After the stress and fatigue that came along with 2020, you might find yourself craving a break in the new year. You’re not alone, and the good news is, it’s easy to find ways to relax and treat yourself that fit in almost any budget. Whether you’re looking to take a luxurious trip or just come up with a small surprise to make the work week a little more bearable, it’s always a good idea to be kind to yourself. While our ideas of the perfect way to chill out might differ from person to person, the one thing we all have in common is that we need some time to recharge every once in awhile. If you or someone you know is battling stress or anxiety, read on for four ideas on how to treat your mind and body.
1. Relax with a massage.
Even if you’re not typically the type to spend a day at the spa, it shouldn’t be hard to think of at least 5 reasons to get a massage. You may not realize it, but a regular massage can actually be more than just a treat–can have health benefits as well. A regular massage increases circulation and blood flow, which often can brighten up the skin and stimulate lymphatic drainage. Massages are also a great way to achieve pain relief, alleviate sore muscles, and manage minor aches and pains. A spa day can be an incredible way to spend a day, but you should consider adding a more regular massage to your routine, too.
2. Try a new fitness class.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an exercise enthusiast or new to the gym, it’s a great idea to try new types of workouts every once in awhile. If you aren’t a gym rat, you might find something you enjoy more than you expected to. If you’re already into fitness, changing up your workout will keep you from getting bored and offer a fresh break from your typical routine. Getting your heart rate up and sweating out the stress can provide a mood boost too. Some scientists believe that exercise produces dopamine and serotonin, two chemicals that are responsible for regulating your mood and boost your immune system.
3. Treat yourself to some new beauty products.
Whether you’re looking for lush lashes or a bold new lip color, trying out new makeup can be a lot of fun. Retail therapy isn’t a new concept, but some things are tried and true because they just work. If you shop in a department store, you can often even have a professional show you how to apply it or help you find new products that you might not have been aware of previously. Experts have suggested that looking good helps you feel good, so don’t feel guilty if you want to splurge on some new nail polish or lashes every once in awhile.
4. Invest in therapy.
If you find yourself dealing with more serious emotional issues, or you just need someone to talk to, therapy can be an incredible resource for improving your mental health. Even if you’ve never struggled with mental health before, conditions like seasonal depression can develop as you age and may require treatment and care. Sometimes our emotions and the levels of chemicals like serotonin aren’t properly regulated, and medication can be extremely beneficial, especially in those cases. If you’re unsure about adding a medication to your routine, you can get a second opinion, or stick to talk-based therapy and other solutions like cognitive behavioral therapy instead. No matter what, seeking help and consulting with an expert is always better than doing nothing.
Sometimes it’s hard to slow down and take time for yourself, especially when the world is so busy and chaotic, but if you want to stay sane, it’s important to carve out time in your schedule to relax. Taking care of your mental and physical health shouldn’t be considered luxuries, and often you’ll notice your productivity at work and at home will increase. Being able to focus, reducing your stress levels, having increased energy, and being in better shape are all side effects that come with a balanced wellness routine. If you’re feeling frazzled or struggling with your emotional state, give yourself a break and take care of your mind and your body so you can feel like your best self again as soon as possible.