You work hard all year, and when Labor Day rolls around, it’s a chance to take a break, catch your breath and celebrate all the hard workers in our nation. This year’s holiday is going to look a little differently, and you’re less likely to attend a neighborhood bash or throw a big backyard barbecue. In fact, maybe this year you’ll just focus on finding ways to relax and ditch your work week stress. We’ve got some helpful tips on how to release all your pent-up anxiety and stress and treat yourself to a soothing, calming Labor Day.
- Just breathe. How often do you think about your breathing? The truth is, many of us go for hours or even days without taking a good, deep, cleansing breath. Breathing exercises are an effective relaxation strategy, and they’re very simple to do. Get comfortable on your sofa or other quiet, safe place, and put one hand on your belly. Breathe in as you slowly count to three; then breathe out to the same slow count, paying attention to the rise and fall of your belly under your hand. Repeat this five times, or as many times as you need to relax.
- Let go of physical tension. This is another easy exercise that can help reduce your stress. Lie on a soft surface and tense one part of your body at a time, slowly releasing your muscles. Notice how the sensations in your body change. You might start with the muscles in your face or in your feet, and then work your way through your body to the opposite end.
- Do some writing. Writing for relaxation means different things to different people. It might be helpful to write down how you’re feeling or how your day has been going, or make a list of things that are on your mind. It also can be cathartic to make a list of positive things in your life and things for which you’re grateful. Start by thinking of three good things that happened in your day, and then see how many more you can find.
- Visualize your way to inner peace. Sitting by yourself somewhere quiet and safe, think about your favorite place in the world. Imagine all the details you can about that place, visualizing all the calming things that make you feel happy when you’re there. The more details you can imagine, the calmer you’ll begin to feel.
- Listen to relaxing music. Music can relax you emotionally and physically, helping you feel soothed and relaxing your muscles. Research indicates that music around 60 beats per minute can make the brain synchronize with the music and put us in a calm, relaxed state. What kind of music works best for relaxation? There are plenty of options! Native American, Celtic, Indian stringed-instruments, drums and flutes are some effective options for relaxing the mind. Rain, thunder and other nature sounds can also be relaxing, especially when they’re mixed with musical styles like light jazz, classical or easy listening music. Do some experimenting with different types of music and find out what works for you.
Spend the weekend with a good book. Some books are too sad, stressful or surreal to be soothing, but we’ve got some suggestions that you’re sure to find relaxing. Cuddle up in one of our cozy recliners and escape.
- The Miracle of Mindfulness, by Thich Nhat Hanh. This book reminds us to stop doing for a moment and just be in that moment.
- Mules and Men, by Zora Neale Hurston. This book of fun characters telling tall tales might make you think of simpler times, listening to old folks telling stories.
- Cosmicomics, by Italo Calvino. This is a fun one in which the author plays with scientific concepts in a way that will make you think without stressing you out.
- The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss. A beautiful, moving book about a man who wrote a book dedicated to love.
- The Prophet, by Khalil Gibran. Are they poems? Are they essays? No matter how you categorize them, they’re beautiful, inspirational, peaceful and calm.
- Womanthology, by Jessica Hickman. This is a giant book of comics about women, and it’s magical, beautiful and imaginative.
- Commune with nature. You might not be able to get away to your favorite beach this weekend, but even a few minutes outside sitting in nature can be calming. Take a walk, alone or with your favorite people, or just sit quietly and listen to the birds. Can’t get out in nature this weekend? Research indicates that even looking at photos of nature with greenery for as little as five minutes can help you to relax.
- Take a bath. This may seem like a preposterous suggestion if you’re above the age of six, but baths can be extremely soothing. Shower first, then draw a bath of warm water, adding Epsom salts, mineral bath, essential oils or even bubble bath if you choose. Set the mood however you choose with candles, music and even snacks. Just make sure to leave devices and screens in the other room. Sip on something refreshing, and take your time to allow yourself to truly enjoy your soothing, relaxing bath.
If you’re ready to make your whole home into a relaxing oasis of calm, FFO Home is the place to go to find everything you need. With FFO Home’s great deals on furniture and decor, you don’t have to spend a fortune to find gorgeous, high-quality pieces that will perfectly meet your needs. Visit our website to contact us, and see our ideas for comfortable, stylish pieces that also are affordable, or call 800-635-8001 today to find a location near you.