“Mom, I had a bad dream.” I heard this all-too-familiar whisper in my ear, from my 6-year-old son, at 4am this morning. It woke me physically from a deep sleep, but mentally with a smile on the inside. I hate that he has had such a jolting dream that he feels he must find a place other than his own bed in which to find comfort…but I love that he feels this comfort right between my husband and I, safe and snug in our bed.
Sometimes a simple change in location or routine is all it takes for us to feel comforted. When we are jolted from our daily lives due to life’s traumas (big or small), we sometimes feel like we cannot find rest or peace. Perhaps finding comfort is as simple as getting away from our routine (literally or figuratively) for a day, or even an hour. Here are 3 ways for change to do you some good!
- Go for a walk or a hike in nature, rather than on the treadmill
- “Escape” with a book that takes place in an exotic locale
- More dramatic or lengthy
- For those who are used to walking for fitness, try a “Walking Meditation” instead. The purpose is to walk without an expectation…clearing the mind by slowing down the body and being in nature. Many people find that the combination of those two things leads to a wonderful rhythm that is so often NOT present in “traditional” walking or other types of exercise. (Psst, want more info on how to do a walking meditation? CLICK HERE to get on the phone with me & I can get it to you!)
- Much research has been done on the positive effects of visualization, and the conscious relaxation that follows. The same can be true of reading a book, set in a locale that is pleasing to imagine. Even reading one chapter for 15-30 minutes a day can help you feel more relaxed as you imagine those surroundings.
Sometimes life circumstances require something MORE. Recently, my son went to visit his biological dad in another state. Typically I use that time to do things that are challenging to do regularly, AND allow me the distraction of not thinking about my precious son all the time: have a night out with my girlfriends, spend a weekend away with my husband, pamper myself for a day.
But this time, during this particular 2-week visit (longer than normal), my son would be gone, and my husband would be simultaneously on a work trip. I decided that I needed a change, so I tagged along with my husband to New York City. My friends asked what I was planning to do while there…to which I replied “nothing!” I really wanted to see what would happen when I didn’t plan anything…and it was glorious! I did whatever sounded relaxing, whenever I wanted, without judgment. If my body needed a 3-hour nap, it got it! I practiced yoga, I walked, I ate pb & j sandwiches (my comfort food!), I read “Hollywood gossip” magazines (don’t judge!), as well as a self-help book (to balance out the trashy magazines!). I just let my body and mind lead the way! Yes, we of course did the tourist-y stuff on the weekend: Central Park, a Broadway show…and it was the most relaxing week I can remember. Just giving myself PERMISSION to slow down and do whatever I felt like was so liberating…I intend to do the same thing at home the next time my son and husband might be gone at the same time, even if it’s only for an hour!
I want to hear from you! What are some ways you re-center yourself, when you feel off-course? From the mundane to the crazy, let me hear it!
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