Weekend Rx: Quick Tips For Relaxation
Our Quick Tips For Relaxing This Weekend
It’s Friday, which means the weekend is almost here! Through the countless loads of laundry, packed lunches, baseball games, homework help, and, for many of us, a full work week on top of it all, we’ve made it through the week. While of course there are still 8am soccer games, science projects and play dates, we are gifted with two whole days to search for 10 minutes to carve out for ourselves, to relax and recharge.
I don’t know about you, but I need my “me” time. Even if it’s just for a few minutes. These days, even taking a long shower counts. Grocery shopping alone, running an errand without kids in toe, and folding laundry in peace with some jazz spinning on the record player also counts as a break, to me. But, those things aren’t proper relaxation techniques, no.
Some of us may not be blessed with a four hour relaxation window this weekend where no one will be home. But we can all find 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, right?
It’s important to carve out time for yourself so you can recharge, reflect, and start anew. Something bothering you? Feeling emotionally exhausted? Feeling not like yourself? It’s amazing what 10 minutes of utter silence and decompression can do for a person!
Feeling frustrated or stressed out about something? Make yourself a fresh cup of green tea. Green tea is a good source of L-Theanine, a chemical that helps to calm stress and anger. Take your cup of tea and sit on your balcony or porch, and just sip. Sip and release, sip and release.
Are you noticing that your mind is racing and you are starting to feel overwhelmed? Breathe. Take slow, deep breaths in a rhythmic pattern. This kind of breathing can help lower your blood pressure and heart rate. For more insight into the benefits of deep breathing, read here.
Have 10-15 minutes to spare in between errands? Stop in for a quick reflexology massage. Reflexology can be deeply relaxing and therapeutic, especially when performed on the feet. A short reflexology massage can have a positive and relaxing affect on the head, heart, chest, and overall body, due to the various pressure points being massages. Because it’s done primarily on the feet, it’s an easy appointment to make, and typically not very expensive. We highly recommend trying this!
If you’re looking for a free way to relax, we’ve got a great relaxation method for you. It may be the best one on the list. Ready? Find the sun. Sit, lay, walk, or nap – in the sun. Bright lights can help treat the blues, and the vitamin D is great for us. The sun’s warmth is very calming and can feel like a warm hug from nature. Plus, we all look a little better with a glowing tan.
Exercise is a great way to shed anything weighing on our hearts. Take 10 minutes to stretch, run in place, or do some yoga. These exercises can relieve muscle tension and help us relax after a stressful week. We personally love chest-opening stretches, which can be done anywhere and feel amazing. Yoga is truly one of the most relaxing activities one can do, at any level and any age.
This might sound a little offbeat, but we find doing crossword and sudoku puzzles incredibly relaxing. Brain games that require lots of concentration can help take our mind off whatever might be worrying us. Keep a few in your purse and break them out whenever you find you have a few minutes to yourself. (Also a great way to pass the time on airplanes!)
We received this tip from a naturopath friend of ours: Sniff citrus. The smell of citrus can help us relax by increasing levels of norepinephrine, which is a hormone that affects our mood. For a quick pick-me-up, dab a little orange or lemon essential oils on your wrists or on a handkerchief and tuck it away in your pocket.
While we all have our own unique ways of relaxing and unwinding, the importance of this practice is consistent for everyone. Our days are packed with errands, household chores, business meetings, play dates, carpool, extracurricular activities, homework, the works! Please remember that your needs are important too, and that a relaxed mama is a happy mama, therefore a happy family!