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Can’t You Just Relax?

As moms, we have a serious need to relax. At the end of typical day I’ve probably experienced more than my share of screaming and yelling (only 25% coming from me), logged time in LA traffic, catered to the myriad needs of three very different children and done a hells a lot of laundry. You know the deal. You’ve done it. Yet, I have a very tough time relaxing!

Every so often for a holiday or birthday I have been given a gift certificate for a massage/spa treatment. Chalk it up to a dislike of strange people rubbing me or just a fear of Enya but getting a massage always sounded about as relaxing as singing for Simon Cowell. Yes, I’m fully aware that I’m the only woman on the planet that has that hang-up.

If I explore the issue more deeply I guess I’d have to admit that I’ve always had trouble relaxing. And especially if there’s real or imagined pressure to do so. My body just seems to have the opposite reaction. It used to be if a nurse airily said, “Go ahead and pee in this cup” my bladder would close up like a steel trap. Didn’t matter if I’d had a two liter bottle of Diet Coke for breakfast, no pee would be leaving my body until I got home. For many years I couldn’t pee in a stall if someone was next to me. I’d have to pretend I was “just changin’ a tampon” and rustle around some paper, prematurely flush or do something to distract from the lack of peeing going on. It was embarrassing and uncomfortable to say the least.

So, even though I’ve worked my way past the shy bladder issue, I still don’t like to put myself in the path of any forced relaxation situations. I avoid yoga, meditation, hypnosis, staring into space and never indulge in any sort of deep relaxation spa activities. But as I mentioned in a past post, I do love a facial! There’s something delightful about going to a spa, drinking ice water with lemon, getting my hands rubbed and strange potions applied to my face. Plus the warm blanket is like cotton heaven. But unless you’re a Kardashian you can’t go spa it up every day.

Therefore, I’ve been forced to come up with other “relaxation alternatives.” Here are a few of my favorites:

  • 1. Read some trash. Seriously. Buy the National Enquirer in line at the grocery store, bring that baby all the way home and read it cover to cover! Hearing about celebrities hidden cellulite problems or a cat who diagnosed its owner’s pancreatitis is just good for the soul.
  • 2. Throw an impromptu dance party. Turn on the stereo, blast some Beebs and get your wiggles out. Your kids will thank you (or think you’re really weird), you’ll work up a sweat and you’ll feel looser and happier when you’re done.
  • 3. Help someone else. Reach out to a friend who’s going through a tough time. I know you’re tired, I know you just put the kids to bed. But this is a tried and true way to serenity. Sometimes it’s as simple as asking what you can do for your husband or offering to drive your neighbor’s child home from school. You will be the one who feels better when you’re done.
  • 4. Drink. If you’re not me you can have a glass of wine. If you’re me, have a hot cup of cider with a cinnamon stick or even warm milk. I hear you calling me a dork in your head! I don’t appreciate that!
  • 5. Get enough fluids. Being hydrated especially if you work out, can keep your emotions on a more even keel.
  • 6. Buy more lip gloss. A lot more.
  • 7. Lay on the couch and watch 20/20. It doesn’t seem relaxing, but after your blood pressure surges from being scared, you will take in the fact that you are not in the sights of a serial killer but just hanging around your house in your robe and you will definitely feel calm.
  • 8. Imagine different way you could get rid of Caillou once and for all. Let the thought of a Caillou free world sink in and just say “aaaaahhhhh.”
  • Thank you to Brita for sponsoring this series of posts.  It’s really inspired me to think of ways to be better to myself and my body.

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