Where are you holding tension in your body right now?
Is it in your neck? In your lower back? The pit of your stomach? Your forehead?
I keep noticing that I’m holding ridiculous amounts of tension right between my shoulder blades, as though I’m getting ready to throw a shotput at a moment’s notice.
(I have never thrown a shotput in my life. I’m not even sure what a shotput IS, honestly, but if I’m going to be throwing anything in this theoretical example, it might as well be that.)
I think it’s time to talk about how to RELAX.
I know that might sound a little bit… odd?
Like: is RELAXING really the thing to do right now??
But listen, you are a whole person—body, mind, and spirit—even in the middle of everything else.
And part of being a whole person, ESPECIALLY right now, involves taking care of your whole self, body, mind, and spirit.
I’m not talking about having a spa day while the world is all uncertain and weird.
I’m talking about the fact that we’re in the middle of a stressful situation, and we might POSSIBLY be holding extra tension in our bodies.
So how do we release that tension?
Well, the opposite of tension is… relaxation. There it is.
Just like you might make a happiness list or a gratitude list, I want you to try making a Relaxation List: a list of things that help your body relax.
That way, when we realize we’ve been clenching our jaw for the last sixteen hours, we have a handful of ideas ready to go to help us, you know, UNCLENCH.
Here’s a peek at my list:
- Stepping into a deliciously hot shower
- Sipping a warm cup of (not caffeinated!) tea, like this one or this one
- Getting into bed early to settle down before it’s time to sleep
- Listening to a “binaural beats” app that coaxes your brainwave patterns toward relaxation (I’ve been using this one on the Deep Relaxation setting)
I keep adding to my list as I try things out and see what helps.
Because taking care of yourself is not selfish.
It’s how you stay present so you can show up for yourself, your work, and your community. You have permission to take care of your body, even now.
Even if you never intend to throw a shotput. (Please no.)