Thursday, 28 July 2011

Are we relaxed? Then I shall

I am one of life's insomniacs...always have been. When I was teenager I used to be able to survive on 4 hours sleep a night. I had babysitting jobs that would see me getting home just after midnight and then I would be up by five am to do my paper round and shop work. Then home and race around to get myself ready for school and start my day! lol. I was on all the sports teams available and used to find that the sport recharged my weary batteries every day. But this set in motion a life long struggle to sleep and the less active I am the worse it becomes. 

And now in my late thirties...gosh did I really admit that?? lol. I'm worse than I've ever been. A few years ago I had to admit defeat in finding a natural method of sleeping and accept the help from my doctor who prescribed a sleeping tablet. A very low point for me but I needed to get some rest. The tablet still only gives me a guaranteed four hours of sleep so I still find myself awake some of the night and I'm still trying to find other ways to 'switch off'. 

I am, unfortunately, one of those folks who can't sleep with silence. The quietness kicks my brain into 'thinking overdrive' and it drives me nuts. Although sometimes I've had some great creative ideas come to me in these moments. lol. For years I would have a TV playing in the corner of the room but I hated that it was needed and the energy it was wasting, sat there playing all night. 

Three weeks ago, I made a big change and booted the TV from the room. It was a very liberating experience if not a little scary. We did a complete cleanse of the bedroom and cleared away everything that wasn't necessary in a bedroom. Next to my side of the bed, I set up my Yoga station and next to it a very small DVD/CD player to play my morning Kundalini Yoga DVDs on and at night I use it to play CDs. I have a box full of various CDs to inspire relaxation from a great Zen Garden CD to Classical Compilations, used to aid sleep. In amongst them are some awful Relaxation CDs that have the most horrible keyboard music and I truly don't know what I was thinking when I bought On My Loves side of the bed, we have a small 'sound machine' that had been sat gathering dust for a few years. It has been cleaned up and is now in frequent use. 

Classical music always relaxes me..particularly the Cello...
So three weeks's working. For the first two and a half weeks I've been playing the Classical music CD and I have never actually made it through the whole CD so And when I wake in the early hours I reach over and hit play and before i know it, I am sleeping peacefully. Great! I am now, also experimenting with these relaxation methods, as a help with my pain control as it's been overwhelming lately. 

Even as a small child I have loved Thunder and stormy weather...Love.It! lol
This morning I lay down and listened to a CD that has a Thunderstorm recorded and I relaxed and enjoyed the sounds greatly but was constantly aware of the pain. And, as I am resting, due to the Docs orders I had no place to be so I tried some of the 'sounds' from the machine next. I flicked through the options...Waterfall...Rain Forest (way too many bugs!!! lol!)...Waves...Rain...and then finally Heart Beat. 

I am now a heart beat convert...the results were amazing...
And if I'm honest I've always dismissed the heartbeat option....until today..I got as comfortable as I could and closed my eyes and was very quickly, very relaxed and the more I concentrated on the beats I felt peaceful (OK I'm not going all hinky here...just reporting the my pain seemed to reduce and I felt myself being pulled into a deep sleep. And when I woke 2 hours later...I felt rested. Who knew?? I should have known, as every baby I've had the blessing to spend time with, has rested when they are close to a heartbeat...

There are other methods for relaxing for me but they are more 'mentally' relaxing then physically. Some are not going to be a surprise but maybe a couple will. 

My ability to meditate to relax is a constant learning curve. There are moments when it happens very easily...during a recent trip to a Lavender Farm, I found a lovely seat that looked out over the lavender gardens and the surrounding Yorkshire hills and found I was able to meditate sat on that bench and experienced a blissful state. It takes practice but I feel I am making headway. 

By the beach...this is Westward Ho! Devon
I was born in a beach town and it seems to be very a huge part of who I am. I love to be near a beach...not the crowded touristy kind..but small beaches. My Love shares this 'need' thankfully and when we go on holiday it's usually near a beach. I find peace sat watching and listening to the waves crashing in. My Love is a frustrated surfer who wants the whole package of a surf board, camper van and beach hut. lol. Maybe one day....but the beach is definitely a must for us...The sound machine has a 'waves' setting and it's good but never as good as the real

Rock gigs...they are a passion
Live music...a need...a must...a passion....classical concerts, live pub music, concerts in the park, live theatre shows and in particular rock gigs. I have to have these in my life because it recharges my inner battery and makes the blood in my veins zing. And because of this, I feel incredibly relaxed during and afterward. In fact I just can't find the words to describe how much I need this in my

Millerground Waterfall, Windermere
Waterfalls are, to me, the most beautiful and dangerous natural creations. The beauty of them takes my breath away and I find great peace and exhilaration when I'm near them. The smaller ones make me smile and the larger ones excite me. Awesome...

The Great Fred & Ginger
Some of my earliest memories are of my Nan and I sat watching the afternoon matinees together. And I still enjoy the experience Mum bought me the Fred & Ginger collection a few years ago and Shall We Dance is one of my all time favourite has the glamour, the drama, the dancing and more importantly the laughs. Watching an afternoon very relaxing to me. needed as breathing to me..
I wasn't sure if should add this to the list...because when it's going well it's a pure pleasure and greatly relaxing. But when it's's painful and frustrating. I have written since I was five and shall write till the day I die. If I'm not writing..then something is very wrong....

Rain...just looking at this photo I can feel my muscles relaxing lol.
Yes have read that correctly. I have always had a fascination with rain. I love sitting watching it. On holiday in Scotland we had a few days when it down poured and I sat with the french doors open with a steaming mug of hot chocolate and watched it rain..for hours. I love the sound of it too. I adore walking in it...I see people running away and diving into doors but to me it's wonderful. Everything about rain fuels me...except when it's coming through our Swiss cheese roof!! Old houses...*sighs* lol

Tea and Espresso Cups Addict....My name is Red and I am an addict! lol
I have an addiction to Tea Cup Sets and also Espresso Sets....I find happiness in finding and buying them. But I never buy full price ones...I wait until they are on sale and buy one. I also like looking in second hand shops for them. My Love often picks them up for me...I have loved them since being a small child and I guess I always will. lol. I enjoy them on many levels...

Vegan Cooking..
And what kind of vegan cook would I be if I didn't add cooking to this list? lol. I find cooking in all it's form deeply relaxing. Again it's simply a passion and I 'have' to cook. So it's frustrating when I'm on rest days. I get great joy from cooking for family, friends and showing the little ones how to cook. I get a very good buzz when people I love are enjoying my creations and it's always worth the effort....except when I have to spend hours rolling dolmades...nope..I do not find them relaxing in the slightest! lol

So these are my ramblings on 'relaxation'...what do you do to relax?