You know that feeling after you’ve had a massage? The masseuse has just finished, you’re in a complete daze of relaxation- you literally could not feel any better. I always wish there was an add on for a “post massage nap” so I could stay on the massage table for another hour and sleep. Does that exist? Anyway, after my massage Sunday evening I was on cloud nine. I felt so relaxed. I bounded out of the massage room excited to tell my masseuse how much I loved it. She was glad to hear that, but was more concerned about telling me how tight my back and neck were, and how I really needed to focus on decreasing stress and relaxing. Insert palm to forehead motion.
It’s not like she really needed to tell me. I knew my body was a bit out of whack, especially since I was still getting over my first ever migraine which arrived with a vengeance last Thursday. Every few months my body signals that it needs me to slow down, and this would be one of those times. So, in an effort to relax more, I’ve been… focusing on the following five techniques:
Going to Bed Earlier I have this horrible habit of waking myself up early when I’m stressed. I wake up and immediately start agonizing over all the things I need to do that day, and can never get back to sleep. Since I have no trouble falling asleep on the other end, I’ve been forcing myself to go to bed earlier. So far I’ve made it to lights out by 10:30 and am sleeping all the way until 6:30. Progress!
Reading Hand in hand with going to bed earlier is reading every night before bed. My problem is usually the computer and blog work. It’s so tempting to plop down on the couch and continue to browse and work, even though my eyeballs are literally exhausted. I was so tempted to wrap up this post last night, but instead made myself close the laptop, brush my teeth, and crawl into bed to read this book (it’s so good!).
Peppermint Tea I often order peppermint tea in restaurants and it wasn’t until last month I got the novel idea to actually purchase some for at home drinking. Since I’ve let go of my after dinner sweets, I’ve been hankering for an after dinner ritual to serve as a replacement. Though it’s not sweet- a cup of peppermint tea is incredibly soothing.
Bath Am I the only person who can’t remember the last time they took a bath? When my masseuse suggested I take hot baths I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of that already. I’m shooting for one per week. Any good bath time music recommendations?
Tennis Ball Massage I feel like I should devote a whole post to this topic- except I shouldn’t write it, Brandon should. He’s become an expert on using a ball (we have a baseball and golf ball) to perform self massage. It basically consists of positioning the ball between your body and the floor (or another hard surface) to relieve knots in your muscles. This article goes way more in depth, and if you’re considering doing it, I’d read that first. After I got my massage I was still craving some deep pressure to relieve the tension, so I’ve been spending ten minutes or so each day doing ball massage. It really helps me to slow down, focus on breathing, and most importantly- makes my back feel a whole lot better. Has anyone else done it?
What are you go to techniques for increasing relaxation? I’d love to hear!