[#66 Lesson] Relaaaax

This life lesson relates to my previous blog #66 Hug a Koala Bear.

Of all the facts that the zoo keeper told me during the koala encounter, the one that astonished me the most was that they can sleep for up to 18 hours a day.

Also, she said that they are so relaxed that they can survive massive impacts. She told us one story about a koala that was hit by a transport truck and survived. The koala had several broken bones, but they managed to nurse it back to health. She said that this was also probably due to the fact that the eucalyptus leaves get the koalas a bit high.

I guess their sleepy nature works in their favour and it got me thinking about how much I relax. I’ll be the first to say that I am not good at relaxing. I always like to be active and try to fit things in after work or on the weekends. About a year ago, I learned the term “active relaxer” and realised that it was the perfect description for me.

I feel most relaxed when I am doing something active, especially in the outdoors. Mountain biking and skiing are among my favourites.

Relaxing in Hakuba, Japan

Whenever I am just running errands around town, I find I have 10,000 thoughts running through my head. I find this stressful at times and for that reason, I would consider it less relaxing than being active. When I am bombing down a mountain bike trail or a ski run, I usually only have one thought going through my mind: What is my next move?

Pedal before the jump. Carve around that rock. Slow down for the corner. Whatever the thought is in my mind at that time, it is the only thing occupying that mental space. This is clarity to me. This is relaxing. My body might be physically engaged but my mind is clear.

It is only on the drive home that all the other 10,000 thoughts come back to me and then my relaxing time is over. I guess what I really learned is that “relaxing” is a relative term. It can mean lots of different things for different people.

For me, it means being active, but in all honesty, I am a sucker for a good movie as well. Typically once my active relaxing has physically worn out my body, I realise it is time to sit on the couch and relax traditionally, like the rest of the population. No matter how you go about it, I believe relaxation is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle.

How do you relax? Let me know in the comments below.

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