Lessons in Relaxation

Lessons In Relaxation

Disclosure: This post contains mention of Pepsi Products. I was offered these products to try. The opinions contained in this post are my own. I was not paid to write this post.


As part of my mammoth post from the other day, I mentioned I’ve been having trouble relaxing. Or it feels like it takes too much effort to relax. It’s hard when you don’t have a routine to find one, or to find moments that feel like you’re outside of the stress of life.

Lessons In Relaxation

The other morning Ben had to go in for another blood test, to make sure whatever is currently wrong with him is actually what is wrong with him. Plus, since then, we’ve researched something else he might have, so I think we’ll be back there again soon.


Pretty much every test he has to do is fasting, and as he’s sort of diabetic (long story as always with his health, but for simplicity’s sake, Type 2 controlled 100% by diet), this means getting up early to get to the pathologist as soon as they open so that he can still eat on a fairly regular schedule.


My normal response after the blood test is to rush home, but instead we decided that we could take some time to do nothing. An attempt to relax! So we ducked home and grabbed a few small items of food, my new picnic basket & rug from Pepsi, and headed to one of the local beaches.

Relaxation Time
Pretty hard to be stressed sitting here.

I know, “one of” the beaches. I’m totally spoilt by choice living by the beach. This was taken at high tide. When the tide is out, there is a giant sandbar that lets you walk pretty far out. The other day there were a bunch of pelicans intimidating seagulls out of their fish on the sandbar. (And yes, I still really don’t like being in photos! How can I be a blogger without selfies!?)


Tuna is Ben’s go-to breakfast these days, so he ate that and I had a totally unhealthy muffin that I had baked a few days before. We’re not huge soft drink people in this house, because most are made with a ton of sugar. Obviously, Ben can’t have that quantity or type of sugar, and I changed my diet when he had to a few years ago – because in a house of two it’s pointless to eat two different ways. We generally stick to water these days (plus the occasional juice for me when I make cocktails). But water gets boring. So we often buy diet or sugar free softdrinks. The problem with those is that they’re usually artificially (chemically) sweetened, and the biggest thing we’ve found in managing Ben’s health problems over the past few years is eating fresh, quality and locally.

Very cute insulated basket (and picnic rug) from Pepsi. And a picnic tip – if there are no rocks around, use heavy food or drink items to weigh down the edges of the picnic blanket.

But then we get back to ‘boring’ when it comes to mostly water, little/no juice, rarely milk, avoiding soft drink due to chemicals…we all need some kind of different flavour in our lives. So when I heard about the opportunity to try a less sugared version of soft drink, it genuinely interested me. Variety being the spice of life and all that.

Pepsi Next
Pepsi Next – 30% less sugar

Sadly, one look at the can and 28g of sugar in it means there is no way Ben will be able to drink them. That’s an entire lunch to him. Of course, that means they’re all mine now 🙂 Having not drunk any soft drinks with regular sugar in them for about three years, I was surprised at the balance of taste. It wasn’t overly sugary, and it didn’t have that chemically aftertaste that many people associate with sugar free/low sugar drinks. The info Pepsi gave me said that they reduced the sugar by using Stevia. I keep hearing about that and I need to look into it more to see if we can use it to adjust parts of our diet to give us more variety. I don’t think it was around when we first made all of our changes.


As for my opinion, it’s pretty good. Like I said, soft drink isn’t something we have often and I don’t think I would buy this as part of a regular grocery shop, but it’s the sort of thing I would keep in the back of my mind to grab a can of when I’m out all day. It’s a decent enough balance between a sweet treat and a chemical flavour. And if you don’t have the daily concerns of managing diabetes on diet only terms, I also think it’s a good balance between excess sugar and artificial sweeteners for a treat.


And Ben has snuck a few sips of mine while I’ve been drinking them. I think he does wish he could drink them!

Lessons in Relaxation
Ah-ha! Knew I had a recent photo of the tide out at the same spot! This one comes with a friendly posing seagull too.

The best part about being able to do a picnic on a weekday is that you pretty much have the entire area to yourself. No tourists. Just the occasional local fisherman or someone walking their dog. Not that I’m anti-tourism, but during the week I am absolutely spoiled to have beaches pretty much to myself 🙂


In the end, it was a good way to include relaxation in my day, even if we didn’t stay too long. Now I just need more of these to practice relaxing more often!


I’ve thought about making a jar with local places to go written on scraps of paper, and drawing one out per day and just trying to go sit somewhere.


How do you incorporate relaxation into your day? Any tips?


2 Replies to “Lessons in Relaxation”

  1. I made the switch from full sugar to zero sugar (Coke Zero, Sprite Zero, Pepsi Max or Aldi Zero Cola) over a year ago when I started Weight Watchers (something I never write about or share, but may eventually), and I do believe that it contributed a lot to my initial weight-loss. Recently hubby did a trial for a week and he lost a whole kilo!
    I think after your taste test I will be trying Pepsi Next as I am a bit sick of the taste of zero sugar soft drink!

    PS your idea about a “place” jar is pure genius. I never tweeted this but last weekend we went on a photography drive, fought about where to go, couldn’t decide and ended up driving to Caboolture and back without stopping or taking one photo. Lesson learnt – decide on where to go before we leave the house!

    1. It took me 3-4 months to get used to the 100% diet drinks. I just did it gradually. Some days I had full sugar, others “diet” ones.
      I’ve realised I have some issues with making decisions so I need to try and make the decision fast. Or faster…

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