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Minibreak Mummy says Relax

August 15, 2011

Why do I think taking time to relax is essential?

Because a few years ago it felt like my body was falling apart. I had breathing problems, stomach problems, back problems and was losing weight no matter what I ate. I was diagnosed with IBS, then I was diagnosed with asthma and given an inhaler. I also had some physiotherapy for my back. But a doctor told me I was heading for serious trouble long term if I didn’t learn to relax. So I took the doctor’s advice, and now I try to squeeze relaxing things into everyday life.

This is what I do:

  • Sing! – in the shower, to my little boy, and best of all with other people in a local female voice choir.
  • Breathe! – good breathing, conscious breathing, with a longer out-breath than in-breath, can be done anyplace, anytime, anywhere. In the early hours of the morning; if I can’t sleep; when I’m anxious about something I’m about to do; or just because I have a few spare moments.
  • Laugh! – with friends, with my little boy, when reading a funny book or watching a funny tv show.
  • Move! – walking, swimming, dancing around the living room with my little boy, pushing the pushchair, doing a few stretches in the morning
  • Get out! – preferably to open space where there are trees, but anywhere will do so long as there’s daylight and a chance to stretch my legs. And I try to really notice my surroundings and the way the light looks.
  • Read! – I can’t fret while I’m reading. The best books for when I’m stressed are books that are not-too-challenging to read but at the same time engrossing. Agatha Christie books are pretty soothing cos the baddie almost always gets their comeuppance. And now with my Amazon Kindle I’m never without something to read.
  • Create! – I particularly like to cover a piece of cloth with pretty stitches (usually cross-stitch or something else counted). And it’s even better if I can sit stitching with a group of friends. But doing anything creative, where you can get into the flow of doing it and have an end-product to show for it, is relaxing.
  • Bathe! – preferably in a big bath with nice smellies. Lush and L’Occitane are my faves. Difficult to get much time to have an uninterrupted bath on my own these days, so when I do get a chance to do this I take it!
  • Touch! – cuddle, hug, whatever. A bit of physical contact with another human being makes life worth living.

So that’s me, what about you? How do you fit relaxation into your life?

13 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2011 5:19 pm

    I agree, especially with cuddles 🙂

  2. August 16, 2011 4:20 pm

    Excellent post… highlighting the importance of self care particularly for mums (and dads). I like to use the analogy of the oxygen mask on an aeroplane as they always point out you should put your mask on first so you will be fit to help more dependent family members x

    • August 16, 2011 9:10 pm


      As you say, if you don’t take care of yourself you can’t take care of others. And no-one thanks you if you worry yourself into a state.

  3. September 19, 2011 4:39 pm

    Oh you sound just like me. Fibromyalgia, IBS, Palpitations, you name it if its stress-related I’ve got it! And if I try to do too much it gets worse; if I take time to do something for me and don’t try to be perfect it gets better. Great list – must visit Lush soon for nice bath products 🙂

    • September 19, 2011 6:32 pm

      Yes I agree not trying to be perfect also helps! Glad you like the list and hope you enjoy treating yourself to some Lush products soon.

  4. September 21, 2011 5:22 pm

    I love this post! I find it hard to relaxing so am taking your tips on board 🙂

  5. December 9, 2011 8:10 pm

    Laughter, books and bubble baths for me. Am looking forwards to when baby isn’t so reliant on me so I can start having long luxurious baths again 😉

    • December 12, 2011 1:07 pm

      Hi Rhiannon.
      Thanks so much for inventing the 12 days of Buffy challenge!
      See if you can persuade someone to look after the little ones for an hour so you can have an uninterrupted bath.
      Ruth x 😉

  6. March 20, 2012 4:42 pm

    Reblogged this on minibreak mummy and commented:

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. A few things have happened that have made me more determined than ever to fit fun and relaxing things into my life.


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