Are you relaxing right?
When was the last time you did nothing AND enjoyed it? (Yeah, it’s called relaxing.)
By enjoy, I mean that you didn’t feel like you had to check your email or wash the dishes. You simply sat back and enjoyed what you were doing, which was absolutely nothing.
If you can’t remember when, you’re not alone.
In fact, most of us Type A, go-getters have a tough time sitting still much less enjoying sitting still.
Even if you’re not working 70 hours a week, you probably manage to fill your time with “stuff.”
We’re in a state of perpetual “busyness.”
My definition of Busyness:
“The state of having so much to do that there’s no time to really connect to yourself or others. Things to do include binge-watching Game of Thrones, checking e-mail, posting my whereabouts on Facebook, checking Instagram, texting my friend, tweeting on Twitter. And throw in my regular assignments at the office, cleaning the house and feeding myself.”
During my binge-watching fiasco this week-end, I saw a commercial that just made me sad for humanity. It showed a man watching television feeling desperately fearful that his last show of the series was almost over. What in the world was he going to watch next??? Never fear. We’ll find a way to fill your time and keep you from truly connecting to yourself.
Binge-watching is just another form of busyness. It keeps us from doing what we most need to do: connect with ourselves and others on a meaningful level.
Elizabeth Gilbert said it best when she wrote:
“Generally speaking…Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one. Americans spend billions to keep themselves amused with everything from porn to theme parks to wars, but that’s not exactly the same thing as quiet enjoyment. Americans work harder and longer and more stressful hours than anyone in the world today. But…we seem to like it. Alarming statistics back this observation up, showing that many Americans feel more happy and fulfilled in their offices than they do in their own homes. Of course, we all inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajamas, eating cereal straight out of the box and staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of working, yes, but not exactly the same thing as pleasure). Americans don’t really know how to do NOTHING. This is the cause of that great sad American stereotype-the overstressed executive who goes on vacation but who cannot relax.”
We need a break from this “busyness” business.
Do you dedicate any time to yourself?
Is your mind running at night?
Do you feel rushed in the morning which seems to lead into a hectic day?
What if you could be happier?
Would you like to feel pampered? Special?
Maybe even a little luxurious?
Give yourself a little gift in the experience of a ritual.
Your ritual can be anything that puts your mind in a state of relaxation. You can do it any time of the day. Just set some time aside to do it each day.
Once you do, you’ll feel more connected and more in control of your day.
You remember the flight attendant instruction that tells you to take oxygen before you give oxygen to your child? Well, this is the same idea.
When you recharge by taking time to yourself, you’re able to give that time and energy to those around you.
So, how do you create a tea ritual?
Relaxing with a tea ritual is simple.
1. Create the space to make it happen.
This means creating the physical space as well as the time you’ll need to do it.
Make your space comfy. My space is a breakfast nook with comfy pillows, a small vase with flowers, and a pretty teacup filled with my favorite teas.
You can add things like a favorite picture, a candle, a picture frame containing a favorite quote. Make a space that draws you in and relaxes you. It’s all your own, so your space can have as much personality as you like.
Commit to taking 10-15 minutes in your day to sit and do nothing. If you’re doing the tea ritual, you can sip your tea and let your mind wander. If your me time comes in the form of a bubble bath, make the time you need to do it.
Go to bed earlier and wake up earlier if you need more time to complete your ritual.
You can do this any time of the day, but I find a morning ritual affects the tone of my day. When I do it before work, my day runs smoother. There’s nothing stopping you from doing it at night though. If that works best for your schedule, do it.
2. Unplug to plug in.
This is YOUR time. That means totally unplugging: no phones, no television, no multitasking.
You may find that you’re anxious when you remove these distractions from your ritual. That’s part of the process. We don’t realize how attached we become to distractions and “busyness.” Removing these for a few minutes a day will change your perspective and calm your mind.
Bonus points if you keep a daily journal with what you observe during the day.
3. Trust the process.
Relaxing can be tough.
But you can do this!
If you told me 5 years ago that I would make time to sip tea each morning to clear my head, I’d be too busy rushing out the door with barely a minute to spare to get to the office. Or I’d be too busy checking Facebook and my email to bother.
If you’re entrenched in a go-go-go world, it almost seems like you’re “wasting” time by sitting around. I mean, you could be checking your e-mail or watching another episode of Scandal, right?
This time to yourself is the most important time you’re creating in your day.
Relaxing, reflecting, and letting your mind wander leads to unexpected realizations. It helps you observe unhealthy patterns in your life.
And once you observe what’s happening in your life, you can make positive change.
If you’re committed to taking some me time – to truly connecting with yourself for a few minutes each day – type “I’m in” in the comments below.
What are you waiting for?
You deserve it.
Lover of Tea & Binge-watcher
Sicilian Tea Company