“Daddy, you’ve gotta give me a massage…”
That’s what my 4-year-old son said to me just a few hours ago.
Like he needs it. His body recuperates at lightning speed.
My wife and I are the ones who feel it after our Karate lesson on Saturday mornings.
My back paid the price last time and felt it all the next day.
I just have to face facts, I’m no longer young…and whether you’re 14 or 40, if you’re reading this sooner or later you’ll have to accept this fact, too.
What I’ve found is the older I get the more I appreciate taking it easy.
As a kid it’s all go go go…”slow down” doesn’t exist as part of their vocabulary.
But then one day it hits you – life.
You have things to do, people to see and bills to pay and pretty soon we’re devoting much of our time to things we have to do, rather than want to do.
But in doing so we deprive our mind and body of the relaxation they need to perform at optimum levels.
I’d rather someone worked 5 hours at 100%, than someone who worked 10 hours at 50%. The result may be the same but one way is effective, the other painful.
One day, you have time to spend with your family, catch up with friends, cook dinner and all the other things we should be doing more of. The other, mind-numbing and frustrating for everyone involved with no time to do much of anything.
As such, this post is devoted to R&R.
It’s the unspoken rule of success in any endeavor – taking the time to enjoy the spoils of victory.
I was reminded of this the other day listening to a friend talk about their work. It was sucking the fun out of them.
In response to this, I decided to sit down and write up my own list of how to kick back and recharge the old batteries.
- Take a bath
- Listen to music
- Take a nap
- Make fists with your toes
- Play a boardgame
- Have a glass of warm milk
- Close your eyes and clear your mind for 2 minutes
- Sit by the ocean
- Go stargazing
- Watch the clouds
- Light a candle (scented preferably)
- Rest your legs up on a wall
- Do some light stretches
- Fly a kite
- Write a letter
- Sit in nature
- Listen to a TED presentation
- Read a book
- Learn something new
- Have a lollipop
- Write in a journal
- Take a walk
- Build a model
- Go for a run
- Sing X-Mas carols
- Turn off all electronics
- Color with crayons
- Watch your favorite cartoon
- Take a drive
- Climb a tree
- Go to a park
- Take a bike ride
- Read poetry
- Go somewhere new
- Watch the world go by
- Make yourself a drink
- Read or watch something funny
- Visit a museum
- Stop and smell the flowers
- Go shopping (always works for my wife)
- Meander around town
- Drive somewhere new
- Get a massage
- Take pics of people and places in your backyard
- Play with your pet
Sometimes all it takes is a few minutes to forget our troubles, other times it takes hours. The point is today we’re all so wired-in. And while being connected has its benefits, relaxation usually isn’t one of them despite what we might think.
The Internet may be our preferred avenue of escape these days but when it comes to freeing your mind from the troubles of the world there’s nothing better than just remembering the simple joys of life, the ones that exist all around us and yet so few of us take advantage of.
Earlier this year, I took a walk around the local park at night (hey, it’s Japan). It was cold but very peaceful and within a short time I began to feel at ease with all that was going on in my life.
At home I’m a father, a husband, a housekeeper, a businessman, a student and a coach and from time to time, even someone as motivated as myself needs just a few uninterrupted minutes to his thoughts.
That’s my choice. What’s yours?