Friday, March 11, 2011

Frankie Says "Relax"

If your idea of relaxation is wild nights of debauchery and gay night clubs then go for it. I think is it safe to say most of us have slightly more traditional needs when it comes to relaxation. But regardless of how we seek our escape we all need it.

I have many friends that are of the social sort. Seeking large gatherings and friendly interactions to recharge their batteries. I myself am a lone charger, the more secluded and quieter my environment is the more I can begin to collect my sanity. Depending on what sort of person you are you will probably require different methods to calm yourself. For instance for those active people out there Yoga would probably only make you more anxious, for me however it is the perfect way to end or begin any day.

Regardless of how your batteries are recharged they do need recharging. Daily if it can be helped. Stresses cause cortisol levels to raise in the body which triggers growth hormones and a variety of other chemicals to keep your body functioning under duress. Crying is one of our bodies natural mechanisms to releases stored cotisol which in turn lowers blood pressure and return the body back to a normal resting state. As adults it can be hard to allow ourselves to submit to such a perceived childlike response to stress, but without admitting it I bet we have all felt the need from time to time. Whether or not you are holding back waves of tears in your board meetings you probably still have a great deal of stress. Managing these levels depend on allow yourself time to release the pressure and refocus your thoughts.

The best thing you can do if you starting from the ground level, is pay attention to how you feel at different periods of the day. I myself dread unnecessary social interactions of any kind, being in the elevator with someone I work with but have no reason to talk to kills me, small talk is the bane of my existence. So when feeling stressed do you feel like fleeing and finding a nice downy hole to burry yourself into (me) or do you find yourself wishing you were at a big party surrounded by social interactions (best friend K). When you get home at night do you immediately want to go find people to chat with (best friend K) or do you find yourself relieved and hoping no one will call you for at least an hour (me). Recharging needs are important to know of one’s self, for the sake of your own sanity and at times I am sure for the wellbeing of those around you. But there are some other things that are important regardless of what kind of person you are.

A)    Get some exercise, whether it be a long walk or a decathlon make sure you are getting fresh air, light exposure and increasing your serotonin levels.
B)    Eat well, we crave junk foods when our bodies are stressed because stressed out bodies need more energy. Even though you may be craving the chocochunk cake eat a well balanced meal of veggies first, protein second, and whole grains third.
C)    Have a drink every now and again. Not every time you feel stress, that would just land you a category that all to many of my coworkers are hazing through.
D)    Do something just for you each day (advice from my favorite fictional law enforcement officer Dale Cooper).
E)     Take 10 minutes out of the day and don’t talk to anyone. It takes a lot of brain power to construct language, it’s important to let your brain refocus.
F)     Remember to breath. Deep steady breaths regulated blood flow as oxygen is taken in and released in long even bursts, this will regulate blood pressure and reduce anxiety.
G)    Walk away. Having insurmountable problems with something or someone? Just walk away. Removing yourself from a situation often allows your brain to refocus and if the problem is another person, removing yourself will keep you from saying things in the heat of the moment that will only escalate a problem.

It’s been a busy week for me and it’s not officially over until Monday after finals. I have had to implement a lot of walking away and deep breathing to keep from going kung-foo on some coworkers, but its Friday and regardless of the mountain of studying I have to do I plan on relaxing as much as possible and enjoying some much needed down time with boyfriend. I hope the weekend proves rejuvenating for you all.


*Photos from unknown sources, if you know, do let me in on the secret. Would love to give due credit.

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