Are rest, relaxation and regeneration at the top of your list now that summer is here? Summer brings with it patio living, picnicking, barbecuing and lots of outdoor activities that can be both restful and relaxing or physically taxing and exhausting. Do you even have a list of relaxing things to do just for you?
Summer should be all about relaxation and taking advantage of the great outdoors so you can absorb some great fresh air and unwind. In fact, the hectic schedule most people live during the other seasons of the year actually leaves summer as the only option for some regenerating downtime. Whether you are an outside person or an inside person, stepping out of the fast lane is a little easier to do during summer because schedules are more flexible and there usually are fewer calendar commitments.
Summer does provide more opportunities for rest and relaxation, but are you taking advantage of those opportunities it presents to do so? Rest, relaxation and regeneration must not be thought of as a luxury but rather, a necessity. Your body physically, mentally and spiritually needs to rest, regenerate and be cared for just like any well cared for precision engine.
Summer graciously provides you more daylight hours so you can enjoy the slower pace of life that comes with the heat. Maximize the relaxation time you spend in your backyard with family and friends or in a quiet corner by yourself by ensuring that your patio area, lanai or backyard is filled with slowly meandering restful energy. Avoid and eliminate energy that goes zooming through – reminding you of all of the things you have left undone.
Unwind by Uncluttering – Clutter is enemy No. 1 even in the backyard, on the patio or lanai. Clutter is just as much of a problem on the outside of your home as it is on the inside. Pick it up, clean it up, organize it and toss anything that is broken, no longer useable or you simply no longer love. Having only things that you really love provides you more positive energy to than too many things you have by default, which give you negative energy and get in the way of your regenerating time – or to put it another way, they create stress, anxiety and fatigue.
Everything in your life provides you either positive or negative energy. The objective of Feng Shui is to surround yourself with as much positive energy as possible by eliminating the negatives that drag you down – and one of the best ways to do that is to unclutter areas dedicated for rest and relaxation.
Create Restful Energy – Surround yourself with the relaxing sounds of tranquil refreshing water. Even if you have a pool in your backyard, the sound of a waterfall is extremely peaceful, refreshing and cooling. You can use anything from a simple small tabletop self-contained waterfall to a large elaborate structured waterfall made of rocks surrounded with beautiful flowers and tropical plants where the water cascades down several drops dancing and singing over the rocks.
The size of the waterfall is not as important as the sound. If you have neither the budget nor the space, invest in a couple of waterfall or bubbling stream CDs or MP3 downloads and play them in a constant loop whenever you are in your relaxation zone. You can even play the sounds of the surf or waves breaking on the beach, they are guaranteed to lull you to sleep on a lazy weekend.
Add to your peaceful setting the sound of wind chimes that tinkle and dance in the breeze. You can also add a bamboo wind chime to further the tropical island relaxing sounds.
Create Relaxing Energy – Wear cool and very comfortable sets of clothing on those days when you want to ignore the world and you really want the world to ignore you. Wear this clothing only on those days you will be completely relaxing your body, you are programming your mind to immediately drop into a stress free relaxation mode when you put these clothes on. Your mind will associate the clothing with the warm weather, the soothing sounds of the water and self-absorbing relaxing leisure.
On days you may wish to relax but your brain has a mind of its own and wants to keep pulling you back to reality – the clothing you have dedicated for wearing only at times of significant relaxation will help bridge the gap from reality to relaxed downtime.
Create Regenerating Energy – A great way to create a relaxing patio, lanai, pool or sunroom is the use of color. Most people are tempted to use bright bold cheerful summery colors in such areas but for the most part those are all really high energy colors, not quiet restful regenerating ones. The best colors to use for a relaxing leisure area are the cool colors like blues, greens and aqua. Think of the cool colors of a lake, a bubbling stream or the ocean and the wonderful array of lush greens, teal and the wide variety of blues. These colors are calming as well as cooling on those hot lazy days of summer.
If you are updating or replacing outdoor furniture, purchase the majority of your patio furniture cushions in a range of these calming colors to maintain that cool relaxed feeling. Earth tones and natural colors are a very contemporary design in the marketplace today so if that is what you like then accessorize with the cool colors to reinforce the very reason you wish to spend time in your “downtime” zone – designer for rest relaxation and regeneration. If you live in a northern climate and you’d like to warm up your patio or deck, do just the opposite and use the brighter warmer colors.
Think differently, organize your thinking around the idea that your patio, lanai, pool area or sunroom are to be used for relaxing, getting rid of stress and regenerating your body, mind and spirit – not to store stuff and clutter. After preparing your space for rest and relaxation, all you need to do is plan ahead and make time for regularly scheduled rest, relaxation and regeneration. Even when a catastrophe strikes, you need some downtime to catch your breath and rest a little so you can begin anew.
Rest, relaxation and regeneration are important to everyone who lives in a world that is high pressure, stressful and invasive. Forget the television, replace the noise pollution with the relaxing sounds of a waterfall and kick back in a stress free environment right in your own backyard.
Download “Find Rest, Relaxation and Regeneration in Your Own Backyard” in PDF Format.
© Pat Heydlauff, All Rights Reserved
Pat Heydlauff, president of Energy Design, uses Feng Shui design principles to eliminate chaos and stress at home and within oneself. More than a Feng Shui expert, Pat is a consultant and speaker who helps remove clutter and negativity while encouraging personal growth, improved relationships and prosperity. Her new book, “Feng Shui: So Easy a Child Can Do It,” shows how to achieve a better tomorrow. For information on her consulting, speaking and artwork, call: 561-408-2708.