How do people manage to relax and indulge in “me-time?” Most of us lead rushed lives, trying to find a balance between work and home responsibilities. No wonder we get overwhelmed at times. The reality is that it is up to ourselves to take time out occasionally. Everybody else is focused on their own path to burnout. So if you want to put the brakes on, do it. Relax, spoil yourself and refuel, ready for the next few weeks. If you sit down and think about it, you might discover that self-indulgence can be affordable. I think of myself as a car that needs maintenance and refueling, and here are some of my self-indulgences.
Unplug and recharge tech devices to relax
I decided that my smartphone, tablet, laptop and other tech devices are for my convenience, and I have the right to unplug and ignore whomever I want. It is my decision when to answer and respond. I make a point of taking tech timeout for at least an hour each day and during my maintenance and refuel sessions for an entire day.
Relax with soothing aromas
Sooth your nervous system with the aromas of essential oils of jasmine, lavender or vanilla. A few drops in a spray bottle with water or in a diffuser can do wonders. What you are doing is setting the mood and atmosphere for your maintenance service. You may prefer scented candles or lotions to do the trick.
Choose relaxing music
Relaxing music is essential because it affects your nervous system directly. It also slows your breathing and heart rate. Furthermore, calming music can even lower blood pressure and relax your muscles. Although the choice of music is yours, keep in mind that folk, jazz or classical music have the perfect rhythm to maximize the relaxing effect. When you have the ambiance perfect, it is time to try your hand at massaging stressed muscles.
Relax and destress with a massage
Reverse your stress levels by massaging your neck, face and back. Clasp your hands together behind your neck. Use your thumbs to make small circles, using just enough pressure to feel it deep in your tense muscles. For facial tension relief, massage your forehead and temples, and move the massaging slowly down the sides of your face to your jaw.
You can even give yourself a back massage. Stand against a wall and place a tennis ball between your back and the wall. Bend your knees and feel the ball massaging you back as you move up and down and from side to side.
Follow this with a nap
Indulging in a nap around midday can further boost your mood and lower tension. Ideally, find a dark, quiet place and try to keep such naps to about 20 minutes, or you’ll feel groggy after longer naps.
Relax with a cup of tea
Studies have shown that a cup of green or black tea reduces tension and improves your mood. However, you could get the same benefits from herbal teas like chamomile, which also reduces anxiety. Have your tea after your nap, and then venture outside.
Nature is a fast way to relax
Spending even 20 minutes outside, taking in nature, can chase all negative thoughts out of your head. Whether you spend this time in your garden or in a park, the benefits would be significant. Take a stroll or sit in the sun for a while. If there is no way for you to indulge outdoors, watch a nature program on TV or look through photos taken in natural settings.
Take nature inside with you
As you head back inside, take a bunch of fresh-cut flowers from your garden or store-bought, and put them in a vase in a well-used room where you can enjoy them often. Ensure the flowers’ scent is pleasant, and the type of flowers you choose might even bring back happy memories. Furthermore, you can invest in a few houseplants. Use the time you would typically spend on the computer or mobile phone to tend and care for the plant. You’ll be amazed at the calming effect getting your hands dirty while working with the plant could have.
Relax in a warm bath
As the day runs out, head for a warm bath, and don’t rush it. Enjoy it as long as possible, preferably immediately before you go to bed.
Spend time with loved ones
Make the most of these maintenance and refueling times to spend some quality time with loved ones.
If possible, repeat this process for a few days before re-entering the rat race. Oh, by the way, don’t forget to turn your smartphone and other gadgets back on again.