April is National Stress Awareness month, sooooo Happy Stress Awareness month to you! Who knew!? You can basically Google any day or month of the year, and I am confident that it will be a national day or month for something. Since I have found out that it is National Stress Awareness month, it has gotten me to thinking about the things that I do to rest, relax and rejuvenate! When I lived is San Diego, I found that it was easy to unplug at least once a week and go twinkle my toes in the sand with a good book. Now that I am in living in New York City, I feel it is really easy to get swept away in the hustle and bustle of my new environment. This made me realize how important it is to set some time aside at least once a week, to do something that makes me happy. Below are a few things that make me smile and help me to relieve stress and find balance. Hopefully you can find one or two that will work for you!
Workin’ On My Fitness!
I wish I liked running; it is free, easy to do almost anywhere and at any time of the day. Unfortunately, no matter how many times I have tried it I just don’t enjoy it. The great thing about exercise is that it comes in so many shapes and sizes. Anything that gets your body moving and those endorphins flowing is considered exercise. At this moment in my life, I am the most relaxed when I am roller skating through Central Park in the spring, with my trusty travel companion Julia the Mystical Traveling Unicorn. If I am not skating, you will find me practicing/teaching yoga at Unity Yoga, one of my favorite new yoga studios in Harlem. If I can’t make it to the park to skate or to the studio to do yoga, I try walking to do my errands when it is appropriate. Even if you hate all things exercise, try walking the next time you go out instead of driving or taking the subway. It gives you an opportunity to slow down a bit, and it will also help you discover the cool nooks and crannies of your town.
I like to dance, but my wife Derika loves, loves, loves to dance! Sometimes she doesn’t even need music, when this happens I can’t help but giggle. Dancing is a great way to get some exercise, work on your flexibility and reduce stress. If busting a move is not your thing, try listening to some good tunes. When I use to drive (living in NYC has really put a damper on this girls driving time), nothing made me happier than listening to some great music with the car windows rolled down after a stressful day at work.
Hang Out With Your Besties!
We have moved a lot and I am a pretty lucky girl to have besties sprinkled like glitter all over the country. There is nothing more relaxing to me, than going out for a tasty beverage and some good conversation with one of my gal pals. If your bestie is far away and you need a fix, try setting up a phone or facetime date with them. I can only stalk my friends on Facebook for so long, before I need to have an actual conversation.
Making things for people makes me so so happy. You don’t have to be a super crafty person to make prizes for your loved ones. Grab some glue, glitter, and some fancy paper; with a little wine and imagination, you will have a simple homemade card in no time! I always find that giving a homemade card over a store-bought card, seems to go a long way with the recipient.
I also just learned how to crochet and I have been on a mission to make a scarf or 3 for everyone that I know. I love my new hobby, because I can pretty much do it anywhere. Crocheting is a secret traveling craft that I can whip out and work on no matter where I am. I have started to crochet on the subway to pass the time, and to help me de-stress from all of the subway chaos happening around me. I am shocked by how many people stop to talk to me about what I am making. I thought that by crocheting on the subway, people would be less likely to interact with me, but it has had the complete opposite effect!?
Eat Better and Drink Some Tea.
You don’t have to completely cut out french fries, pizza and burritos…just enjoy them every once in a while rather than every day. Making a healthy meal every now and then can do wonders for your stress level. Not only can cooking be extremely relaxing, eating lots of vegetables, lean proteins and getting in your omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress.
I can’t help but splurge on pizza every now and again, because I love it so so much!! If you splurge on pizza for a meal, try sipping on tea rather than coffee throughout the day. Green tea has less than half the caffeine of coffee and contains healthy antioxidants, and amino acids that have a calming and soothing effect on the nervous system. There is something about having a warm cup of tea in my fancy unicorn mug that really gets my day going. How can you look at this mug and not be happy!?
Derika obviously took this photo without my permission, but it exists so lets embrace it. 🙂 Lack of sleep is a key cause of stress. I find it hard to just go to bed without checking my email, facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest…etc. Before I know it, 2am has arrived and I feel like poo the next day. If I am not tired when I go to bed, I try reading and once my eyes start to burn, I focus on my breathing. This has been helping and I am now only staying up until 12am. Not the best, but it is getting better.
Have a Spa Day!
Call up some of your ladies and treat yourselves to some manicures, pedicures and facials! It is so relaxing to sip on some bubbly and let someone else do all of the pampering, especially if you have some friends that you can go with. If you are trying to pinch your pennies, make some mimosas at home, and have a mini spa day with your friends in the comforts of your own home. When I host a spa day, I provide light snacks and bubbly, and ask my ladies to bring over some of their favorite beauty supplies to share. I work for Rodan and Fields skin care, so I always have a bunch of skin care products that I am excited to chat about. These parties are a great way to relax with my ladies, and it gives us a chance to catch up and chat about our favorite beauty tips and tricks.
This one is my favorite, because I love to travel! It is nice to disconnect every once and awhile, and reconnect with yourself and what matters. Traveling can come in so many shapes and sizes. You don’t have to get a stamp in your passport to travel. Have a staycation in your city or find some new areas around you to travel and explore. We lived near the beach in San Diego, and I was super spoiled by the proximity of the beach to my house. However, it was sometimes hard to unplug when we were just hanging at the beach by our house. Derika and I did a search of the areas around where we lived, and we found that there were tons of places to visit affordably that would still feel like a vacation. One of our favorite places to have a quick vacation when we lived in San Diego was Las Vegas. I know, it sounds so weird that we would go to a bustling city to relax, but it worked and we loved it.
We were able to do this affordably, because I love to play the unicorn penny slots when I am in Vegas. This small passion has somehow managed to get me Pearl status at the M life hotels. Derika is shocked by my Pearl status, because she plays black jack, gambles way more than I do, and is still at a status below me. Anyway, my mad unicorn penny slot skills gets us free hotel stays…which makes us both happy. 🙂
This is what a relaxing Vegas trip looks like to us…
On a good day you can drive from San Diego to Vegas in about 4-5 hours (4 hours if Derika is driving)…Winning! We check into our free hotel room at Mandalay Bay and go directly to the wave pool…which is amazing! We then spend our days reading, swimming and sipping on tasty beverages. One evening we might end a day at the pool at Scarpetta in the Cosmopolitan Hotel, our favorite restaurant in Vegas. If we are feeling sassy we might follow the other day at the pool with some black jack and unicorn penny slots, or a Cirque Du Soleil show (our favorite is ‘O’ at the Bellagio). We would end up coming home tan, well rested and happy. The travel possibilities are endless! Find your next simple getaway, by simply searching your local area; you might be surprised at the magic-ness that awaits you!
I hope you have found some of this useful and I look forward to hear how you let loose!