The Basic Fundamentals of Relaxing

or how to take care of yourself

To fear, to worry, to be angry, is to let yourself suffer. And we often have a hard time letting go of suffering. Your fear may concern with submitting late assignments and getting undesirable grades. Perhaps the fear comes from eyes that seemingly judge you as you walk past; or the university letter that is molding away in your mailbox;  or a constant reminder of traumatic events that happened to you or your loved ones in the past; or the fear of the unknown, or the known. There is simply too much suffering in this world.

Escaping this cycle may sound challenging, like another fear to be added to your list, but it really isn’t. The biggest mistake people make is believing that one single failure can doom them for the rest of their life. But it’s really not; no matter how damaging this mistake has done to you and to the planet, once we humans depart, teeny, tiny microorganisms will still be here, as they’ve always been, and the destruction that we’ve created for ourselves won’t affect their existence. This doesn’t mean you should live irresponsibly; but rather, it means you should constantly reflect your living and always be mindful of your actions, so that your life benefits you and those whom you care. asdf

If you’ve learned long enough what it feels like to suffer, you can learn from your mistakes and allow yourself to let go of whatever that bothers you. The point of learning from your mistakes is not simply to acquire knowledge; but to comprehend, and that’s like throwing away some of your knowledge. Sometimes knowing too much or thinking too much might hurt you, so what you have to do every now and then, is slow down, be still, and relax.

There are many ways to do so:

1. Take frequent naps. Yes, of course, you have that bio lab due in the morning, of course you have to turn in that assignment soon, and your life might be quite messy right now. I’m not telling you to sleep instead of doing your work, that’s what everyone would like to do wouldn’t they? In the “real world”, this might not work out so well. However, taking frequent power naps on weekends or whenever your schedule is free is a solution to burn off some of that stress. Waste less time on Instagram and Twitter, to be honest, Facebook doesn’t really need you that much anyway, all you need to do is take a nap.


2. Listen to your body. As weird as that sounds, it’s not as weird as the sound of your body. I always love listening to my body as I fall asleep or when I’m snuggling with bubbles in the bathtub, and I can assure to you that it’s way better than any melody you’ve ever heard. The sound of heartbeats, of deep breaths, of your eyelashes touching your cheeks, all of these sounds should not be missed.

3. Cooking. Chopping up some green veggies, peeling a carrot, cleaning your rice, cooking some potato stew… all of this makes up a healthy, happy meal, and at the same time, calms your mind as well as your body. Sometimes it’s nice to dedicate your time in the kitchen and cook up some healthy savories.


4. Work your muscles. Going to the gym is one of the keys to relaxing and having a healthy body. But if you’re not the one who likes gymming, I have a cool alternative trick for you: try tensing your muscles, all of them, and then slowly relaxing them. Try to tense one muscle/body part at a time, by simply moving it; start with your feet, then your legs, and work your way up to your eyebrows (if you can also do the top of your head, you may be too advanced for this article), and then, let the tensed muscles relax, like literally exercising your whole body with your mind be at one spot.

5. Tasting and feeling. Good tea, hot chocolate, warm muffins, and other sensual foods go very well with the practice of relaxing. Try eating or drinking something by themselves, without any other distractions, so that you can focus more on the liquid or the crunchiness of your food, to savor every bit of flavor, texture and temperature in your mouth before swallowing it, and even feel the coldness (if you’re having cold drinks) through your throat and stomach as you gradually savour the food. Close your eyes as you do this to have the best experience of doing so.


So what I mean is: do less. I know, it may sound complicated for this sophisticated life of yours, but learning to relax doesn’t have to be hard if you just do less and make time for self-care.