Did you know August was National Relaxation Month? I didn’t either.
There are so many national months and days, sometimes it’s hard to keep up. Most of the time, I’m not really interested, but national relaxation month is smack bang in the middle of summer, and for someone with near-constant anxiety, this sounds like a pretty good idea.
I’m a little late on the idea of relaxing, but I’m aiming to spend of the rest of the month (and hopefully year) in a more relaxed state of mind, anticipating a change in my work ethic and overall attitude. Anything that will reduce stress and anxiety is a yes from me.
One of the ways I’m taking advantage of this relaxing month of the year is switching off from the digital world a lot more. In a creative career online, it’s really easy to get carried away with work. The same can be said for pretty much anyone who is self-employed or works from home, it’s difficult to work out where the office ends and the home starts.
Auntie Jackie, the queen of makeup, actually gave me the idea of no social media within the first hour waking up and it’s actually made quite a bit of difference. Usually when I wake up, the first thing I do is shove a screen in my face and start catching up on the lives of others while I was fast asleep. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but ignoring my phone when I first open my eyes has actually changed my attitude in the morning. I’m not as grumpy, as I get out of bed and start the day straight away, rather than waste extra time staying cosy – then not wanting to leave.
Chilling out when it comes to social media has been my goal since the beginning of the year and it’s made such a huge difference in my approach to life and puts all my priorities in order. I still can’t live without my phone (let’s no go too far), but I can happily go most of the day without thinking about it. My anxiety levels and general stressed have relaxed a little too.
Another way to relax is to treat myself more. And trust me, I’ve seen the worst of the “treat yo self” mentality and have managed to develop and element of self-control, but I still think it’s important to make yourself smile every now and then. Rather than spending little bits of money here and there that make me happy for about an hour, I have been spending the cash on days out, or special occasions that would really relax me.
At the moment, I’m thinking about a little spa trip with my girls at The Grand Hotel in York. If that doesn’t rhyme with relaxation I don’t know what does. It’s only an hour’s drive from my home and I love the idea of a little luxury with my favourite people. The spa has skilled therapists that can work away tensions, and offers facials, massages and beauty treatments. Believe it or not, I have never been to a spa, so I think The Grand Hotel is the perfect introduction into the world of tranquillity. Plus, the whirlpool looks really cool and I want to try.
The third way I’m taking advantage of National Relaxation Month is a bunch of reading. It’s a simple, inexpensive hobby that has made me happy since childhood, and I’d love to curl up with a book every night before bed. Rather than spend endless hours at my desk, I have purchased a couple of books (thanks to the recommendations from Goodreads) and plan to get back into my reading routine.
I’ve always been a shy person, and would sit for hours as a child and read while other kids played. Sure, I felt left out, but I was way too timid to ask to join so books were my friends instead. The thing I love about books is how lost you can get in them. They’re a timeless form of entertainment, and they open your mind to so much in the world; plus it’s like a mini movie in your head. I have recently finished Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, and although struggled to get into it at first, I genuinely looked forward to diving into Eleanor’s world every evening. It’s the perfect escape.
I also have the Calm book, which is based on the amazing app. So far, I’m loving it and it’s a new journal to obsess over. Some of the tips in there are wonderful for anxiety, I really recommend picking up a copy!
August might be creeping to an end, but I still want to try and focus on slowing down and relaxing for the rest of the year.
How are you spending National Relaxation Month?