Hey everyone, first week almost complete. Day 7 is upon us. Thank you so much for following along and I hope you are finding enjoyment, benefit, and inspiration within these mini challenges.
Today we are setting an intention to get an early night's rest. I find sometimes I don't pay mind to how many evenings I've spent over-stimulating myself right up until the morning hours, and then wonder why I feel tired, unfocused, and zombie-like the next day or even a couple days later. Over the years my mind, body, and attention have taught me about the delay. Not only do I need to wait for beneficial results from my physical, mental & personal development, consistency over a span of time being the most rewarding. But I also must understand, this progress can be delayed just as easy by not paying attention to my own needs. That means nutrition, exercise, proper self-care, social interaction, and rest.
Rest doesn't necessarily need to be sleep; it can be indulging in a good book (fiction - soft story line), open-concept drawing, free-fall writing, meditation, crafting, yoga. Basically, rest aims to deactivate the brain and allow us to reduce stimulus by running on mindful release. So yesterday, when I asked you to Try Something New in our challenge... today is about shutting down the thinking process and finding comfort within simple existence.
I loooooove to sink myself into a good self-help or science-of-the-mind book. But when it's time for relaxation and rest, stimulating the brain to learn or think is not quite the best practice. Here are a few of my favorite relaxation activities:
Yoga Flow - my direction, my focus. The goal is to not over think and if you're new to yoga or stretching, perhaps just putting on a guided video would work better. Try to tune-in; feel your body move through space, focus on your breath, and let go of stress.
Open-Concept Drawing - I'm not a very good artist at the best of times, though I do have my niche techniques (pour painting and abstract drawing). For this type of relaxation, I'm aiming to limit my goals and objectives. I basically just want pen to surface, pencil to paper, or paint brush to canvas. The end result isn't planned... concentrate on how the lines take shape, watch as the picture takes form, and clear your mind to allow creativity to unfold.
Free-Fall Writing (or Journaling) - same as the drawing. This is about allowing the story, poem, letter, journal entry, etc. to take shape for itself. I like to use a writing prompt (The WFSC has some great ones <HERE>) to get an idea... then I just start putting words on the page, one after another. Try to resist the urge to edit, construct, second guess as you go... this is about your inner self taking control of the plotline.
Creative Singing - if you play an instrument, that is a bonus. This activity just allows us to adlib subconscious messages over top of music. Pick something melodic (or play your favorite instrument) and start to hum, ooo-aaah, whistle, or sing words rhythmically. I just select a pre-recorded track on my keyboard and away I go. The goal isn't to create the next Billboard Top 40 hit (though maybe that'll happen 😉), it's meant to allow yourself an outlet of release. Shut off the brain, put expectations to the side, and feel the call of relief.
Meditation - I prefer my Yoga Nidra practice but this could be because it focuses more on recognizing our own body and patterns of existence. I don't see mental pictures, so visualization exercises are very limiting for me. The meditation I do keeps me grounded, connects back to myself, and provides a longevity of relaxation with acceptance of different everyday influences. I feel stronger, in myself, through this practice. There are many different types, forms, methods, instructors... I invite you to look around and find something you resonate with. Here's an article from YogaU that outlines, 12 scientifically proven benefits of Meditation.
There are many activities that can be relaxing to promote an early evening's restfulness. Use one of my suggestions above or maybe even climb under the covers an hour or two early tonight. Here is an article from Scientific American outline Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime. I love scientific research behind the benefits we get from these health conscious practices. If you'd like to take the time to learn more with me, feel free. I also came across this workbook, Relaxation Skills for Anxiety, put out by Michigan Medicine, The University of Michigan. 🤷♀️ Why continue to reinvent the wheel?
There is so much great information available to us, may as well learn from each other.
Let me know what you try for your challenge today and maybe check-in on how you feel as this next week progresses.
Fitness Focus: Meditation
I've challenged you to take time today for meditation. I have uploaded a 20 Minute Introduction to Yoga Nidra Meditation where I take you through the first 5 stages of the practice. Grab some pillows, blankets, and set yourself up in a comfortable position to take some time for you. Classic Yoga Nidra set up is displayed in the picture. If you have your own favorite meditation app, type of practice, or instructor... feel free to listen to that instead. No pressure ever... though I'd be more than happy to have you practice with me.
20 Minute Meditation - Intro to Yoga Nidra (Stages 1-5)
Click <HERE> if player below doesn't show.
There we have it. Day 7... in our February Fitness Challenge.
Congratulations on your progress so far.
Any questions, message me anytime.
Once you've completed the day... comment below with your findings and progress, I'd love to support you while we challenge ourselves one day at a time. #DayOneAlways mentality with #believeagainfitness effort will create the #healthylifestyle consistency we need. Social media hashtag #februaryfitnesschallenge2021 and be sure to have FUN.
We've got this together.
🌹 Take care all and much love.