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"I'll just do this ONE thing and THEN I can relax"

You've had a busy stressful day at work. You've come home, hung out the washing, cooked dinner, and cleaned up the kitchen.

You look at the lounge room floor. There's crumbs and bits all over it!

You think to yourself "I'll just vacuum the lounge room and THEN I can relax".

You open the hallway cupboard. The vacuum cleaner is all tangled up with the brooms and mops.

You bend over to try and untangle them. All the brooms and mops fall on your head.

You try to haul the vacuum cleaner out of the tangle and wrench your shoulder. Eventually you get it clear.

You jam the brooms and mops back in the cupboard, although you'd prefer to hit something with them, and you march with the vacuum cleaner into the lounge room.

You shove the vacuum cleaner vigorously back and forth across the floor, bending over every few minutes to move the things that are on the floor in the way.

Who's things are these?!? Why won't these people you live with take responsibility for putting their things away?!?

Oh wait, some of these things are your things. Damn. Now you can't even get righteous about the whole situation.

Your lower back starts to ache. But you're almost done! You start to vacuum faster and even more vigorously! Your back aches all the more in response.

Just one more corner to go. Your shoulder, the one that you wrenched earlier trying to get the vacuum out of the cupboard, starts to seize up. You ignore it and press on even harder.

It's done! Phew! You haul the vacuum cleaner back into the hallway and kick it back into the cupboard. You quickly shut the door before anything can fall out.

You fall on the couch in a slump holding a glass of wine.

Your back still aches, and your shoulder and up into your neck feels really tight. You will likely need a massage to sort that out, otherwise work will be hell next week.

<REWIND>

You've had a busy stressful day at work. When you get home, you check in with your body and notice that your neck feels really tense, and your lower back is a bit achy… and that you generally feel pretty knackered.

You lie on the lounge room floor for 15 minutes with your head on a book and your knees up, knowing that this position is the best position to release tension from your back and neck and restore length to your spine.

As you lie there, you intend for the back of your neck to soften and lengthen, and for your lower back to spread out and widen, intending and allowing tension to release from these key areas.

As you are lying on the floor you notice that there’s crumbs and bits all over it!

But boy does it feel good to lie down and let go tension. You observe that you are really not physically or mentally up to vacuuming in this moment. You make a mental note to vacuum the floor when you feel a bit more relaxed. It will wait till then.

When you get up you feel somewhat restored; a bit freer and easier. You hang out the washing and cook dinner, being mindful of still allowing the back of your neck to soften and lengthen, and your lower back to widen. This prevents further tension from building up in those areas.

After dinner you clean up the kitchen, and sit on the couch with a glass of wine. You still feel tired and a bit tense, but better than you did when you got home.

On the weekend you do the vacuuming, being mindful of still allowing the back of your neck to soften and lengthen, and your lower back to widen.

It’s been a long week, and you take a little time out on the weekend to tune into your body, notice what is tight and tense, and invite those bits to lengthen, soften and unwind. This helps you get ready for the next week, which is also shaping up to be busy.

© 2020 by The A.T. Studio.

Photos by Megan Watson. 

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