Chilling Out

How do you relax, unwind, de-stress? We put that question to our Facebook followers, and it seems the way we all choose to relax is quite different. You can read how they responded on page 42. Ask anyone who knows me well and they will tell you that I am constantly pushing “balance.” I sincerely believe that a well-functioning life is a life that is in balance. I have many things that I do regularly to keep my life in balance—and keep myself stress-free. Here are a few:

Food. I love food—growing it, cooking it, shopping for it, reading about it, talking about and eating it. I find that all of these things can bring me to a point of complete relaxation—if I am not being rushed or forced to do them. And wine, bourbon, martinis, etc., make great companions for all of the food stuff (and a nice way to kick-start the unwinding).

Dogs. I have four and I am in love with dozens more. I’ve not met many dogs I didn’t love. Taking a morning walk or a long trail hike with the dogs is a great way to de-stress. Dogs are pretty happy beings, and they’re always eager to let you know that. Cozying up together on the couch, brushing their beautiful fur or just watching how easy it is to be them brings me great peace.

Family. Yes, the dog family and the kids and my mate, often around a dinner table that includes some friends, too. Being with family is very relaxing for me. Now that my kids are grown and on their own, I find great joy and relaxation in sitting around a table with them for hours and hours.

Reading. Shutting out the noise of the world, often with a dog in my lap, wine in my hand and husband by my side, just immersed in something other than real life. Going to rock concerts results in a similar level of relaxation for me, too.

Water. I can sit quietly for a long time and enjoy the sound of a rushing river, watch the waves rolling in at the beach or simply taking in the serenity of a quiet lake surrounded by nature. There is no stress involved!

I unplug regularly.  I take off to go “upta camp” or on the road in our converted hippie van to find peace for my head. Many times I am in a place where I am (thankfully) forced to disconnect. And flotation? I’ve been floating for years!  Read Jeanee Dudley’s piece on page 24 for the latest and greatest in flotation. It all sounds wonderful, but I prefer to hop on a pool float for a few hours relaxing.  

Whatever your stress cure is, I bet you will find some new ideas in this issue of Maine Women Magazine. In fact, I think just sitting back and reading this issue will help you to unwind! Let us know what you think, and please take time to follow us and share everything that we are doing and writing about with your friends.

Lee Hews

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