After two back to back posts on why we shouldn’t overwork ourselves and why we should learn to relax, here’s one more that tells you ‘how’ to unwind and relax. I know, most of the times we have very little time at our disposal and sometimes we may have a little more. So here are five ways to unwind, depending on how much time you have on your hands.
If you can afford to unwind for less than half an hour – Do Shavasana.
Shavasana or the corpse pose is a yoga pose we normally do at the end of the yogasanas. It is meant to relax the body. But it can also be done in isolation. All you need to do is choose a flat surface - your carpet will do. Lie with arms and legs stretched in a relaxed manner and close your eyes. Guided shavasana is even better. The yogic guide takes you through a series of scenarios which shuts your mind off from what you are doing and relaxes you completely. There are several well-known audio relays of such guided shavasana.
If you can afford to unwind for less than an hour - Lie down.
First create a space in your home other than your bedroom which you can use to relax. It can be a quiet corner somewhere, maybe a large window sill, or even your balcony. Use your imagination and creativity to decorate the corner in a soothing manner. Put a relaxing push-back chair, a rocking chair or a soft mattress and some pillows if you like to relax on the floor. When you need to relax, go your corner, lie down, and close your eyes. You may choose to listen to music or read a book or sleep. Why create a corner? Because, by marking a certain place as your relaxing spot, the body learns to relax when it is in that place.
If you can afford to unwind for an hour or more - Take a stroll.
Find a place nearby where there’s a garden, maybe some birds and butterflies (do such places exist?), and take a calm stroll all by yourself. Solitude and nature are a great combination. Smell the flowers, admire the plants, breath in the cool air, and walk at a leisurely pace.
If you can afford to unwind for a couple of hours – Book a relaxing treatment.
Get yourself enrolled at a spa, or a Kerala Ayurvedic massage center or a fish spa center. Getting your body pampered is certainly the best way to relax. I can vouch for the efficacy of the Kerala Ayurvedic massages. They artfully knead your muscles into a putty and when you leave the place, you will have a broad smile on your face and a spring in your body. The fishes biting your feet is a delightful experience too!
If you can afford to unwind for a day or two - Take a vacation
Skip the hot holiday spots. Steer clear of crowds milling around and opt out of sightseeing. Look for places that are far away from the city, have no wifi, and are set plush in the midst of nature. You may not have to travel too far. The nearest village might be your weekend getaway. Do nothing. Just sleep, eat, stroll, repeat.
My most memorable vacations are – the one in a village called Magundi, Chikamanglur, surrounded by coffee estates, the Bhadra river flowing through it and surrounded by hills on all sides, the second one in Hebri, Mangalore, bang in the middle of a forest, the Sita river flowing by, and the third in Dandeli, near Hubli, the river Kali gurgling by and the Western Ghats surrounding the place. The common thread that linked all these three places was there was no network whatsoever, the rivers were practically uninhabited except by local people, and we were in the lap of nature for as far as we could go!
What's your favorite way to Unwind?