Recently I had an appointment with an acupuncturist. I’m not a great believer in such things but after more than a month of stomach problems I was ready to try just about anything. If licking a pig’s hairy behind be the cure for acid then find me the hiney! I sat in a bright, calming room that was delightfully absent of the airy-fairy, plinky-plonky music so beloved by alternative therapists and beauty salons, and I wondered what on Earth this woman could possibly do for me.
The first thing she did was talk to me. She asked me about my health, what I do with my time, what my relationships are like and what medication I was on. After ten minutes she summed me up, somewhat unflatteringly, as a ball of tightly-wound nervous energy that I was trying to conceal behind a facade of calm. And apparently I wasn’t doing a good job of it. At first I felt a little taken aback. I didn’t really feel that way. Did I? Then she asked me what I did to relax.
While I pondered this question, she issued a prescription: every day I should take some time out to do something I enjoy and find relaxing. I was distracted for a while after that with the whole needle thing so it was a day or two later before I really thought about it again. In between doing the washing, studying and prepping for my new job, I remembered I was meant to relax. But how? How?
A quick mental list of activities. I couldn’t easily go out for a walk every day. A couple of attempted sexual assaults in the area recently meant my family have all banned me from walking alone. I could get really drunk, but that’s probably not what the acupuncturist meant. Cooking and baking is great fun for me but it’s hard to feel relaxed while you’re doing the washing up. Was there nothing that relaxes me? The realisation came as a bit of a shock. Since relaxation helps reduce levels of the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol (good in small doses but a constant stream can lead to a heap of health problems), it’s something we should all be doing plenty of, every day. Yet here I was, stressing about my inability to do it!
As of this moment, I have yet to resolve this situation and I’m sure that it’s something many of you can relate to, so I have a cunning plan! Over the next week, I will be on a quest for calm. I will be testing a bunch of relaxation techniques and in next week’s post I will report back with what I tried, as well as a success rating.
If you have any suggestions in the meantime, feel free to comment below. As long as it’s legal, I’m very open to suggestions.
Until next time, serenity seekers!