Louise Thompson 's Opinion

Inspirational advice to rock your life with energy, passion, happiness and balance.

Louise Thompson: A recipe for relaxing

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It is important to take time out to relax. Photo / Thinkstock
It is important to take time out to relax. Photo / Thinkstock

How do you feel when you are well rested in mind and body? This may be an easy one to recall if you have just taken a long summer break! How can you tell you are rested? What differences can you feel in your mind and body? How long does that feeling last? Do you feel fantastic on the first few days back in your usual routine but a week later it's like the holiday never happened?

Well, there are a few things going on here. We will do a later series on finding your working passion (life is generally more restful and relaxed if you have a job you don't feel you need to escape from) but for now let's look at how you can sustain those feelings of rest, relaxation and peace that feel so delicious at the end of a holiday.

We will look at different sorts of rest, specifically today passive rest versus active rest. I believe we need to be aware of both of these practices and find our own unique balance, which is a perfect ratio of what we need to replenish ourselves.

Rest is highly individual. One person's idea of relaxation is another's hell, so you need to find your own recipe.

You might find you need 20 per cent passive rest and 80 per cent active rest, or vice-versa. By getting really conscious, you can build active and passive rest practices into your life that support your best health and happiness.

Passive rest is, basically, chilling out. More than that, it's giving yourself permission to consciously choose and ring-fence some time for you to do that without guilt. Passive rest is when we are temporarily stepping back from giving out to others, just for a short period of time. It's not (repeat, not) selfish, it's about putting a bit of fuel back in the tank so you can get into the next challenge with good energy and good grace. It's about temporarily disconnecting from the external frenzy of doing and putting out energy to take a moment to listen to the whispers of your soul, not the shouts and demands of your everyday life. It's about having replenishing activity that you can enjoy guilt-free because it's an essential part of keeping you balanced and able to perform at your best and give of your best to those around you.

It could be zoning-out with a good book. A long bath.

A massage. A movie. A nana-nap. Meditation. Watching your favourite television series.

What does passive rest look like for you?

• What do I/can I do that is restful for my mind?__________

• What is/could be restful for my body? _________________

• What brings me a sense of peace? _____________________

Then make some commitments to yourself about your passive rest requirements this year:

1. I find _________passively restful and recharging, I commit to this____________daily/weekly/monthly)_________, guilt-free.
2. I find __________passively restful and recharging, I commit to this____________daily/weekly/monthly)_________, guilt-free.
3. I find __________passively restful and recharging, I commit to this__________daily/weekly/monthly)_________, guilt-free.
4. I find __________passively restful and recharging, I commit to this__________daily/weekly/monthly)_________, guilt-free.

It's also time to get over the theory of "wasted time".

Know that you are not "doing nothing": you are resting. That is doing something! Resting is doing something. It is paying attention to your mind and body and recharging them ready for the next challenge, adventure or opportunity. Healthy, happy people know this and create this time, guilt-free, on a regular basis.

Next week we look at active rest. This week start integrating at least one guilt-free passive rest practice into your life and allow yourself to embrace it as an essential part of a balanced, happy you.

Louise is a life coach, author and corporate escapee. Visit louisethompson.com for more.

- NZ Herald

Louise Thompson

Inspirational advice to rock your life with energy, passion, happiness and balance.

Louise is a corporate escapee turned wellbeing pro. After 17 successful years on the commercial side of media a serious health crisis led to a complete lifestyle overhall and a brand new direction. As a life coach, and the first Martha Beck accredited coach in New Zealand, she loves nothing better than to help her clients get inspired, get happy and make their own rules for a connected, passion-fueled life. Her first book, The Busy Woman’s Guide to High Energy Happiness, aims to motivate people with practical solutions to step up and live their best lives. A qualified yoga teacher she also runs her own yoga studio and leads corporate wellness seminars. Louise loves to run, cook and dance, and is an incurable travel junkie.

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