A new year is filled with plenty of well intended
resolutions; typical ones that may include quitting
smoking, exercising to lose weight, paying off credit cards and
so on. While all are certainly wise and commendable, it
would behoove us to add another - to relax our mind and body,
more often. In the grand scope of it all, it is this that
will help us through the more challenging changes in which we
are about to embark upon.
It plays a vital role
in the outcome of our life as a whole, how we feel and how we choose to
live. The human body is meant to rest, relax and recuperate, in order to
maintain a healthy state. Though it comes in many forms, it is
defined “to become less tense, rest or ease ones self? achievement at
times, may be a bit more complex.
Everyone needs to relax, but not everyone feels
completely comfortable in embracing the concept. Although relaxing
techniques are wonderful for de-stressing, we do not need to have stress
in our day to be deserving of a little down time. And while it would
do us all a world of good to carve some time out of each day for a
relaxing ritual, for most of us, it is not all that practical. There
is a wide array of basic things we can do, at least 2-3 times each week,
if not more. Some are easy, fun and rather mindless, others take a
bit more thought and work, but in the end, they all accomplish the same
goal - to relax, let go and feel better.
Results from my own informal small survey
(approximately 250 people) revealed that a simple Bath Soak is a very
favorable way to relax. There were also added pleasures to go along
with a bath, such as a glass of wine or cup of tea, locking the door,
candles, music, etc, it is easy to do and a fine way to be still and
unwind. For a simple natural bath, add a handful of sea salt and fresh
herbs you have on hand, Lemon Balm is a nice choice and is also the
International Herb Association's Herb of the Year for 2007!
Although not always relaxing while we are engaging in
it, regular exercise relaxes us both mentally and physically. It
increases blood flow and reduces stress which in turn aides in a fresh and
relaxed state of mind, one that flows clearly and is uncluttered.
While taking a bath is easy and can be comforting, exercise takes
awareness and effort. So if you had a notion that relaxing ones self
is for lazy people, you can now let that go and get moving.
During our workouts, it is absolutely essential to keep
our bodies hydrated, so have plenty of water with you. Also, a nice
treat to have close by, is a spray bottle of hydrosol that has recently
been taken out of the refrigerator, whenever you go for water, give
yourself a quick spritz of hydrosol. The cool lightly scented
hydrosol (I use Orange) can be a handy pick-me-up and a wonderful feeling
when we are working up a good sweat during a cardio or sculpting workout.
Practicing Yoga and breathing techniques is quite
helpful and fulfilling for many of us, there is also baby and children's
yoga which can be a wonderful bonding time for the family as a whole and
results in healthy, happy and flexible participants.
It would be in our best interest to consider the impact
on our health, should we become accustomed to a Diet that is high in
sugar, fat, processed foods and the amounts consumed, just to name a few.
If you normally eat a healthy diet, then you very well know how different
and sluggish your body feels after a couple weeks of Holiday or
Celebration feasting. Getting back to basics is essential, eat in
moderation, select fresh foods that have a reasonable shelf life and do
your best to drink the proper amount of Water, everyday. A good way
to start is planning to prepare at least one meal per week made with all
fresh ingredients; this will tempt you to want to do it more often.
Spending time at the Spa, relaxing or luxury? The
answer depends on who you ask, but even if you do consider a trip to the
spa a luxury, it is going to make you feel good and when you feel good
about yourself, you are more relaxed. An eventful day at the spa can be
quite a splurge and for some of us, it may be better suited for special
occasions, but we can still lavish in some leisurely spa time without
springing for a full blown spa package. Enjoy a variety of single
treatments offered; pamper yourself with a lovely pedicure, manicure or
facial. Please don’t be deceived into thinking that the spa is only
for wealthy clientele. There are all sorts of day spas, many with
competitive pricing and accommodating employees. A menu that I am perusing
from a very fine Day Spa in my area lists treatments starting at $25.00.
It is quite therapeutic and rather nice to be taken care of, for any
amount of time.
Treating ourselves to some pampering Home Spa time has
it perks too; we have the choice of buying prepared products or making our
own, there is no appointment to be on time for, no driving in stressful
traffic, etc. We need not be alone to have some relaxing time either,
invite friends over for a night of homemade beauty treatments. This can be
anything from a very simple last minute affair to a well planned one
complete with food, drinks and music.
A couple of natural beauty treatments that you can
easily prepare at home:
Homemade Pomegranate Sugar Scrub
2-3 teaspoons pomegranate seeds
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon oil- whatever you have on hand-sunflower, canola, olive, etc.
In a small dish, add pomegranate seeds and 1 tablespoon of sugar, crush
with a spoon (adding the sugar on top of the seeds will help keep them from splattering
and will also help to extract the fragrant juice)
Add oil & 2 more tablespoons of sugar
Apply to clean feet and hands using a circulation motion to exfoliate and
moisturize, rinse and pat dry
*Double up on the ingredients to make a larger amount for a full body
Fresh Milk & Strawberries Natural Manicure
Tools you will need:
Homemade Strawberry Scrub Recipe Ingredients:
3-4 ripe crushed Strawberries
1/8 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1 tsp Honey
2-3 tbs Sugar
1 tbs Oil-Evening Primrose, Almond, Olive,
Avocado-either one will do or you may use what you have on hand
(Mix the above ingredients just before you begin your manicure. Depending
on how ripe your strawberries are, you may like to adjust this recipe, the
consistency should be on the thick side. If you have problems getting it
thick enough, the easiest thing to do is to sprinkle in a bit of Oats to
1 cup Whole Milk
(Warm the milk and pour it into a manicure bowl for your hand soak before
Begin the Manicure by
Carefully trim away any hangnails
File and shape your nails
Soak your hands in a dish of warm whole milk for
about 5 minutes; this will help to soften the cuticles and your skin
Apply the Strawberry Scrub, massage into hands
to exfoliate, nourish and polish away dry skin
Rinse hands and pat dry
Gently push back cuticles
Buff your nails with a smooth soft buffer
Warm a bit of the same kind of oil you used in
the Scrub recipe and massage into your hands, carefully around the nails
Your nails are shined and polished-Naturally
- Soy Milk for the Whole Milk and Molasses for the Honey.
Relaxing, peaceful Music is an effortless way to signal
your mind and body to slow down the pace and enjoy the moments.
Incorporating some time to
Meditate into our daily or
weekly routine's is essential to rest our minds and bodies, it is
important to take that time to reflect, ponder and contemplate. There are
many ways to approach this, some being ceremonial and in group settings,
or alone in a peaceful location. I meditate effortlessly while gardening
or sitting outside. If you prefer a relaxed position while you are
meditating and it is during the day, you may benefit from the use of an
eye pillow. They are readily available or you can easily make your own.
Lavender & Flax-seed Eye Pillow
2 - 3.5 x 8.5 inch pieces of fabric
1/4 cup - Dried Organic Lavender
1/2 cup - Organic Flax Seed
With right sides of fabric together, facing each
other, stitch 3 sides together leaving one of the smaller ends open
Turn right side out
Add Lavender & Flax Seed
Fold fabric ends in for a clean finish & stitch
open end together
A sewing machine is recommended, but these are
so small that they could easily be hand sewn also
You may adjust the fabric size for a smaller or
larger Eye Pillow
You may also adjust the Lavender & Flax Seed
Be careful not to overfill, you want these
pillows to have a very light pressure while resting over your eyes
If you like Lavender,
this may help to enhance your experience and you can carry it along and
use it at the spa or during a massage.
Massage Therapy, it is stress relieving, aides in
circulation, releases toxins, increases range of motion and flexibility,
eases sore muscles and chronic tension, gives quiet time, leaves you
confident and refreshed with an overall feeling of well being. It is
healthy and lends a benefit that inspires us to live well with a depth and
clarity that is so profound, we want everyone to experience it - and as
some firmly believe - the world would be better.
There are many venues that we can choose from to
schedule an appointment for a therapeutic massage. Of course, there is the
spa, which is convenient if you are to receive other services as well. A
chiropractor’s office is a good location if you are also in need of an
adjustment; as they tend to compliment each other. There are also a number
of private practice establishments and many health clubs that employ or
have therapists on call. If you prefer to have your massage at home, I
think you will find massage therapists that have their own practice will
be more inclined to make house calls.
A full body massage is usually 45-60 minutes, with
prices generally beginning at around $40.00 and up. Most businesses will
facilitate what is called a “spot massage? which is neck & shoulders or
arms and hands or feet and legs, etc. for anywhere between 15 -30 minutes
at a lower rate.
The benefits we receive far outweighs the price of a
single treatment, the only tricky part here, is finding the right licensed
massage therapist for yourself. Once we conquer that, the rest is easy. I
think it is a good idea to bring up and discuss facial massage with your
therapist if you are so inclined to receive it. It is something I expect,
as we tend to hold quite a bit of stress in our faces. But very often, the
face is neglected during a massage. Also use caution if you opt to have
the therapist use a scented oil or cream during your massage. Ask if you
may check it out first to make sure that it is not too strong for your
senses. One time when I asked for this, the therapist quickly stuck a
bottle of Lemongrass essential oil right under my nose-not good-I very
much enjoy Lemongrass EO, but only when it is properly diluted. When you
do have a massage, plan your day accordingly, if you eat afterwards, eat
light and always drink plenty of water.
Massage is healthy and relaxing for infants and babies,
it is of gentle form, loving and a pleasurable bonding time for all
involved. Check the resources in your area, including recommendations for
book tutorials and music selections to accompany the massage time.
There are simple massage techniques that you can do at
home or work to help relieve a minor headache. Massage the base of the
back of your head gently and also massage your head like you are washing
your hair, rub little circles all over your face, reach back if you can
and gently rub your shoulders too. Give yourself about 5 minutes or so to
rest after doing this and drink a glass of fresh water; it is a quick
technique to try before popping a pain reliever.
We have all dealt with negative and not so nice people;
who try to make us feel, not so great. Being Positive, Kind and Courteous
makes you and others feel good, daily practice of patience, regard and
respect is contagious, pass it on.
It’s a new year and a good time to wipe the slate clean
if you can. Part of relaxing is relieving stress and thinking about all
the things you should have done can cause undo stress.
Follow Through and
do your best to accomplish reasonable daily goals.
Relaxing techniques come in many forms...
call upon beloved family animals and their calming powers
others just sit
quietly anywhere from 60 seconds to 5 minutes
keeping an organized home
power naps or catnaps during the day
fresh clean sheets and a good book
and decompressing after a stressful day before interacting with family
drinking herbal tea before bed
have a sitter for the kids
curl up with a magazine or crossword puzzle
take a drive in the country
spend some time at the park with your family
have a picnic
walk a nature
teach your children to enjoy reading, it is a relaxing for
Quite a variety to choose from and a very good point is
that someone can benefit by a mere 60 seconds sitting in a chair whereas
someone else needs to take 5 minutes doing basically the same thing. That
is the goal, to do what we need for ourselves. Baking bread would be
anything but relaxing for me, yet for someone else it is the very thing
that is used to retreat and unwind.
This is a wonderful time of the year, brimming with
hopes, dreams and it feels as if anything and everything is within our
reach and positively possible. The ideas mentioned above are not new or
improved; they are not bigger or better, designer or whatever. What they
are, is sublime and timeless, they softly lend simplicity and
effectiveness in doable doses that will only enhance our daily lives and
the lives of the people around us. It is up to you to take back
balance is yours for the taking, live it, love it, enjoy and
Make sure to visit Penny's website:
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