5 Must-Haves to Optimize your ability to Relax
Relaxing does not come naturally to everyone. The challenge is all the more real today; and the need for it all the more important. Not only does finding calm feel good, it is actually very good for you. The stress hormone cortisol spikes when people are stressed and this can have terrible (and indeed dangerous) health consequences. When one is relaxed, the body's hormones can regulate and get back into balance. That feeling you have, after a good nap, a massage, or a few hours on a beach (under an umbrella with SPF) is actually your body saying "I am restored." While we might not have the luxury of massages or days on the beach anytime soon, there are things we can do here and now to get our bodies into balance and indeed master the art and science of relaxation.
As someone who does not naturally "chill out", I have created a method to relaxation. Below I have itemized my go-to must-haves for optimal relaxation as well as a suggested schedule for maximizing your me-time!
(1) Carve out time 1 day a week for yourself. In time this can grown, but start out 1x and mark it on your calendar. Everyone - literally everyone can find 30 minutes. You have a few choices as to how spend your time "actively relaxing" but I like to break down into the following:
Reading - Resting - Bathing - Meditating - Writing
Notably a few things are consistently absent from my time.
(2) Invest in a great weighted blanket. I worship this one from Weighted Idea because it is large enough to be totally encompassed, but not so large that it will require its own bedroom for storage. Some of these are absolutely Y-uge, so be careful.
(3) Fill a humidifier with water and essential oils. This is a great example of something small packing a huge punch. Not only with the sound help to relax, but the essential oils can become activated in the warm air and send you to a dreamy meditative zone. I love this one by Anjou because it is small and really easy to clean.
I have tried a lot of these as humidifiers can gross me out (Im deathly allergic to mold). You can spend a lot of money getting one (I have) only to have an oil tray get jammed or for it to leak. I suggest keeping it simple.
Notably, this one does not come with its own set of oils but that's an advantage because you can select your own or use what you have. I love eucalyptus and lavender. Try this brand for a great start and see what works best for you.
(4) Invest in high quality bath salts, oils, and good old fashion bubble bath. I've found that most people - even those who initially claim to hate the idea of a bath, love a bath when it's properly decadent. Consider the ceremony of creating the bath analogous to the ceremony of prepping tea; there is something meditative and rewarding in act of boiling water and steeping a tea bag, just as much as the tea itself. Preparing a bath is just as relaxing (or close) as enjoying one.
This set is amazing because it has a little bit of everything and the way it is presented as a gift is totally appropriate, because this is a gift for you!
(5) My favorite part to my scheduled moments of zen is getting changed into cozy clothes. Most often, these are the clothes I put on post-path or shower (yes of course, a shower can be a great way to set the tone; cleanse, breathe, change, relax).
What you are wearing when you relax is very important. The feeling of the clothing against your skin has to be soothing; soft and warm. The clothes can't be too tight fitting and your feet...that's a totally personal decision. I love having my feet cozy in socks or slippers, but you will have to see what works for you. Most import for me is that these clothes should not be pajamas or just casual clothes, but dedicated relaxation clothes. It might sound ridiculous, but there is value in assigning purpose to specific articles of clothing; and this set is one of them. I worship these and have them in 2 colors!
If you are looking for dedicated socks, I suggest these super cozy socks.
Also, all of these items double as wonderful Mother's Day Gifts!
So, get going and get relaxing.
30 minute relaxation schedule:
0-05 minutes: Prepare Bath + turn on humidifier w/oils in bedroom
05-12 minutes: Soak
10-12: Dry off and moisturize
Use the last 18-20 minutes to relax on your bed with a book, a journal, or nothing. Just lay there and breath and when you emerge from your cocoon, take note to the differences you see and feel.
One session might feel amazing, but after a consecutive month, you will see real changes. I can't wait to hear reports back!