The month of January is drawing to a close and while it may have been an already hectic month for some of you for many others it may just be the last mellow month before the year truly kicks into high gear. I wanted to share 5 simple ways to relax before truly swerving into the “rat race”. It’s okay to prepare to speed up, but there always is a calm before the storm and I think before you make speedy decisions it’s important to clear out that mind.
Illustration: Kathleen Jennings “@tanaudel”
1.) TURN OFF/LIMIT TECHNOLOGY- I’m sure this image already suggests that with flying colors. I am so obviously not helping in this department at the moment LOL, but right after this you should get out of here. I myself did this last week. If this isn’t possible for some of you because of your jobs (especially if you’re in the internet industry this needn’t apply) at least restrict yourself to PMs, DMs, email, and SMS messages for work, or set a time of day when it’s time to switch off once work is done. Better yet charge your laptop and tablets outside of your bedroom. Also stall the selfies for awhile. One of my uncles has actually prohibited his daughter from taking selfies of herself until she’s 18 and no, she’s not even one of my celebrity cousins. She’s allowed to take pictures of herself WITH other people. To some it may sound absurd but I believe that limiting self-consciousness in children and adolescents is wise…it expands compassion and encourages a consciousness towards others. I wouldn’t expose my future children to interactive technology until they’re after the age of 5 or in Grade 1. I know it’s easier said than done but the experts have found many problems with toddlers addicted to gadgets. New studies from the world’s top experts have shown that premature exposure to touch and video technology in toddlers is inhibiting their proper mental development and exercise of their motor skills. The rampant use of technology to amuse children is also fueling rage and impatience at an early age. They grow up believing there is a shortcut or button for everything. Some experts are even calling exposure to videos and apps “baby crack” which dopes them and entertains them to make them stay put, but it is highly unhealthy. In the end, for us adults, life’s not all about your best profile photo.
Stay away from YouTube, 9GAG, Vine and the usual places you go to try and be amused or entertained by sometimes irrelevant information, yes even blogs. I was only on YouTube last week to look at some possible recipes and also to follow workout sessions. The mind isn’t a bottomless pit and it can get crowded and the excess won’t help especially during times when you need to be able to think clearly for work…the net junk will reduce decision-making quality. There, there, don’t sob now, LOL, it’s not forever…I’m only saying that temporary abstinence flushes the mind.
2.) TRY COOKING OR MAKING A SIMPLE MEAL FROM SCRATCH - If you can read, you can cook, if cooking’s complicated try baking. If none of that is simple enough, make a sandwich, salad, multiple dips (guacamole for example), or soup. Don’t use a mix that’s jampacked with fillers and MSG, really COOK something. Some may have natural talent but with practice others who don’t can still feed themselves and other people…seriously. If you have any doubts check out Jamie Oliver’s apps, YouTube channel, and books. If you want local kitchen tested recipes look no further than Nora Daza’s easy to follow books. There’s also an economic relevance that will boost your health when you cook it yourself, because the unhealthy stuff (rich dishes, deep fried dishes) are more difficult to make and clean up after than healthy stuff (salads, soups, steamed, grilled, and boiled stuff). Watch this video here.
3.) READ A BOOK, A BOOK WITH REAL PAGES – Gadgets put strain on the mind because they offer too many options for you to change your mind. Press this to go here, tap this to do that, jump here…jump there. Our minds have become like Mexican jumping beans because of too many options presented. Pick up a real book and there’s nowhere else to go but to the next page…and sometimes that’s exactly what we need. One story, one path, one direction, one thing…what makes you beautiful…*cough*. Read it in bed, in your favorite chair, or in a tub…it’s nice to know if the book falls into the water all you need to do is hang it out to dry…you break nothing. Also…don’t read it with music on I suggest, we’re trying to train the mind to do one thing undividedly.
4.) GO OUT AND SEE @SOMEONE IN THE FLESH - This might be my favorite one yet. There’s nothing like two or more souls meeting up and having a good time outside of Viber, Snapchat, iMessage or whatever else we use from day to day to connect. Nothing compares with a real, personal connection with someone whose face you can squeeze. Surprise someone by actually calling them up and rallying the flash mob. SEE A HUMAN BEING, STOP STARING AT AVATARS.
5.) REALLY WRITE, DRAW, OR SOMETHING – You needn’t laugh, some kids today don’t even know how to draw or write anymore sadly. Even if you’re not an artist you should know that committing something to paper physically actually unwinds the mind. You could draw your coffee cup with a ballpoint pen for all I care but handwriting and drawing brings the mind to a different place, and it is peaceful. If you really can’t stand drawing then paint something blank like a box or a cup a different color…just the act of doing something visual with your hands to impact something else makes a difference.
I hope these tips all together didn’t end up feeling like a “filler” blog post, I really wanted this post to be different and matter and not just be beauty or the usual wellness related methods to relaxation :). I’d like to challenge all my readers to at least try one of these 5 things once for more than an hour before January ends and see how doing something in a lower gear actually takes you higher for some reason.