I’m somewhere tropical, palm trees swaying in the breeze as I recline on a lounger by the pool. I’m reading a good book and enjoying the soft sound of waves breaking on the beach, just past the pool. I spend the day reading and taking frequent dips in the pool and the ocean while someone brings me food and drinks when I want them.
This is my happy place – my optimum relaxation levels are reached in this ideal scenario. I’m fortunate enough that every once in a while I can take a holiday to a resort where I can do exactly this. It’s important to have periods of deep rest like this from time to time, but it is equally as important to make sure you get plenty of rest and relaxation in day to day life. For me this means, watching a movie while cuddling on the couch with my husband, going to the beach in summer, reading whenever I can and spending quality time with loved ones.
Relaxation plays an incredibly important role in our overall health and wellbeing. Recharging your batteries in crucial for mental and physical health. We are just not made to constantly go go go.
However, my ideal laze-by-the-pool scenario would bore some people to death. It’s not for everyone. Relaxation is important and it will look different for different people. Our bodies and minds are all unique so we all have different needs and wants when it comes to taking some time out. Here are some suggestions on how to get the most out out your R&R, depending on your biotype:
This is the category I fall into. Ectomorphs need to have quiet time and keep to themselves at times for reflection and mental quiet. Self-awareness helps our physical and mental health. If you fall into this category, learn your physical and mental signs of stress and the best ways to manage them on your own. It’s natural for you to be self-reliant and use self-awareness and your natural intelligence to manage your stress. You’re not as comfortable with unknown situations as a mesomorph is so taking time to think about something (the future, possibilities, priorities, possible actions) can help reduce your anxiety and increase certainty. Mental coaching is best because for you, stress is in the mind.
You need to have positive social interactions and benefit from knowing you are liked and appreciated. You feel best when you feel you have flexibility and freedom to do what you feel is best in a situation (be it work, at home, or socially). Feeling constrained and “under someone’s thumb” can be a big cause of stress. If anger is an issue, it needs to come out physically. A good yelling, boxing, breaking something, punching a pillow, something cathartic to let the tension out can help. Ultimately, learning to control emotional flare ups is important, but until then, outlets are good. An important and healthy outlet is physical exercise. Being active is key for you. Lethargy is poison! Make time to enjoy playing games, challenging yourself, taking risks, having fun, and just being out and about. Having this regularly can keep a mesomorph emotionally stable. Physical activity is best for you because your stress is in the body.
Slow and steady is your natural way so extreme stress, tight deadlines and chaos can be very problematic for your health, especially if it becomes chronic. You crave stability and comfort. Too much acute stress isn’t good for you. Don’t wait for a situation to be unbearable before taking action – something that is common in your more tolerant body type – but learn to nip things in the bud to keep them stable. Strong emotional bonds with those you love (lover, friends, family, pets) is important. You don’t need the same social contact mesomorphs do, you just need deep ties with your close inner circle. Sharing food feels good, but be aware of using food to cope with emotions. Jokes, sarcasm, and other humorous events can help lighten things up when things feel tough so laughter is the best medicine. Lifestyle coaching is best because stress comes from your environment (loneliness from absence of loved ones, chaos in environment, lack of stability and predictability).
It’s important for your brain and your body to find time for relaxation. Make sure you know what works best for you and put yourself first – you deserve it!