Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Chill out

Pause and be peaceful
As we all endure the daily grind of this in-betweeny season that is "no longer winter, but not quite totally spring (and when the heck is my next day off from work again!?)" I think it's particularly important to remember to chill out. It's so easy to get swept up in not just work, but errands and social obligations, that "me time" (not even "we" time for those of you coupled up) often falls by the wayside. Today I'm going to share some of my favorite "me time" activities, perfect for when you just need to pause and chill out all by yourself.

* Go for a Walk
Sure it's not a hard core workout, but walking is still exercise and taking a stroll to soak up some fresh air and clear your mind can be wonderfully refreshing. I love walking home from work with some happy music playing or getting home, doing a quick change and strolling through the park during "magic hour". Allowing myself to feel slightly inefficient (it's ok not to be running!) helps clear my mind and either appreciate the wonderful things or contemplate and mentally sort through challenges.

* Indulge in a Spa Treatment
This doesn't have to be a pricey massage to be effective - treating yourself to a manicure or chair massage at your nail place works just fine too! There's something magically soothing about zoning out while someone pretties up your fingernails and a massage of any length or type!? Heaven. If you're in NYC, there are lots of CHEAP massage options, my favorite being Renew Body Wellness (8th between 5th and 6th) where an hour long foot massage is $24 and a full body runs just $39 (or how about $20 for 20 min)!!! Though not a day at Red Door, Renew is my favorite way to unwind and indulge on the cheap.

* Take a Bath
I absolutely love taking baths. Soaking in the tub is the best way to relax, sooth an achy body and just escape from the hustle of real life. I love a dimly lit bathroom (I have a nightlight, but a candle is great too) and lavender scented epsom salt (perfect for the aches!) but turns our there are lots of great "put it in your tub" options like green tea, honey, ginger and even jell-o!! (Found via exPress-O

* Curl up and Read
I usually only read while commuting or in bed before I fall asleep, so there's something incredibly peaceful about curling up on the couch in my quiet apartment (maybe some soft music and a lit candle too!?) or on a park bench and reading a favorite book or magazine. In our tech-inundated world, it's easy to pick up a phone or iPad or default to mindlessly watching television, but next time you want to take a 20-minute time out, consider the old fashioned pleasure of a good book!

* Meditate
Last week I learned that 2 of my girlfriends are "into" meditation. Then I discovered this App (which I already love) via CupofJo. Turns out daily meditation may be a bit of a trend and given that savasana is often a favorite part of my yoga classes, I'm thinking it's time to jump on board. Pausing to clear your mind, focus inward and accept the outward doesn't take long and sounds incredibly refreshing. Click HERE for lots of great info and then get meditating!

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