Radvent 2012 7: Relaxation

Radvent 7 is about Relaxation, which I have a hard time with. The things I used to do for relaxation (blogging and art-making) are now my work, so I have to find new ways to unwind. Currently the weather precludes sitting on a rock by the lake, which always has my eyes gazing at the horizon and calms my breath as the waves count out the rhythm.

To find something less work-related to do, I recently took a pinning class, which will be a wonderful way to preserve the moths that accumulated on my back porch over the summer (it was many a flying insect’s final resting place).

Incidentally, part of the instructions included creating a relaxing chamber. When insects dry out they become brittle ‘like potato chips’ so they need to be humidified before they can be shaped into the ‘pose’ you want to display them in.

crispy butterflies

Brittle “potato chip” butterflies

To remedy the crispiness, you take a container with a tight lid, add sand, mouthwash and plastic to it and place in the insects to relax them for a week or longer.

relaxing chamber

Relaxing chamber

We do have such relaxing chambers of our own, the bedroom, the sofa, day spas; yet sometimes, like the insects, it takes a week or so to truly unwind. Aside from sickness, we don’t always have someone place us in such a chamber to get our potato-chip muscles unwound and nimbled up again.

relaxed butterflies

Relaxed butterflies

We learned how to adjust the wings into a drying position, and then took our specimens home on their pinning boards to reshape themselves for a week or so.


Pinning specimens

After I undid the pinning papers a few lost their wings, so I’ll be having a gluing session before placing my new companions in a shadowbox.

lost wings

Lost wings

Princess Lasertron’s relaxation tips are things I know, but forget often.

  • Let your body idle
  • Read a poem
  • Stretch
  • Make a long-term investment in a relaxing habit

On Sunday I took an offline day, and I noticed how much easier it was to relax without my phone buzzing or the computer pinging me another message.

“Try to make sure that the time you set aside for yourself
doesn’t become a ‘catch up on other projects time’ by default.
Princess Lasertron

I lost that habit of allotting specific computer time. As we integrate technology into more and more activities, it is harder to walk away from the screen. All my record-keeping is on the computer. My TV is Internet-connected. This year even my Holiday cards were done online. While I think of Facebook as fun and relaxing, keeping tabs on friends and family or being ‘fed’ opposing opinions can create pressure and stress too.

So I’ll be booking a massage appointment this week, and will have a 24-hour computer fast on a regular basis. It’s good to let one’s mind wander.

Yesterday I stumbled across this website, with a fabulous list of “things to do to lighten up” I look forward to reading more about radical self-love later.

How do you relax? Is there a season in which it is easier/harder for you?

“But remember that relaxation is not a competition.
No one is watching you do it and keeping score.”
~ Princess Lasertron

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