Her Healing 

  • Relaxation vs. Coping

    For my first blog post I figured I should talk about a topic that everyone can relate to. I frequently have conversations with my clients and friends about our life stressors. When we were children we learned to handle our frustrations or stressors (what few we may have had) by going to our caregivers for support, waiting for them to tell us what to do to feel better. Or we learned how to manage our emotions by watching and learning from those older then us. I think it's fair to say that the majority of us never recieved a class on how to handle difficult emotions and life stressors. Some of us learned from the adults around us to workout, go to sleep, eat, or have a couple of alcoholic beverages to take the edge off. Being an American we learned early that the harder we work the better life will be, to rest will never lead us to our dream. We learned to just cope with life to get by. 

    If we really look at our coping skills we might determine that the skills we have learned over the years are not the best ones for us. But hey, they work right? I will be the first to admit that during my first year teaching with Teach For America I was an avid supporter of happy hour, the socializing and cocktails helped me to relax for sure!  While it made me feel better in the moment, it didn't make the stress or insecurities about my role go away. I can recall going to the gym frequently and finding that just like happy hour it made me feel better, but later I felt overwhelmed, stressed, tired, and anxious. I was coping with the stress of being a first time teacher, a teacher who was reaching burn out at a fast pace. A close friend of mine suggested I try Bikram Yoga so I went to a class with her. Afterwards I could think clearly and felt so relaxed and at peace. I learned then that Yoga was a relaxation tool for me. The more I made room for it in my life the more my body craved the hour of relaxation and the more balanced I felt. 

    We are aware that stress is apart of life, at least the American life. We utilize our personal coping skills to get us through the day, week, months, and years. Unfortunately, we hardly give our minds and bodies a break. If I were to ask you now, "how do you relax during the week?" what would you say? Our minds and bodies need to relax weekly and sometimes daily depending on how much stress we experience. When we relax we might be still, not thinking, exerting as little energy as possible, at rest, and it feels good! Cultivating alone time allows our minds and bodies to re-energize, release tension, and relax. Making room for intuition, creativity, insight, awareness, and authenticity to flow.

    Try a few of these relaxation activities below and see what feels good to you. Maybe there is something you used to do but stopped because you no longer felt you had the time. If you make the time to take care of your mental and physical health I guarantee you will become more efficient and effective in your daily life. It doesn't take away from your ability to be successful, it's how you reach and maintain success! Remember, our minds are always at work, even when we sleep so the only way to quiet them is to be intentional about doing so.   



    • Take a bubble bath 

    • Get a massage

    • Go for a walk or hike solo 

    • Watch the sunset or sunrise

    • Try a meditation exercise (try Headspace app)

    • Take a Restorative or Iyengar yoga class 

    • Create a quiet space (candles, relaxing music, warm beverage)

    • Sit under the stars 

    • Sit by the ocean, close your eyes, listen to the waves

    • Try a mindfulness exercise in nature (www.Mindful.org) 

    • Free flow dance to your own rhythm 

    • Paint, draw, or color (Adult coloring books are great!)

    ~ Her Healing

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