Often times those of us that run are always on the go, trying to squeeze our workouts in between everything else we have to do. It’s so important to take time to relax and recharge, to help prepare mentally and physically for our next run, workout, or race. Relaxing doesn’t always come easy to me. I really need to be intentional about it. Here are some of my favorite ways to relax:
1. Get a Mani/Pedi
I went pretty much all winter without getting a manicure and pedicure, so when I got one last week it was a real treat! It feels so good to just sit there and get pampered. Plus, it helps to make my runners feet look almost decent!
2. Get a massage
I wish I could get massages all the time, but they are just so expensive! Usually I will look for deals on Groupon and try new places. I am better about this when I am training, and usually get about 2-3 per marathon training cycle. Otherwise I only get like 1-2 a year.
3. Get away for a bit
I find that if I am home, I have a harder time relaxing. There is always something to do. If I go away I am forced to relax (or at least take a break from chores!) Taking a few days off from working out can also be helpful, but if I go away I like to explore new places by running or walking.
4. Relax in a bath
Taking a warm epsom salt bath can be so relaxing. It also helps to loosen up tight muscles. Sometimes I take a bath on Sundays, which are usually my rest day, or if I am feeling sore after a tough workout.
5. Have a drink
My relaxing drink of choice is wine, but for others it may be something else. I am usually a coffee drinker but a cup of tea can sometimes help me to relax. It’s all abut making it intentional and not doing a million other things while you enjoy your drink.
My Relaxing Place
I also thought I would share a really simple activity that I used to teach kids in therapy sessions for when you can’t actually do any of these relaxing activities. It’s called “My Relaxing Place”. The next time you are in the place where you feel most relaxed, or doing your favorite relaxing activity, try to take a snapshot of that moment. What do you see? Hear? Smell? etc. How does it make your body feel? Try to capture as much as you can about that place/moment. I would have the kids draw and write things about their relaxing place, and then close their eyes and try to picture it and pretend they are there. Practice this, so when you need to relax it comes easier to you. I find the beach to be relaxing, so I think about the warm sun, the sand under my feet, and the sounds of the ocean.
I love that visualization can be done anywhere and no one else has to know you are doing it!
What is your favorite way to relax?
Have you ever tried using visualization?