Stress relief and the elimination of anxiety go hand in hand with relaxation and downtime. Imagine lying down in a hammock with a summer breeze gently swaying through the trees. Feel the relaxation and relief flowing through your veins as you sip your cool drink. No, you don’t have to be on the beach or leave the comfort of your backyard. Right there on your porch, deck, lanai or patio is the perfect spot to simply “be” in the great outdoors. Have you scheduled time on your calendar for de-stressing and relaxing?
In the study of Feng Shui, it is important to find balance to offset the stress and anxiety of a chaotic world. With the arrival of summer, there are many ways to do just that by enjoying outdoor time and allowing the fresh air and cooling breezes start the relaxation process – but are you actually scheduling time to do it?
For many people, the reason they chose their home was because of the backyard, patio, porch or deck; yet a large percentage of those people never take advantage of those amenities and spend time there. If you don’t spend time in a dedicated relaxation area of your home how can you take advantage of the benefits of feeling less stressed and anxious?
Schedule Time to Relax
Begin today by planning for relaxation time on your calendar. With a busy hectic lifestyle, it is important to deliberately carve out time just for you to relax. Your calendar should be your best friend and help you protect your much-needed downtime. Picture yourself sitting in a comfortable chair with a good book and a cool drink under the shade of a tree or an umbrella – or think about relaxing with friends and barbecuing an easy summer meal. Once you get the picture, make it happen.
When you schedule regular downtime you won’t want to go back to the old ways of letting the calendar control you. You will even find ways to sneak in an extra 15 minute break before eating dinner or after the children are in bed.
Three Ways to Maximize Downtime Energy
Use sound – create a cooling effect. Begin by surrounding yourself with the sounds of cool refreshing water. Even if you have a pool in your backyard, the sound of a waterfall is extremely relaxing, refreshing and cooling. You can use:
a small self-contained waterfall that sits on your tabletop
a mid-sized waterfall that hangs on the wall and can be taken in during inclement weather
a large elaborate structured waterfall with beautiful flowering tropical plants where the water cascades downward, dancing and singing over the rocks
The size 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 and play them whenever you are in your relaxation zone. You can even play the sounds of the surf or waves breaking on the beach, which is guaranteed to lull you to sleep on a lazy weekend.
Use clothing – invest in a couple of cool and very comfortable sets of clothing that you wear only on those days when you want to ignore the world. Make sure that you will wear this clothing only on the days you want to completely relax your body; you will immediately drop into a stress-free relaxation mode as your mind will associate the clothing with the warm weather, the soothing sounds of the water and self-absorbing leisure.
There will be days when you want to relax but your brain, having a mind of its own, wants to keep pulling you back to reality. In such situations, the clothing you have dedicated for wearing only during relaxation will help bridge the gap from reality to “downtime.”
Use color – when creating a relaxing patio, lanai, pool or sunroom the use of the right colors is very important. It is tempting to use bright cheerful summery colors but for the most part those are high-energy colors, not quiet restful peaceful ones. The best colors for a relaxing leisure area are the cool colors like:
Think of the cool colors of a lake or the ocean and the wonderful array of lush greens, aqua and a variety of blues. According to research by the Color Council, these colors are calming as well as cooling on those hot lazy days of summer. Purchase the majority of your patio furniture cushions in a range of these colors to maintain that cool relaxed feeling. If your choice is earth tones and natural colors then accessorize with the cool colors to reinforce the very reason you wish to spend time in your “downtime” zone.
Creating balance to offset a hectic chaotic lifestyle can be as simple as controlling your calendar and planning for regular relaxation time in the quiet comfort of your own backyard.
© 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.