Feeling rested and rejuvenated
If your life isn't looking (or feeling!) much like a day at the beach at the moment, taking time out to indulge yourself and your senses and switching the focus to relaxing can make a huge difference. If you can't escape for a quick trip somewhere, take a little break for reflection and a change of scene or activity. Exploring a museum and or art gallery you haven't visited in a while are great for this or even an afternoon at the movies with a good friend or your partner. You'll likely feel rested and rejuvenated—and rise above the down-for-the-count feelings that too much busyness and stress create.
Stress and you—see the signs
Remember, if you're not getting enough relaxing time, your body will tell you. Stress will show itself in disrupted sleep patterns, assorted aches and pains—from headaches to back and neck aches—to the feeling that it's taking twice the effort to do what you used to do in a blink. It's important to destress—whether it's with meditation or more family and friend time—when you feel you're losing track of 'you' in the day-to-day grind. As we all know, stress may also show up in other more serious ways—raising your risk of chronic ailments and life-threatening conditions and illnesses. The signs of stress vary from chronic urinary tract infections to problems in your love life.
Taking time to indulge in the tried and true stress solutions from vacations to deep breathing to focusing on a healthier lifestyle and habits are all good. Meditation is an excellent way to deal with stress. And you don't even have to leave home to do it.
Start the day with meditation—it’s good for you
Your starting point should be to make sure the setting is comforting, then take a little time to focus. Check out Meditation for Beginners on this blog if you’re not sure what to do next.
When Mass General and Harvard Medical School neuroscientist Sara Lazar had a sports injury, she turned to yoga to stay limber and keep stretching. But before long, she found that she felt more patient, calmer, open-hearted—and set out to explore why. She came to the conclusion (after two studies) that mindful meditation was the key. Participants in the studies experienced a thickening in several regions of the brain involved in “learning, memory, and emotional regulation” or empathy. Read more about this research and the benefits of mindful meditation.
Good to know about meditation: even if you start with only a few minutes, change starts to happen. And it grows with practice. Even study participants who meditated over the course of a weekend retreat, for example, showed a difference in neurogenesis.
“I'm a strong believer in taking care of myself—from the inside and out—and am careful to exercise, live a healthy lifestyle, and make sure to take the edge off when I need to. Meditation is also part of my everyday routine.” Maxine
If you haven’t tried it, check out the Meditation for Beginners blog.