How to Relax While Waiting – A Whole New Appreciation for Red Lights

How to Relax While Waiting – A Whole New Appreciation for Red Lights

Last week, I facilitated a Mini-Retreat Workshop for a group of women. During the session I shared how to relax without taking any extra time, including at red traffic lights. This is always a popular part of my workshops, as most people feel relieved that they can find ways to relax without taking any extra time.

Oftentimes a red traffic light feels like a stressor, a barrier that keeps you stuck in traffic and prevents you from moving forward. Instead of wasting this time feeling stressed or anxious, turn it into quick time-out to relax.

How to relax while waiting

How to relax while waiting – A whole new appreciation for red lights

As I asked the group what they might do to relax while waiting at a red traffic light, I was expecting responses such as:

  • breathing deeply
  • rolling your shoulders
  • stretching your body
  • smiling
  • noticing the scenery

All these are very effective ways to relax quickly while waiting for the light to turn green.

However, to my great surprise, one of the participants responded that she would like to do her kegel exercises while waiting at the red light. Because she was fairly soft spoken, not every woman around the circle understood her comment.

A few women to her left giggled, amused by the idea of squeezing their pelvic floor muscles while waiting for the light to turn green. Another participant across the room asked, if giggling had been suggested as a way to relax at red lights. Now the entire group burst out laughing, as we all imagined doing kegel exercises and giggling at the same time. Together we coined a new term for this Mini-Retreat: ’kegel-giggles.’

Kegel exercises are indeed a great Mini-Retreat in itself and very good for your pelvic health. You can do them lying, standing or seated. Because they are so versatile, they are indeed a perfect Mini-Retreat, while you are waiting at a red traffic light. If you have never done them, this short video  will teach you how to relax while strengthening your pelvic floor muscles.

When we wrapped up the morning workshop, I invited each of the women to share the gem they were taking away from the session. Several participants said that they were grateful to learn how to relax without taking a whole lot of time. A few women commented that they now had a whole new appreciation for red traffic lights. They were looking forward to red traffic lights as opportunities to practicing ‘kegel-giggles.’

Mini-Retreats are all about having fun and not taking life so seriously. When we lighten up, even just for moments, we naturally relax.

Please share your ideas on how to relax while waiting at traffic lights on my blog. Your comments will inspire other readers to tap into their creativity and receive the gift of relaxation while waiting for the light to turn green.

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Julia James

Julia James is a certified life coach and award-winning author of the book, The Mini-Retreat Solution. With over ten years experience coaching people through positive career transformations, Julia is passionate about helping people connect with their true calling.


  1. Melanie Reply

    I normally have the radio on in the background. Usually it is turned down low so as not to be a distraction. At a red light I crank up the volume and SING … as loud as I can, and I usually bop around with the music too.

    It’s a fun little break. when the light turns green I turn the sound back down and pay attention to my driving.

    Makes stopping at red lights fun. The longer the better.

    • Julia Reply

      Thank you for sharing, Melanie! What a great idea! I look forward to doing this “crank up the volume” red-light relaxer, next time I am driving! 🙂
      Julia 🙂

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