Assignment 22: Taking time to have fun and relax

Something that I am working on is recognizing what makes me smile, happy, relax, and what I consider fun in a holistic/healthy way. It is so easy to forget to have nurturing/healthy fun when there are so many things to take care of. My stress management technique that I have used, but I often forget when stressed, is to make time for fun and relaxation. This is also called nurturing ones’ self, as it is mentioned in the article Stress Management, How to Reduce, prevent, and Cope with Stress. Some of the ways that I can relax and recharge that I enjoy are: going for a walk, seeing the view of the woods, and hearing the birds on my way through nature; using the bicycle at the gym with music or TV on; taking a long bath with bubbles and different scents; lighting scented candles around my place to allow myself to take deep breaths and enjoy the soothing/calming smells; listening to music that allows me to think about something else other than my stress; watching a comedy movie which helps me lower my stress and relaxes me; and smelling the roses is something I’m also working on. I like seeing the colors of roses, but I haven’t really liked the idea of smelling roses because I think is going to make me sneeze, when is probably not.
Below is a video about taking time to smell the roses:


I am a Type A personality so I have to schedule fun/relaxing time in my agenda, which at times can be stressful in it of itself because then I feel like I have to also plan what I will do. So at times I have to remind myself that not everything has to be planned in life and that I need to take more breaks and enjoy the ride. This is something that I need to work on because I see taking breaks as a waste of time in which could be used in a more productive way to take care of things/errands instead. Making time to have fun and relax would be an effective stress management technique because by doing a fun activity like exercising (such as walking): “[it] enhances your mood and blunts the stress-response only for a few hours to a day after the exercise session” (Sapolsky, 2004, p. 401). Another activity is “meditation [when done in a sustained basis] seems to be pretty good for your health, decreasing glucocorticoid levels, sympathetic tone, and all the bad stuff that too much of either can cause” (Sapolsky, 2004, p. 402). Once I’m done with classes and exams will be my time to have fun and relax, so I look forward to that.

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