With “stay-cations” taking the place of traditional vacations for many families around the country during these tough economic times, people must still find ways to relax and enjoy their time off. A challenge, to be sure – but there are innovative ways to chill out, recharge your batteries and feel refreshed – all without leaving home.
Dr. Ann Marie Chiasson, MD, and Dr. Andrew Weil, of Self-Healing with Energy Medicine, has some smart tips for those seeking the benefits of a vacation, without the price tag of a travel-heavy get-away. Up your energy the all-natural (non-caffeinated way) with these simple mind/body exercises:
- Gather energy for each day – Use your slowed breath, movement or exercise to consciously bring vitality and energy into your body to greet the demands of the day. This is particularly useful for mornings when you know you will be facing a hectic day.
- Tap your toes together or your fingertips to relieve stress - Lie flat in bed and rotate your legs to allow your toes to tap together over and over, quickly and rhythmically. If you are upright, tap your fingertips together to allow energy to move through your body. This moves the stress through instead of allowing it to disrupt the nervous system.
- Breathe – Breathing can shift your nervous system from overload to relaxed. Slow your breath down. Breathe in gently through your nose for the count of four. Hold for the count of seven and breathe out through your mouth for the count of eight. Repeat this four times, at least twice a day or during times when you feel your stress level rising.
- Shaking the Bones – Imagine a cord attached to the crown of your head, reaching up to the sky. Allow your body to relax like a rag doll hanging from this cord. Let your neck relax and fall to one side. Bounce gently up and down from your knees, and allow the rest of your body to shake. Shake your shoulders and your arms; let your neck gently roll from side to side. Use your breath with each movement to shake out old experiences, feelings, or tensions that come into your awareness during this exercise. Do this practice for 2 to 5 minutes a day initially, and work up to 10 minutes a day. If you have knee problems, sway from side to side while you shake. If you experience a moderate to severe amount of pain at an old injury site, stop the practice and come back to it the next day. Practice shaking the bones every day this week and anytime you feel overwhelmed or if you feel you need a quick pick me up.
- Connecting to the earth – Begin this practice by lying flat on the ground or sitting in a chair. Relax and allow your body’s energy field, or the feeling of your body’s edges, to merge with the energy field of the earth. Feel the interface of these energy fields as they come together. After you feel this connection, if you are lying on the ground, place one ear on the earth and listen. If you are seated in a chair, focus on one ear and listen to the energy and sounds around you. Rest in this position for a few minutes, and then switch sides and listen with the other ear. Continue to rest and listen for a few more minutes.
- Slow down, time bends – Slowing our pace in each moment by practicing the art of not rushing allows us more time to get things done. This shift happens in a fraction of a second. You must try this perspective to reap its benefits.
- Day 7 - Laugh as much as you can – Laughter is a wonderful way to connect to yourself and relieve stress. Try renting funny movies, remember and re-tell funny stories and read funny books. Laughter is a profound way to enjoy yourself and your family.
Source: Dr. Chiasson