While you should never feel guilty about taking time for self-care (it’s crucial for both physical and mental health, after all), why not indulge yourself on August 15th - National Relaxation Day. There’s never been a better excuse to take time off from the daily grind and find a moment to chill — even if you can’t play hooky from work (we won’t tell your boss!). Here are a few ways to celebrate this unofficial holiday of Zen.
Add Some Honey To Your Iced Tea
While honey is a great DIY beauty treatment ingredient, it’s also great for mental health because it contains compounds that reduce inflammation in the brain thus fighting depression and anxiety.
Research suggests that it only takes two quick (about five minutes) sessions of silent meditation per day to relieve stress and banish depression. Find a quiet, distraction-free place within your home or neighborhood to concentrate on your breathing and find a moment of peace.
Give Yourself A DIY Hand Massage
This one is especially good for those who spend endless hours pounding away on the keyboard as the hands tend to carry a lot of tension. It’s also an instantaneous relaxation technique that can lower one’s heart rate in times of stress. Apply a quality lotion (something with aromatherapy for additional calming benefits) and start kneading the base of the muscle directly under the thumb. You’ll be surprised that just massaging your hands and fingers can release tension in your shoulders, neck, and scalp, too.
Evidence shows that clutter can cause stress and depression while vastly affecting one’s productivity, so take some time to clear the clutter out of your home and work space.
Create A Place Of Peace
Whether you’re single or running a family-filled household, there’s nothing wrong with needing a little alone time. Create a respite within your home where you can retreat for a time out. Maybe you want to invest in a few upgrades to your bathroom (think a rain shower, luxurious towels, etc.), or perhaps partition off a section of the family room — whatever works.
Spend Time Outdoors
Spending time outside is an easy way to get a hearty dose of bone- and mood-boosting vitamin D. Go for a walk, spend time with your pet at a dog park, pack a picnic, or find a spot to continue your summer reading binge.
Experiment With Aromatherapy
Essential oils are great for the skin, but they’re also excellent for the mind, too. Simply put a few drops of an oil such as lavender, sweet orange, or ylang ylang into your palm and inhale. The natural aroma stimulates cell receptors in the nose that connect to the part of the brain that regulates emotions.