope you find lots of things to laugh about today…..your whole being will love you for it! 

 

If it is Tuesday it must be singing

I belong to a local singing group.  We meet for 8 weeks every school term and there are four of those.  We meet from 7.30 until 8.45pm on a Tuesday night.  The only requirement for joining this group is that you like to sing.  No auditions, no ability to read music, just a desire to sing with others.  So for a nominal fee, around $6 per session I get to sing a range of  music with a great group of people, led by a talented and funny guy.

The age range in the group is from 12 to possibly 80 years of age.  Our musical leader has the group divided into those who like to sing high, or low and then the rest of us are middles.  Keep it simple and it works brilliantly.   He adds in “keep it friendly” and every session we have a couple of short breaks from singing to say hello and catch up with the people sitting near by.

Twice each term we sing while enjoying supper together.  We also get to sing out in public.  The group sings once at year at the Wellington Railway Station for the evening commuters.  This term we are scheduled to sing at the Wellington Airport for those flying at dinner time.  Other singing get-togethers in various locations and for various reasons are also arranged.

Do we sound good?  Yes, a lot of the time.  Do we make mistakes?  Yes, especially when a song is new but also when we have practiced and practiced.  Do we laugh a lot?  Oh yes!!!

Most people in the group would say that singing each week is the highlight of their working week.  For 75 minutes on a Tuesday night all the stresses, troubles and cares in our lives evaporate and we leave feeling relaxed and much better prepared to face the world.

It is a very simple formula and it works a treat.