The most precious commodity for today’s work-oriented and diligent professional during COVID-19 is a state of complete relaxation. While all your passion and hard work are sure to bear fruit, taking some time off once in a while is equally essential. Denying your body and mind the requisite rest it needs can only do more harm than good, affecting your health and performance in the long run.
Regardless of who you are or the kind of work you do – whether you’re a politician, a business tycoon, a doctor or teacher – to maintain a positive outlook and experience true contentment, learning how to relax is as important as eating healthy and staying fit.
Different cultures around the world have different ways of relaxing. Known for their strict work ethic, the Japanese are just as fastidious when it comes to setting aside a certain amount of time for self-rejuvenation. Approaches such as holistic healing and shinrin-yogu
(forest-air bathing and walking), which involves walking through the forest or even staying there for a few days, form an integral part of their lives. Its positive effects are said to reduce hostility and depression and is believed to be a very effective method of stress reduction for those who lead extremely active lives.
Russians, on the other hand, can often be workaholics and are known for smartly planning out their workweek. Come weekends; they make it a point to pack their bags for a quick getaway to their dachas or cabins, usually located on the outskirts of cities and towns. Here they indulge in fun, physical activities such as swimming, tennis, working out in the gym, and practically anything else that helps them blow off steam and prepare for the busy week ahead.
Africans, with their love of music, rhythm and sounds, perform community dances, which bring relaxation and provide a great opportunity to bond with family, friends and neighbours. Considered a variant of meditation, the rhythmic chants and drumbeats which accompany these dances, not to mention the rigorous dance movements, are believed to have a positive effect on the body and soul.
Of course, meditation is one of the oldest and most popular forms of relaxation followed by people across the world. The focus here is on mental discipline, and the goal is to transcend one’s current level of consciousness to experience an altered state of consciousness. A wonderful relaxation technique for the body, mind and soul, its various forms can be found in yoga, Pilates and T’ai Chi (a ballet-like exercise which involves meditation in motion).
For those who prefer more strenuous physical activity, bicycling, jogging, and a variety of other sports can help you slough off bad emotions, anger and negative energy. Or you could curl into bed with a good book or listen to some soothing music. Another novel idea would be spending a day at the spa, where professionals tend to your every relaxation need. Choose from facials, mud baths, massages, acupuncture therapy, manicures, pedicures, body wraps, and saunas to pamper yourself once in a while.
Another great way to relax and unwind is to socialise. Meeting people other than those in your professional circle is a great way to spend your free time and expose yourself to different world views. Relaxation is all about giving due importance to your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. While there may be dozens of ways to relax, how and when to do it is entirely up to you!