Ok it is not 10 but 14….
In today’s busy society we have almost removed ourselves from simple pleasures in life, disconnecting from nature or basic human interaction. We also have come to a point where pampering yourself is done only when ‘you really need it’ or when you have gone through a mini crisis!
It shouldn’t have to wait until enough is enough and we are crying out for a remedy. We should allow ourselves the opportunity to have mini treats daily or weekly, to keep us from hitting break point! I am not really talking about a binge on the weekend, booze, food or other toxin fuelled ‘fun’! Treating the body and mind also does not necessarily need to be expensive either. Although I do have some pamper options where money is needed, sometimes the sweetest treats are free!
Me time, the simple act of removing yourself from a stressful project or environment will do wonders for you. Taking a little bit of time to think happy thoughts or to clear the mind will have a tremendous effect on your entire system. I like to start my yoga classes by setting an intention, something like, “placing all worries and stresses to one side, leave them outside of the studio and allow this time to be just for you, enjoy this time off, be with your body”… some people are a slave to their job/negative environment because they become addicted to adrenaline and the stress of life! It is not being selfish to take a break; it is common sense that it will benefit you, both mentally, physically and emotionally. Sometimes the best ideas and inspiration come in when you are at ease, happy and resting.
- Nap Time: taking a nap, even 20 mins will do wonders! Naps will help the brain refuel, recharge and help calm a monkey mind. The trick is to get to sleep with out listening to the constant stream of thoughts. Simple relaxation techniques or breath work will have a tired mind knocked out in no time! (relaxation techniques: Yoga Nidra, mentally scanning the body from toes to head and relaxing each part… you will probably fall asleep at the hips! Or see meditation)
- Massage: Booking in for a good body massage will always be a treat. Everyone loves to be pampered and a massage does just that- the sensations, the smells and all that goes with the luxury of a massage treatment. If you don’t have the money or time then do a self massage, placing firm pressure to the points around the eyes – brows, temples and sinus points under eyes or massaging the calves and feet can be just what tired sore feet need! If you are doing a home treatment, make a ritual out of it, set the scene: candles, music and no phones….
- Flowers: Buy yourself some flowers, for your home or office desk…. Make the most of your surroundings; this will be an instant mood lifter!
- Get Creative: having an arts or crafts hobby is a great way to rest the mind, to let the creative juices flow and to take a break from the madness of everyday living.
- Yoga: yoga is a great way to take a break, like I said above; the intention is always to release tension, to allow the body to rejuvenate. When the mind is relaxed the system starts repairing, just like when you sleep. So twisting and working the muscles and organs will aid this process. It is all about letting go of the ego, taking time off and resting a stressed out mind. Try a simple set of poses to help detox the body. LINK
- Meditation: Most yoga classes finish with meditation, but this can also be done in your own time. First thing in the morning or last thing at night… actually meditation can be done anywhere and at any time. All you need to do is observe the breath, taking long and smooth inhales and exhales, and let each thought wash over you. Just try not to get caught up in the drama of your thoughts. If needs be think of a positive thought and feel all of the endorphins the body receives from thinking a happy thought. Try it… that’s the first step, better than not trying at all! All it takes is a few moments.
- Exercise: anyone who plays sport, takes nice fresh walks in nature or by the sea, goes for a run, cycle or swim has felt the positive effect of the natural endorphins coursing through your system. Exercise (preferably outdoors, fresh air) raises the heart rate, refreshes the system and also, believe it or not, is a form of meditation. The same principles of a yoga class can be applied, allow the mind to chill out, get the blood pumping so it releases any negative effect a sedentary lifestyle puts on the system.
- Treat the senses to dinner: a well cooked meal or in a fancy restaurant. If you love cooking and find this relaxes you then take the time to buy good ingredients, smell and taste the beautiful aromas of your cooking and share with others, treat yourself and others! All that chopping and mixing helps to release tension. Again whether you are eating out or in, make it a ritual, dress up, make a night of it, and indulge all of the senses….
- Tan: Fake or otherwise, let’s face it, here in Ireland we lack the warmth and benefit of the sun’s rays, vit D! But if going on a sun holiday is out of the question sometimes a little spray tan is a great pick me up. I recommend going to a professional and asking for a light shade… no need to look like you rolled in the mud! A hint of a tint will have people complimenting on how radiant you look.
- Vanity Darling!: For the ladies, getting your hair and nails done is a great way to treat yourself, making you feel all shiny and new. A blow dry or even a home mani and pedi will help you feel beautiful and worth it! It will also give you a boost of confidence!
- One for the Men: getting a facial or a hot shave. I am assuming this would give guys a bit of a pampered feel, the modern man now too looks after his skin and how he looks. Again it’s a confidence thing and having confidence is sometimes the best boost to the body and mind.
- A Good Cry: sometimes we just need to have a good old cry, nothing better than a tear jerker movie to release the built up emotion! Combine this with a home facial/ massage or even some chocolate and you are in for a serious treat!
- Sex: nothing like a good….. boost of Oxytocin to get the endorphins flowing! We have all heard the benefits of having a healthy sex life… that in itself could fill a new list of top tens! To summarise, it combines most of the above, gets the heart rate going, treats the senses, releases stress and tension, causes you to dress up and make an occasion of something, can involve massage and generally finished with a nap!!
- Chocolate: if all else fails…. Chocolate can help! Coming from a total chocoholic, I know that sugar can be my demon and cause more harm than good, but if you don’t gorge on chocolate then a once-in-a-blue-moon treat will send your happy hormones into overdrive… January blues can get to you, especially the cold and dark evenings… and last weekend my super healthy diet for January indulged in a little treat and I savoured every morsel of that chocolate brownie! Yum…. But it is only a treat if you don’t eat it regularly!
Indulge and treat yourself!