Relaxation + Rejuvenation = Renewal

Do you ever feel like you have been going, going, going and just need to get away from it all to relax? Or, do you have times when you feel tired and sluggish and need someone to come along and hook you up to a magic human battery charger?

There are different times in our lives when we need relaxation and other times when we need rejuvenation. This can all happen in a day: I like to have a mug of hot Chai tea to help get me going in the morning and I like to unwind with a hot bath, a glass of wine, a good TV show or a great book at the end of the day.

Our need for relaxation or rejuvenation may be different depending on our phase of life.  This past weekend I went on a fabulous women’s retreat in the Texas hill country with Cypress Yoga.  I was at the retreat with a dear friend who is also a busy mom with multiple kids still living at home. We enjoyed pedicures, a long walk and deep conversation.  We both needed relaxation.  We needed to get away from it all to relax.  Other women on the retreat have adult children who are no longer living at home. They enjoyed shopping excursions into town and lively late night conversations by the fire. They left the retreat feeling energized, connected and inspired.

In order to have a healthy body and mind, we need to know how to relax AND how to rejuvenate ourselves. On a physical level, we need to practice self care activities that allow us to activate the relaxation response (the parasympathetic nervous system), which allows us to rest and digest well. We also need a sense of rejuvenation (activation of the sympathetic nervous system), which is our fight or flight response. When we have a healthy rhythm of flow between relaxation and rejuvenation, we feel a sense of renewal. Sometimes we get caught up in thinking in terms of “either/or.”  This is a case of “both/and.”  It’s a matter of timing, what we need at any given moment and our ability to flow between the two.

What is it that you most need right now – relaxation and/or rejuvenation – in order to feel renewed? What are some of YOUR tried and true self care activities? Is it time to try out a new self care activity? If so, what do you think will help you relax and rejuvenate?