All things relaxing is ACTUALLY stressing me out! -What. Rewind, that doesn’t make sense does it? Have you ever tried “relaxing” on a busy schedule and feel even more stressed after? If that’s a yes then phew I’m not the only one.
I try pretty dang hard to always stay proactive, but lately it’s been giving me eye strains, headaches, and fatigue. Most days, I try to listen to my body when it says, “you don’t need to do 100 things all at once, calm down girlfriend”. Okay, fine that’s easy to do, so I thought.
Although some stress IS good for us and it helps us identify what stress feels like for ourselves sometimes it becomes too much and it’s necessary that we step back and relax. The truth is we are bad at it. Speaking for myself I basically force myself to relax and that ends in a downward spiral. I’ve thought about it and thought about how to relax but come to realize that finding something of real interest allows me to lose all sense of time. And this method is much more effective than forcing myself to sit and do nothing for an hour. Researchers refer to this as “flow state”.
Fortunately, finding your outlet whether it’s creative or intellectual isn’t as hard as it sounds. I wrote down all that I find interesting and before I knew it I had a list with 15+ activities. Somewhere near that top of my list is hiking and walking with my pup.
Today, I took an opportunity to hike Sleeping Bear Dune Empire Bluff Trail. Luckily, it was the warmest it’s been in Northern Michigan in weeks. I felt the sun rays sink into my pores and it warmed up my body. I walked 3/4 a mile up to a wooden trail that overlooked Lake Michigan.
Hiking is interesting, because I can actually begin to smell Spring, look around to find a variety of plants, see my pup prance in the snow all while having intimate conversations with my boyfriend. When we made it to the top we found a flat spot to sit and we both turned our faces towards the sun. Wow it felt good to finally relax (it’s been weeks since I felt this pleasure). I could actually breathe. I forgot about the pain in my neck and forgot about what time it was, but instead focused on the flow of the waves and counted a two second interval between each wave as they kissed the shore. The hues of blue complimented the brightness of the sun and I took full advantage of this “flow state”.
Shall we recap? First thing first Northern Michigan is astoundingly breathtaking. Hiking in thick Sorrels helped with the melting snow but made my feet (very very) sweaty. If you’re struggling to relax, I encourage you to find an outlet that allows you to get into the zone. I suggest writing it down and picking one that suits you best! It might take some practice, but I have the utmost faith in you.. Good luck!