If there’s one complaint that we hear over and over about the challenges of relationships, it’s this…
“How do you find the time and energy to create and keep great relationships?”
This is such a great question especially since we all seem to be continually busy and stressed much of the time.
This is especially true this time of year when there are so many holiday activities to attend (at least in previous years), gifts to buy and preparations to make.
We just seem to be on the go from morning until night…
And if we don’t interrupt the pattern, it can take its toll on our bodies, our spirits, our emotions and our relationships.
So what’s the answer?
The answer comes from a surprising source.
Not just athletes– but world class athletes who seem to always win over and over.
They have discovered that renewal drives performance.
Whether they realize it or not the best of the best athletes figure out ways to take mini-rest and renewal breaks– even during matches or games–that will help them to be at their best when it really counts.
Perhaps you’ve seen the tennis pro switching his/her racquet from hand to hand after a point in an important tennis match on TV.
Until it was pointed out to us that this switching allowed the arms of his or her dominant hand and arm to relax, we didn’t realize what was going on.
We thought it was just “nervous tension” and we didn’t realize that this wasn’t just nervous tension but actually a recovery and renewal break that would allow the pro to play at his/her optimum level throughout the match.
At this point, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with your relationships.
It’s simple. If you don’t allow yourself to take renewal breaks throughout your day or week, no matter how busy you are, you cannot be who you truly are with those you love–let alone those you don’t.
That’s why the 3 R’s (rest, relaxation and renewal) are so important to you for holiday survival, especially as you try to build and maintain great relationships.
It’s true that we all need some amount of stress to expand and grow but continual stress with no rest, renewal and relaxation time is harmful.
When we are under continual stress, we say and do things unconsciously from habit and past experiences and do not consciously choose how we are going to be in our relationships and lives.
When you consciously make choices about your words and actions and are not muddled by stress, you are able to speak and act from a place inside you that is true.
This truth creates intimacy, connection and love with the important people in your life.
Here are a few holiday survival tips to encourage you to take rest, recovery and renewal time, no matter what’s going on in your life…
1. Breathe deeply
When we get stressed, we forget to breathe. A mini-renewal break can simply be taking a deep breath in and exhaling all of it, emptying your lungs.
Write a note to yourself and put it in your car to remind you to take a deep breath as you sit in traffic or deal with the kids who are arguing in the back seat or an angry spouse.
2. Take a 15 minute walk outside
We walk around our neighborhood and we’ve found that even 15 minutes can make a difference in how we feel.
3. Let it go
When something happens that is upsetting to you, don’t hold onto it and mull it over. Reliving the painful memory will only keep you from living your life to its fullest and will separate you from the people around you.
Let it go as soon as you have said what you needed to say. If agreements need to be created around the issue, then suggest that the two of you talk about how to “do it differently” the next time.
“Worry” also falls in this category. Don’t waste your energy and time “worrying” about someone or something. It only creates more stress and agitation inside you and never solves any problems.
Spend your “thought” time on what makes you happy and your heart sing.
If you focus on loving yourself and others, instead of worrying about them or holding onto grudges, we think you’ll see a big difference in your relationships.
Renewal, rest and recovery may seem to be the last thing that you think you have time for but we’d urge you to re-think that belief.
These 3 r’s are not only absolutely necessary for holiday survival as well as the health and happiness of your physical body and mental outlook but are also essential to the health and continual growth of your relationships.