My Favorite Ways to Relax

Ct2fBe0rc69nqIt’s always important to remember to carve out some necessary “me-time” in order to recover and rejuvenate.  It’s the old comparison of “putting on your own oxygen mask before assisting others” – allowing yourself the proper amount of rest and care guarantees you’re more ready and available for the people and responsibilities in your life.

I think we are all doing a better job at recognizing this lately, but I feel a few of us still struggle to know how to best care for our own needs.  Therefore, I’m sharing with you five of my favorite ways to relax and rejuvenate my body and mind.  Try them out and let me know how they work for you!  Also, be sure to let me know a few of your own favorite ways to unwind 😉

Bubble Baths

First on the list because it’s my current go to.  When I feel over worked or overstressed, I can now feel my body craving a luscious, indulgent bubble bath.  This hasn’t always been the case – it took me a while to find my bubble bath sweet spot.  I used to think bathing was just sitting in a soup of filth or a simply a waste of water and time…

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It turns out a bath can be absolutely delightful – you just have to know what sort of a bubble-cocktail you’re blending for yourself.  I used to just toss some epsom salts into the water and force myself to sit there for 20 minutes feeling unimpressed….oh those sad, sad days.

If you haven’t previously been privy to Lush Cosmetics, allow me to make the introduction for you.  I turned to their products, convinced they’d be my last effort at enjoying bathing…

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With one bathbomb and one bubble bar, I was forever hooked.  The blend leaves me melting into my tub for the course of an hour, and when I emerge, my muscles are relaxed, my mind is clear, and I smell like a goddamn, baby unicorn who just went skipping through a magical field of lavender and roses.

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If you’re looking for a place to start with Lush – let me recommend either the Twilight or Avobath bath bombs, and either the Milky Bath or Karma bubble bars.  If you’re looking to save a little cash in the process – pick a bubble bar but skip the bath bomb.  Instead, grab a bag of scented epsom salts that includes magnesium – the two together will serve you beautifully.  Also, depending on the chosen bubble bar – most can be broken in half to cover you for two baths…or you can be like me and attempt to suffocate yourself by utilizing a full bubble bar in one bath 😉

Final pro-tip…set up a playlist of relaxing tunes or even prop your laptop or iPad up to enjoy a favorite television episode while you bathe.  Then just kick back and let your body melt into the warm, bubbly goodness.

Wine

No shame – I LOVE a good glass of wine.  Okay, okay…I’ve also been known to love a FEW glasses of wine 😉

I try not to turn to this option too regularly (because #goals), but every so often, it’s just the ticket.  For me, it’s always about a bold red, but you do you.  I’ve heard good things about those wine subscription services, but truthfully I think having several bottles at home would prove too much of a temptation for me.

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Therefore, on evenings when I determine wine is the appropriate choice for relaxing, I will combine it with a bit of an adventure component.  I will purposefully scout out a new wine shop, or set my intentions towards an old favorite that is a bit of a distance away and take a meditative stroll.  I’ll listen to music or enjoy a new podcast while taking in the day and my surroundings.

Once in the shop, I’ll dive in and explore the information cards, reflect on the different label designs, and finally come to a full-hearted decision in which wine I will dine with for the evening.  This all may be coming off as a “boujee” process for picking up a simple bottle of wine, but it’s what works for me in reconciling alcohol as a tool of relaxation and not just a practice of drowning my sorrows after a difficult day.

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Blankets

I don’t think this one requires much explanation.  Blankets are soft and warm.  Blankets make you feel safe and protected.  Studies have even shown that the warm hug of a blanket can increase the output of both melatonin and serotonin.  Melatonin promotes sleep – always beneficial, and serotonin is the hormone that promotes happiness.  It’s known to soothe nerves and affect a person’s mood.  Want to feel calmer and happier?  Find a blanket and turn yourself into a human burrito.  Better yet, find several and build yourself a blanket fort.

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Candles/Aromatherapy

Aww the soft, warm glow of a flickering candle.  Just the thought of it leaves me feeling a little more relaxed.  The great thing about a candle is it can be utilized while going about your routine.  You can of course pair it with another relaxation technique for bonus benefits, or it can even provide aid while you work and get things accomplished.

At this point, it’s a rarity for me to be home and not have a candle lit.  Whether I’m writing, performing chores, or even just watching TV – a lit, scented candle works it’s magic without much requirement on my part.

For my own needs, I primarily turn to Voluspa’s Baltic Amber or Ambre Lumiere scents.  Studies have shown that amber can aid those suffering from thyroid disorders so I’m always looking to invite more into my environment.  The Ambre Lumiere scent also includes patchouli which is known to have balancing and grounding effects.  While I highly recommend dropping into a candle shop and exploring what scents you personally connect with, it never hurts to turn old staples such as vanilla, cinnamon, or lavender.

Mani/Pedi

Last but certainly not least is the infamous mani/pedi.  Let’s face it, it’s always a treat to feel pampered, and what is more pampering than someone massaging your feet and cleaning out your toe gunk for the course of an hour (my apologies to that someone).

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I’ll let you in on a secret – I save my mani/pedis for days when I need to escape from my office.  It provides the perfect midday rejuvenation session.  It’s literally just enough of a break for me to relax and resharpen my nails for the tasks at hand 😉

What are you waiting for?  Go dip those toesies into that dreamy, foot jacuzzi!

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