May22

Life is crazy. There are so many things to keep up with. You have to cook, clean, work, keep up with family and friends…we’re stressed just thinking about it! 

It’s time to pause and recharge. You deserve a break! How are you supposed to deal with all this if you don’t take a little time for yourself? Relaxing doesn’t always mean getting an expensive, hour-long massage at some fancy parlor (but boy, does that sound nice!). 

There are a ton of cheap/free, quick, and easy ways to relax at home.

Environmental

  • Create a comfortable space: Pick a place in your home that’ll serve as your relaxation station. It can be your bedroom, the couch, the kitchen table, you pick! Grab your favorite chair, pillows, blankets and make it as comfy as possible. Now you have a space to escape when it all feels too much. 
  • Carve out alone time: Even if it’s just 5 minutes, find a comfy spot in your home and spend some time with yourself.
  • Disconnect: We have insane amounts of information, news stories, and cat videos at our fingertips. While sometimes that’s great, it can also be extremely overwhelming. Take a few hours to unplug and turn all your devices. 
  • Remove clutter: It’s almost impossible to relax at home if you have a lot of clutter. Being surrounded by a bunch of stuff isn’t good for your mental health. Get rid of anything you don’t need anymore, one drawer at a time.
  • Natural light: Just a few minutes of sunlight can turn that frown upside down. Try going on a short walk at a local park, your neighborhood, or stay inside and soak up some light from an open window.
  • Calming music: Let music soothe your soul. Here is a great compilation of relaxing music to help you destress. 
  • Plants: Spending time outside has been proven to reduce stress, but sometimes it’s hard to find the time to spend outside. Try buying a few plants to put in your house.

Physical

  • ABCs: Need a quick fix? Saying your ABCs backwards. It’ll shift your focus from whatever is stressing you out and is a fun challenge for your brain! 
  • Massage your scalp: Yes, you can do this yourself. Here’s an article to help.  
  • Stretch: Stand up, reach for the sky, touch your toes, shake out your arms, whatever you have to do. Take a few seconds to check in with your body, feel where you are holding your stress, and work out the kinks.
  • Workout: Everyone knows exercise reduces stress but no one wants to hear it! Don’t worry. You don’t have to do jumping jacks, burpees, squats like everyone else. Try dancing, playing a sport, or any other fun way to get your blood pumping.  
  • Take a Bath: This one is pretty self explanatory. Add a little excitement with a bath bomb, a few drops of essential oils, or make it a bubble bath.

Mental

  • Meditate: Meditation can sound intimidating if you don’t know how to do it. Fortunately, there are several apps that can guide you. Try HeadSpace or Calm.
  • Read: Find a book you haven’t picked up in a while and lose yourself in it.
  • Journal: Sometimes the best thing you can do while you’re stressed is just get it off your chest. What does that mean? Grab a pen and paper and just start writing whatever comes to mind. How you feel, what you’re thinking about, what you wish you were doing.
  • Gratitude: Start a gratitude journal and start every day with jotting down three things you’re thankful for. 
  • Make a list of what makes you happy: Just thinking about things you enjoy and that make you happy can turn your day around. After all, this stress is only temporary and this exercise will remind you of life’s beauty.

Fun

  • Comfort food: You’ll like this one! Indulge in your favorite meal or dessert. It’s okay to cheat every once in a while.
  • Puzzles/board games: Putting all your focus and attention on something lighthearted and trivial can be very calming. Life shouldn’t be serious all the time.
  • Discover a new subscription service: Subscription box services are very popular right now. There are companies that will mail you food, makeup, clothes, books, and more! Makes for a nice surprise in your mailbox. 
  • Rediscover a relaxing hobby: Remember when you used to paint, draw, dance, knit, do crafts? Try picking it up again! You might surprise yourself. 
  • Plan a staycation: If you have a weekend to relax at home (lucky), plan a staycation for yourself. Read our staycation blog for ideas to help you make the most out of it. 

As Izey Victoria Odiase once said: “Relax, Recharge and Reflect. Sometimes it’s OK to do nothing.” Whatever you do, we hope that you’re able to relax and unwind. 

Staycation
Apr30

Many of us enjoy traveling somewhere for our vacation. Upon arrival, it’s easy to forget the headache that may have come as part of planning a holiday away. Planning your travel, finding accommodation, budgeting your trip – a vacation involves a bit of work!

When you think about it, the reason we go on vacation is to get away and recharge. Sure, it’s great to see new places and try new food, but R&R is what many of us are after. If you’re in need of a vacation, but can’t actually get away, a staycation could be the perfect choice for you. 

What is a Staycation? 

Put quite simply, a staycation is a vacation where you get to stay at home. That’s right, you don’t actually have to go anywhere. You may think this is impossible or pointless. After all, the point of a vacation is GO somewhere, right? Wrong! The goal of any vacation is to have fun and relax! Staycations can actually be just as exciting and refreshing as a normal vacation (if you do it right, of course).

Do You Need a Staycation?

Most of us spend our day to day lives running from one place to the next. The list of chores seems never ending. Is it time for you to take a break? While a vacation away may not be on the cards for you, you can still enjoy a staycation. Here are some signs you need a staycation. 

Everything and everyone is getting on your nerves: You’re normally a pretty happy person but lately, you’ve been irritable. You’ve always loved your co-worker’s jokes, but recently they’ve become unbearable. The sound of birds singing used to make you smile but now all you do is cringe.

You’re on autopilot: You’re just going through the motions of your life. Wake up. Eat. Go to work. Eat. Come home from work. Eat. Go to bed. Wash, rinse, and repeat every day. You feel like you’re trapped in a monotonous time loop.

Everything feels like it’s “too much”: There are bills to pay, mouths to feed, and a to-do list that seems to get twice as long every time you check it. Life can be overwhelming. It feels like you’re one minor inconvenience away from having a mental breakdown.

You’re always tired: Even when you get your 8 hours of sleep, you never feel rested. You wake up tired, roll out of bed, and spend the rest of your day wishing it was bedtime already.

You’ve become a workaholic: You have a bad habit of bringing your work home. You’re glued to your phone checking emails, talking to your co-workers, and doing research because you just had a great idea in the shower. This is supposed to be your time to unwind and spend time with loved ones.

How Could This Benefit You?

A staycation doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, there are many benefits to choosing a staycation over a getaway.

Save money: Choosing a staycation over a traditional vacation can easily save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars. You’re saving money on hotels, gas, and travel expenses. The only things you really have to worry about are food and entertainment.  

More time to relax: Since you don’t have to worry about traveling, you have way more time to relax.

Easier and quicker to plan: You don’t have to buy plane tickets, book a hotel, or sort through all the tourist attractions. You don’t even need to get permission from your boss because you can have a staycation over the weekend!

No packing: The only thing worse than packing is unpacking. With a staycation, you don’t need to do either.

No travel anxiety: Traveling is stressful. Traffic. Airports. Layovers. Ugh. If going on vacation is going to make you MORE stressed, what’s the point? Stay home!

What Do You Do on a Staycation?

Take a walk: Whether it’s at a local park or just around your neighborhood, taking walks has been proven to relieve stress and make you happier.

Take a guilt-free nap: You deserve one!

Get some sun: Grab your favorite drink, play your favorite music, or pick a book and lay out in the sun. It’s the best source of Vitamin D which decreases depression and improves your immune system.

Try a new recipe: Sometimes we get in the habit of cooking/eating the same thing over and over again and it gets boring. Spice it up a little! Here’s one of our favorites.

Read a book: If there’s a book you’ve been wanting to read, now’s the time!

Have fun in your backyard: You can play sports, plant a garden, or start a fire and roast marshmallows. Get creative!

Movie night: Get popcorn, candy, your favorite drinks, turn out the lights and enjoy your home theater.

Game night: Time to dust off those old games in the closet! Hopefully you have all the pieces…

Start a project: There are thousands of DIY projects you can find on YouTube and Pinterest. Here are a few ideas!

Reflect: Take this time to think about yourself. Who are you? How do you feel? What are you grateful for? Reevaluating your situation and perspective will help you feel refreshed after your staycation is over.