Google+ Authentic Parenting: The Joy - Relaxation Relation

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Joy - Relaxation Relation

Welcome to the October edition of the Simply Living Blog Carnival - Enjoyment cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. This month, we write about what brings joy to our lives. Please check out the links to posts by our other participants at the end of this post.


What makes this day different from the next? 
Why are you able to enjoy the little things today, a nice cup of hot coffee, brushing your hair, putting on a nice dress, while the next day *everything* seems to be a source of frustration. 
Why do some people seem to stroll through life with a smile and others wrestle through it with a smile.

Here's a big part of the secret: relaxation.
Stress and joy are mutual enemies, whereas relaxation fosters enjoyment. 

Yet relaxation is a hard thing to achieve in this fast paced life. that's why it's a multi-million dollar industry. Pushing out yoga DVD's and relaxation tracks and the like, just to give people that window of hope, that maybe if they work hard enough, they'll get a little enjoyment out of their grim, grey, busy lives. 

Don't get me wrong, yoga DVD's and relaxation tracks might very well help you on your way to relaxation. The reality however, is that for most people, they're a challenge, just another extra thing on their to do list.
That's not how you achieve a solid base for a relaxed attitude to life. The things you do to achieve relaxation shouldn't be an extra thing on the list, they should be a source of pleasure and joy themselves.

A first step is to be less serious about all of it. 
In my home, we try to incorporate yoga in our daily life, but when we skip it one day, it's no biggie. We have other relaxing activities every day. We do yoga as a family, and with friends. We use DVD's and the Yoga pretzel cards, which are a great source of fun. 

my daughter and unnanny doing the yoga pretzel exercises

Any activity that clears your mind can be relaxing. It all depends on what you like. Find that out and do more of it. It can be sports or crafts or even sudoku. Do the activity for the fun of doing, not for an expected outcome. 

Find balance. Strive for a mix of physical and mental activities. Work isn't necessarily stressful if it's something you like doing, but if you're constantly working your brain, balance it with physical exercise and vice versa. 
Like the Romans said: "Mens sana in Corpore sano" (a healthy mind in a healthy body). Yet in our culture we tend to think that we need to be only one or the other. We either cultivate our minds and let our bodies wither or the other way around. "She's more of a thinker" we'll say about our intelligent daughter and steer her away from physical activity. 
We can be both mentally and physically strong. We need to be both if we want to obtain optimal physical and mental health. 

Instead of seeing relaxation as just an activity, see it as the foundation of life. If you practice relaxation instead of just going through the motions, your life will change and you will reap the benefits in the form of energy and enjoyment.


Do you find yourself stressed and overwhelmed on a daily basis? Check out My eBook "Mommy Overwhelm: A Holistic Approach to Parental Stress and Depression" to put you on the path of a more relaxed and enjoyable parenthood.


Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Read about how others are make their lives joyful. We hope you will join us next month!

  • No, She Doesn't Sleep Through the Night - And It's Not So Bad! - This post on Partners in Kind is about our family sleep habits, how we tried CIO, and how our family learned to let go of the 'standard' in order to enjoy a good nights rest for all of us. 
  • Don't Do Anything That Isn't Play - Momma Bee at Raising a Revolution is inspired by Marshall Rosenberg's (nonviolent communication) advice "don't do anything that isn't pay" to find the enjoyment in doing even the most mundane and disliked tasks.
  • Shared Hobbies - Jorje of Momma Jorje shares her progression of hobbies, since hobbies can wax and wane. She also explains why sharing a hobby makes it the best. 
  • The Joy - Relaxation Relation - At Authentic Parenting, Laura discovered how much enjoyment is related to relaxation.
  • Finding and Defining Enjoyment - Anneli at Mamman i det gula huset shares what she enjoys, her thoughts on how she has found truly enjoyment through self-reflection and how to find enjoyment in every day tasks.
  • Simply Enjoying Life - Mandy tries to focus on enjoying life at Living Peacefully with Children by cutting out some things and changing her perspective on others.



  1. I love your unnanny. What a cool deal. I try to take time and relax after my 1 1/2 year old goes to sleep. I'll read in bed or play a relaxing game on my ipad for a while. I used to relax with food but now I try to steer myself away from that. I just loved this post!

    1. yes, having our unnanny has been awesome for all of us! I'm very glad we tried again.
      I used to be a comfort eater too, but since we've moved to paleo, I don't do that anymore. I do like my chunk of chocolate now and again, but hey, I'm Belgian

  2. I think I need periodic reminders to relax. It is so ingrained in my mind that I must be doing something productive at all times in order to be of value. It is so easy for me to fall into that mindset without reminders to take down time and relax. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. I hear you. I'm pretty much the same, relaxation needs to be a fixed part of the day, or I'll just turn and turn and turn until I crash and burn (lol that rhymed).
      I'm constantly doing things and will hardly allow myself to just sit and relax, so yoga and meditation have been a welcome addition to my life


I love comments! Drop me a line