If you're anything like countless American families, you likely just wrapped a jam-packed summer of long days, high energy, and maybe even some travel. School is likely already back in session or just around the corner, and you're probably wondering when in the heck am I supposed to unwind from the vacation that was supposed to help me unwind?!
Don't you worry. August 15th is national relaxation day and we've got some tips and tricks on how you can settle down, catch your breath, and unwind. It's time to maximize your recharge on National Relaxation Day.
Forego the Glow
Did you know that many studies have found that checking your phone at night before bed can actually disrupt a healthy sleep cycle? That means if you'd like to get some quality beauty sleep August 14th to set you up for maximum relaxation August 15th, you should set your phone away after dinner and drift into a sound sleep. Try substituting phone time with some Stress Away and 15 minutes of "block breathing" or meditation.
"Block breathing" is a technique that has you inhale to the count of 4 and hold your breath for a count of 4. Then you exhale to the count of 4 and hold your breath for a count of 4. It's all about the 4s and slowing your default breathing pattern. You may feel slightly lightheaded your first time but stay focused. You'll come out the other side recharged, relaxed and prepared for a restful sleep.
Tee Up the Tea
Avoid the standard double shot of espresso and reach instead for a calming tea to start your day. There's something relaxing about the tactile nature of preparing a quality tea and then savoring the fresh aroma of a healthy beverage. Rather than pumping your veins full of crazy caffeine that can spike your anxiety, tee up some tea.
Nourish with Natural Light
Relaxation Day falls mid-week this year, so clear 10-20 minutes in the day and be intentional about getting some sunshine in your life. Step out of the office at lunch or go for an evening stroll. The fresh air and Vitamin D can do wonders for your mood.
Flow like Water
Many cultures regard water as a source of life and replenishment. Whether you sit on a bench near a lake or pond, make a conscious effort to consume more water on Relaxation Day or you savor time in a steam room, observe water's ability to flow through every transaction and ponder the places in your life that have become rigid or stagnate. Are there areas you need to release? Are there ripples inside you that long for new shores? Meditate on water.
Consider the Classics
Switch up your tunes for the day. Hit pause on the top 20 songs that are likely loud, fast and maybe even profane and go for classic instrumental scores like Beethoven, Bach or Mozart. You may find that these songs actually stimulate deep thought, clear observation, and mental clarity.
Roll It Out
Don't want to drop big bucks on a spa treatment or massage? Invest in a foam roller and break up the tension in your sore muscles. You can foam roll at home, in the office or even at a park. While it may sting in the moment, you'll definitely feel more limber and relaxed after a few minutes.
Here's wishing you the most relaxing Relaxation Day ever!
Have we missed anything? What's your go-to relaxation technique? Tell us in the comments and help out other readers who may be searching for ways to unwind this week!