Relaxation is a skill in and of itself to practice in a society that thrives on constant production. Defined as the act of relaxing or in a mental state to refresh the body or mind, to reduce the severity in strictness of physical load.
But what if your life’s work is to help others relax from the constraints that occupy their lifestyles. How do you achieve a work-life balance? There are ways and fitness professionals, who devout hours of their day helping patients and clients obtain peace of mind, buy valuable mental real estate that should be kept off limits from those pesky intruders that have no clue about respecting boundaries. These ‘intruders’ can be those people or situations in your personal and professional life, and your relationship with them largely makes a difference in your livelihood. Yet, as much as your love and loyalty to them be steadfast, there can be times that these strong relationships get somewhat combusted. When this explosion of emotions invades your peace of mind property, consequences can occur.
For example, take the recent news story now tabloid sensation about viral video producer, Jason Russell. This story points out that too much pressure can throw some people into a downward spiral. Well not everyone is urging the leaders of this large universe to hunt down a bad guy by plastering his image all over their TV screens, towns, schools, and highways. In the early part of the month, most of the world had no clue about the brutality Uganda’s Joseph Kony did to his people. It was this 33-year old producer from San Diego, Ca who made a 30-minute video, “Kony 2012” sent out on YOU TUBE, depicting the horrors about warmonger Joseph Kony. By cutting away to images of Russell telling his young son about the importance of capturing Kony so children in Uganda will no longer have to suffer. Russell’s video caught the attention of millions of people across the globe, but the instant fame and critical backlash about his organization, Invisible Children, and the video drew him to sudden madness. The message was to bring a political leader who is really a criminal to justice through the advancement of modern technology and social networking. San Diego police recently detained Russell when spectators reported that the married father/filmmaker was running around naked in a public street screaming obscenities and masturbating. His PR team as well as Russell’s wife quickly came to his defense telling reporters, “ extreme exhaustion and dehydration,” were what made Russell irrationally become a target for tabloid fodder. Thus giving people doubts about his credibility to achieve this worldwide goal. But his backers stand firm that Russell’s mission and work is legitimate, just not his mental state on Thursday afternoon March 15.
Can fame be blamed for the problems people have when working in a high-pressure environment? With just one click on a tabloid website, such as Perez Hilton, TMZ, or Radar almost daily a person with well-known contributions in the arts, music, sports, politics, or technology comes undone.
What can people in our profession do to help those that cannot benefit from relaxing and strengthening their minds to delete a long tiresome day and focus inward?
Breathing. Mediation. Exercise. Sex. Traveling. Social networking not necessarily being on Facebook or Twitter obsessively, but use it as a way to expand your network learn more about other people, a cause to volunteer in, or reconnect with that special someone to restore and renew relationships that are aimed to provide joy and support. Any activity that influences creativity to boost self-esteem helps restore the psyche to produce more chemicals in the brain that makes the body feel good.
Get out of the rut of feeling stuck, as impossible as it can be to let go, do something that allows your muscles to be at ease as a way to prevent disease. Let’s face it studies have shown that terminal illnesses can be brought on by toxins plaguing the body that could be contributed to lack of sleep and exercise, improper diet, genetics, environmental causes, and most of all stress. Live longer? Maybe its time to just do a little less!
This article got written by being in my laziest state. As excited as it was to be assigned an article about balancing work and life. I first felt numb about what words would be right to write about for this topic. An advocate for mind/body exercises such as pilates, the exercises once known as ‘contrology’ created by a former German boxer, Joseph H. Pilates, were aimed at unwinding the spine and mind at first provided my foundation of informing readers that if they practice some of these techniques their problems will lessen. Yet, instead I went in a totally different direction than I had first thought.
What worked for me was retreating into my cozy cave, otherwise known as a queen size bed with soft sheets embodying the colors of lime green and white. Soft tones in a bedroom bring in tranquility, and maintaining the rules that a feng shui expert advised for designing bedrooms in an Interior design publication helps calm my mind when I go in my bedroom to retire for the night. Staying in bed, I read a bunch of articles in magazines and blogs that I would never have considered laying eyes on M-F from 6am-11pm. Then there was the music. It was ambient. It did and did not remind me of teaching or taking a fitness class. The sounds were pleasing to the ears and the melodies easy to hum along too. And when I really felt inspired by one song, I bought it on ITUNES to store in playlists to play for others in hopes of evoking a positive mood in when they workout with me at the gym. But most importantly, I rested and put a pause for 24 hours on my pilates lessons that I do for work. Took naps to rest my eyes. I light up my fireplace and mediated on its fiery flames. The power in these flames reminded me of burning out, and that is not leading a life full of fulfillment.
So a mental note was to sit by the fire more often and reflect on the effort I put out and the space I need to clear away the clutter. And not once did I talk to a friend or family member on the phone. It felt lonely for a brief moment but then the solitude is what I needed to create my next plan of action. Monday morning will soon come and take the stillness of my sacred space at home all day away. To draw on a time in the mind to go back to that place where I am carefree and have to answer to no one and for one day just move from my bed to my couch will be a necessity when I face a world where when the going gets tough, the tough keep going! It just takes a bit of practice to let the mind go and the act of relaxation to flow.