Finding Relaxation in the Everyday
Natalie is the resident writer, but not an expert. For expert advice, please book a consultation with Dr Quinn
Sometimes when your mind is very busy and you’re feeling overstretched mentally, meditation is not always the easiest thing to do. Sometimes what can most help is to do something with your hands!
Do you ever find yourself actually enjoying so-called ‘mindless tasks’? Washing up, cleaning, repetitive tasks that don’t require too much thinking?
Well, I have long practised this kind of relaxation – and I know chores or manual labour don’t sound much like relaxing, but they can be!
There are two wonderful gifts in the mindless task:
- Repetitive movement which can be quite conducive to a meditative effect (stillness of the mind)
- You are still performing an important task, but you are also completely free to think about other things
How many times can you really do that in your day? Devote your entire mental concentration to your own thoughts, not something else? Certainly not while compiling emails and other work tasks.
Instead of wasting these moments of free headspace with worries, angers, or resentments, a change in attitude can make the activity pleasant.
Maybe it’s productive escapism. Maybe I’m getting a free workout. Maybe I’m getting a decent block of alone time. I can listen to my favourite album that I haven’t had time to sit and listen to from beginning to end in about a decade. I can reconnect with my younger self and old dreams and reflect on how things are going…
Whatever you do, try to enjoy it. Even if it’s slipping your hands into lovely warm water when you’re washing the dishes. Sing a song, have a daydream, find a way to relax into simple tasks.
What’s also a great surprise is when the mindless task becomes more creative – when you’re making something out of nothing. When I’m doing something practical in this way, it opens the door to thoughts of a more creative nature…
Finding Creativity in the Everyday
You might not think of yourself as creative. Some of the most creative, imaginative and resourceful people I know describe themselves as ‘un-creative’. Personally, I don’t think people lack creativity, but perhaps they do lack inspiration in the moment – perhaps they don’t know that part of themselves very well. If you can find a way to express your creativity, it can become an untapped source of energy available to you!
It may not be the huge creative endeavours that light a spark in you, it’s more often a dedication to the little things that generates the most satisfying rewards. Finding creativity simply in daily life.
Love What You Do & You’ll Never Work Another Day In Your Life
(Natalie, paraphrasing Confucius!)
I am an habitual maker. I have been all my life. If I have to sit still, I’m often itching to be doing something. When the eyes are too tired to read and the attention span too shattered to enjoy a good movie or much conversation, then making is a lovely and simple way to unwind – and you can never predict the small moments of insights and ideas that are given space to pop up.
(Beautiful Origami Crane Curtain – a stunning and easy DIY project over at http://homesthetics.net/guide-on-how-to-create-a-colorful-rainbow-diy-crane-curtain-videodetailed-instructions/ )
Origami, knitting, sewing, drawing – you name it, at some point in my life, I have occupied my hands with it. And over time I’ve become more purposeful in my activities. I love to be in the garden, getting my hands dirty, feeling different muscles at work. The stress and pressure of other things slide off and the smells of earth, roots, the busyness of little crawling things eases me and calms me in the most pleasurable way.
I never needed a big plot of rolling land: even repotting plants in my old poky London flat, right on the roadside, would connect me to something living – something which I was caring for in a way which gentled my mood and brought out something generous and nurturing in me.
Image Courtesy of Sheknows.com
There are so many simple ways to find relaxation and creativity in the everyday which really don’t require much discipline or preparation – just enjoyment.
Time for Something Tasty…
Important: While we hope to inspire you with new and clean ingredients, you MUST make sure that all ingredients you use are compatible with your own individual medical conditions, medication, allergies and goals.
Combine pleasurable making with joyful recipes for you and the family…
If you want to try making something that smells and looks rather magical, we’ve found this very beautiful Rose and Pistachio Raw Chocolate recipe from honestlyhealthyfood.com.
Submerge yourself in a few simple, pleasurable steps to make this little treat! Melting chocolate, sprinkling rose petals… what could be better?
100g raw cacao butter
25g raw cacao powder
4 tbsp coconut blossom nectar (or agave syrup, honey or rice syrup)
¼ tsp rose water (optional)
25g almonds (optional nut)
12g pistachios (optional nut)
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
Dried rose petals to garnish
- Melt the raw cacao butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once melted, leave to cool for about 5 minutes before mixing through the raw cacao powder with a spoon. Once fully incorporated, add the coconut blossom nectar (or agave) and rose water and whisk into the chocolate so that the syrup doesn’t just sink to the bottom of the bowl.
- Line either a tin or plate with sides (perhaps use a 7inch long by 3inch wide loaf tin) with baking paper and pour the chocolate in.
- Roughly cut up the almonds and pistachios and randomly drop them into the chocolate.
- Put the tin/plate into the freezer for 10 minutes then pull out and sprinkle a few more of the nuts onto the top with the rose petals and a sprinkling of pink salt. Then put back into the freezer for 1 hour or until set.
- Keep in the freezer or fridge until its ready to be eaten. Enjoy!
Read more in Relaxation Part 3