Learning how to Relax

I asked all our authors at Crowing Love to write a blog based on the prompt of relaxation. I then read every submission and realized I asked a question I did not have an answer for. Relaxation is something in my late 30’s that has presented as a need to cope in a healthy manner. I work at finding relaxation and being able to name what it is that brings me that satisfaction. For this, I looked to my friends. Then I followed their lead.

I took a hot bath with Lavender Epsom salts. My muscles were tense and I felt the instant lightness of the water lifting my spirits. I totally get why people soak. The scent of the salts made me feel special and like I was sitting in a warm hug. This felt very womb like, and was a delightful moment of relaxation.

I bought a candle called “Cashmere Woods”, and it brought me an immediate happiness. The simple glow of a candle, and the constant flicker of the flame kept me in the moment. Now I smell good, and so does my home. I had to clean it first, of course. That’s how I rationalized a bath mid-day instead of writing.

I started feeling antsy by the end of the week. I decided to try the music part of relaxation. I love music, but I also recognize that I use it to check out or relate which is not always positive. Inspired but car-less, I decided to listen to the last bit of music I remember being fun. I found a semi-local bands’ video I used to see live and started dancing in my living room . I closed my curtains first, made sure it wasn’t too loud for the neighbors, then..I danced like a crazy person, the kind of dancing you never want anyone else to see because it’s ridiculous and awesome and purely for you. There was no sexuality present, this was just me in jeans and a tank top, jumping around and laughing at life. I was having such a good time that I texted friends and made them promise to come to my birthday party. The one I hadn’t planned. I’ve never had a birthday party, and I want to start having fun and relaxing. I want my friends with me. I messaged the band and they said sure, they would love to play for my birthday. I was shocked, what did I just do. I’m not social, and here I am throwing a party and everyone is supporting it? I’m so happy! Music is the key to relaxation. Oliver Sacs was onto something for sure, that man was a genius. Music truly sways emotion.

By Saturday, the Full Moon was very apparent and my partner and I were feeling the physical stress of everyday life. I called a time-out, and made an appointment at the local spa for 30 minutes in their steam room.  We needed to put everything on hold and regather our focus, and the physical pain we were feeling was making it hard to communicate. We were in a cycle of grumpy.

The steam room is an interesting place. They pump scents into the little cave , different lighting and music provided by a touch of a button. And the steam rolls in and everything is good. The dark is a little intimidating, but there is a shower to cool off with and the door can always open. I am in control. Then the steam starts getting a little thicker and I think I cannot breathe. This is when I learn I have been holding my breath for a very long time. I walk around, holding my breath and whispering. I stood up, turned on the cold shower, and set my temperature back to tolerable, while gasping for air as though I have been without breath for years. This technique is also used to flood oxygen through your body that is thought to teach people how to breathe.  The more I breathe, the more I realize I can breathe. We sit in silence together, closing our eyes and letting relaxation take over.

Of course, 25 minutes into this experience I know that I am done conquering my fear today and now I am just overheated feeling and thirsty and my partner feels the same. We walk with rubbery legs to the front counter and make another appointment for steaming, and this time we add massages. I slept the kind of sleep that I wish for every night.

The only part I have not planned is a trip, but I recognize the need for travel a few times a year to re-establish myself. I appreciate all the writers who bravely put forth their feelings and solutions in this last blog prompt. You were all the best teachers.





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