A couple of weeks ago, I shared my excitement for my “Stretch & Relaxation” class. My love for it continues to grow! Every Tuesday and Thursday, we leave our shoes at the door and enjoy 50 minutes of stretching in the dark with peaceful music. We’ve done new leg and back stretches, given ourselves foot massages, even given each other back massages (with tennis balls…which is a lot less weird than a semi-stranger giving you a shoulder rub!). It’s easily one of my favorite times of the day and almost always ends too soon!
Yesterday, though, we lined the walls of the fitness room to do a Meditation exercise. Meditation is not something I’ve ever tried before, mainly because I get the giggles any time I’m required to be serious and silent. Sitting in lotus pose and chanting a mantra just makes me feel so silly and ridiculous, that I can’t focus on the actual exercise! But yesterday, I actually tried. Our teacher read us a mantra: “I am a peaceful soul. I wish peace to others.”
I confess: I kept peeking out of the corner of my eye at the clock. Normally this class flies by, but meditation seemed to slow things down. If I thought repeating a mantra was a little odd, the next exercise was totally outlandish. We had to picture all of our family members and friends, and “say” to them “I wish you peace.” This just felt like some hippy shenanigans…
Next we wished peace upon our enemies, and then the ENTIRE WORLD. I understand that meditation is a mental practice, and a lot of people have found it to help them relieve stress and gain clarity. But the only thing I could think about while sitting against the wall with my palms open on my knees was going on a nice long run…
Running is my meditation. To each his own!
I treated myself to a post-meditation caffeine fix with a Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Latte – Lady Starbucks knows how to meditate too!
Enjoy your weekend!
College classes are amazing in that you can actually get credit for taking “Stretch and Relaxation” for 50 minutes twice a week. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? Today was my first day in the PE class and I am already so glad I signed up! I am really excited to learn about stress management and relaxation techniques. Not to mention time dedicated to stretching, a task I often tell myself I am going to do and “forget”….
Being in college full-time as well as on a sports team, having a job and balancing a social life was one of the most stressful things I have ever done. This semester I quit my job (as a Supplemental Instructor, or teacher’s assistant) and am involuntarily on a break from cross country, so I do have a lot more time to dedicate to studying and having fun (like keeping up this blog!) But in my crazy-busy schedule last semester, I did learn that in order to keep my hair from falling out, I’d have to make an effort to reduce my stress. Some things that help:
1. Switch to decaf after around 4pm to make sure I’d be able to fall asleep easily
2. Get away from the computer/TV at least half an hour before going to bed (I like to give myself a good facial during this time!)
3. Pack your lunch/pick out your outfit the night before to give yourself more time when getting ready
4. Get outside and enjoy fresh air (I multi-tasked and got in a leisure evening walk while calling my parents just to talk a few times a week)
5. Keep an organizer to write down your schedule. My planner was my life-line last semester, color-coded and completely full of all the information I knew I couldn’t possibly remember
6. On a particularly stressful week of school, my mom sent me a special care-package….not the chocolate chip cookies and homemade fudge kind. The healthy, relaxing, spa treatment kind:
Can’t wait to share what else I learn from this class through out the semester : ) In other news, I hear my little polar bear is keeping my bed warm while I’m away. If pet’s were allowed in dorms, Missy, I would keep you with me!
Less Stress, More Fun. Share your de-stress tips!