The GOOD Guide to Relaxing, Part Two
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Take a hot bath. The warmth from the water relaxes tense muscles, and a few drops of a calming essential oil (like jasmine or lavender) can help with the wind down. A bath one to two hours before bed temporarily raises the body temperature, which helps induce sleep.
Take a vacation. Trips needn’t be overly expensive or even that far, as long as you’re leaving your usual environment. Some physical distance can be the quickest way to get perspective on your life, while helping you to recharge your batteries. Vacations stave off burnout, making employees more productive and generally healthier year-round.
Take your lunch break. There is a reason workers have been given breaks during the day—they help us relax, and refresh and recharge our minds. Nonetheless many of us feel guilty about taking them. Buck the status quo and, instead of eating at your desk, take a quick walk to a nearby restaurant or head for a park. Lunch breaks have become so endangered in the post-recession world that one organization launched a weekly event called Take Back Your Lunch, and it’s catching on.
Do yoga. Yoga can have a measurable (and positive) impact on your sleep, your sex life, and on all other forms of exercise in which you engage, making it something of a wonder-practice for those who need to unwind.
Use visualization. Countless studies have shown that meditation has a powerful effect on battling stress, and visualization is one of the more fun ways of meditating. There are many possible approaches: You can picture a scene you find soothing or, even better, visualize positiveoutcomes for something that is stressing you out.
Have sex. Research shows that physical intimacy can help us heal faster, live longer, get fewer colds and, of course, beat off stress. This is all thanks to the exercise it provides, not to mention the feel-good hormones that flood the body—such as endorphins and the cuddle drug oxytocin—when you get it on.