Oprah Winfrey, talk show host, media mogul, actress, producer, and philanthropist, knows how to work, and how to do it successfully. What she has also learned to get great at it, is to balance all these roles, by practicing the art of relaxation.
Work-life balance relies on making time for relaxation, and even celebrating it. The theme of Oprah’s latest issue of her popular O Magazine is “The Really Busy Woman’s Guide to Relaxing.” Yes, even the busiest of people need to take time to just chill. (Just Chill is also the name of a refreshing beverage that Oprah recommends which contains amino acids from green tea leaves, purported to provoke feelings of calm.)
Relaxation can seem like laziness or being un-productive, but it is actually a key ingredient in living a successful life. Oprah Winfrey is working on getting “this relaxation thing down.” She is a high achiever, yet is learning that the value of having down-time can make all of that achieving worth it. What is the point of doing and striving if you don’t take the time out to thrive and just relax in the moment?
Oprah’s version of relaxation is simple, inexpensive, and easy for anyone to take on. It is mainly about being mindful, and aware of the peace and beauty inherent in nature, and the simplicity of downtime.
Here are some ways you can take on Oprah’s suggestion to “cherish the good times.”
Spend time outside on a blanket in an open spot.
Just basking in the sunshine boosts your Vitamin D levels which can bring relaxation and stave off depression. No backyard? Parks are free.
Curl up with a good book.
Nothing that takes too much mental work like a business or finance book, but some juicy fiction that takes you on a journey through the author’s words. Oprah recommends The Road to Character by David Brooks.
Take a long hot bath.
If you don’t have a bathtub, try a local sauna or spa to soak your way into relaxation.
Watch a sunset, or a sunrise.
Taking the time to enjoy something that happens every day, and relishing in the “golden hour” before sunset can soothe and calm you.
Listen to the sounds around you.
Even the sounds of the city can create a beautiful symphony if you let it just wash over you.
Play some soothing music.
Music therapy can release stress and emotional distress. Oprah recommends the song “Weightless,” created by Sound Therapist Lyz Cooper, with artist Marconi Union.
Drink something relaxing.
Enjoy a glass of wine, or in Oprah’s case, a homemade margarita. If you do not choose to drink alcohol, try some lavender lemonade. Lavender oil can reduce anxiety.
Try mindfulness meditation.
There are several mobile phone apps that can help you take the time out to relax your mind. Some believe that meditation is even more effective at rest than taking a nap.
Even if you only have a few minutes, you still have time to relax.
Rest and Relaxation doesn’t mean having to take a week off at a retreat in the mountains. It can be as simple as drinking a cup of tea and sitting down for 5 minutes.
Camp out in nature.
Sleeping under the stars can get you away from the hustle and bustle. Oprah recommends doing it in your pyjamas … and staying in them all day.
Create a relaxing daily ritual, such as sitting down with a cup of Oprah Chai Tea from Starbucks.
The tea contains cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves, in a black-tea and rooibos blend. Those spices, according to Ayurvedic medicine, have a warming quality to them which are known to be calming.
Along with the time to go out and strive for what’s important, take the time to simply relax. Just let it be.
Featured photo credit: Image Courtesy of Oprah Winfrey via huffingtonpost.com