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Inhale in and exhale out, because today, Tuesday, August 15th is National Relaxation Day 2023. It’s a day all about practicing self-care, treating yourself and taking a well-deserved break from the chaos of daily life. It’s important to complement your hard work with rest and relaxation so as to not suffer from stress and burnout. Doing so will not only make you feel better today, but will help you to be more productive later. So instead of worrying about that deadline, take a deep breath and give yourself a day where you can take it easy and take better care of yourself. Relaxing looks a little different for everyone, so we’re here to share several different ways to reduce stress so you can decide which method will work best for you and your needs.
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Table of Contents
When is National Relaxation Day 2023?
National Relaxation Day is observed annually on August 15. This year, the day falls on a Tuesday.
What is National Relaxation Day 2023?
National Relaxation Day is a day all about practicing self-care and relieving stress by observing meditation and other relaxing activities.
What are the symptoms of stress?
There are many symptoms of stress, both physical and mental. Mental symptoms include becoming easily agitated, feeling overwhelmed, having trouble eating, low esteem and avoiding others. Physical symptoms include low energy, headaches, upset stomach (diarrhea, constipation, nausea), insomnia, chest pain, the flu, nervousness, dry mouth and teeth grinding.
What is burnout?
Burnout describes the effects of severe stress over a long period of time, often in the context of work. It can lead to physical and mental symptoms, including:
- Emotional and physical exhaustion
- Alienation from activities
- Reduced performance in the workplace
These are just a few of the many symptoms related to workplace burnout. Knowing all of the possible symptoms can put you in a better position to address your burnout.
Ways to practice self-care for National Relaxation Day 2023
Focus on eating healthier
The saying goes that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. The way we eat plays a big part in the way we feel and stress is no exception in this regard. Studies show that stress can lead to overeating and weight gain. This in turn can stress you out further and cause you to eat even more. One way to break this cycle is by eating healthier, more nutritious meals. That being said, eating healthier is often easier said than done. After a long and stressful day of work, many of us would rather quickly order something than take the time to prepare a meal.
Luckily, you don't have to sacrifice convenience for health. CookUnity is our favorite pre-made delivery service. CookUnity’s offers a variety of delicious meals that you can filter using categories such as “keto” and “vegan.”
Make sure you get a good night’s rest
After a long day, there's nothing like a good night's rest to recharge for the day ahead. Sleep is essential to our well-being—people who consistently get fewer than eight hours of sleep are more often unmotivated, lethargic, irritable and stressed. These symptoms are all linked to stress, so getting enough sleep may lead you to feel more relaxed.
We've tested countless mattresses at Reviewed and have found the Tuft and Needle Original Mattress to be the best overall. Whether you're a side sleeper or tend to slumber on your back, Tuft and Needle's affordable mattress helps you rest with comfort thanks to its foam that quickly contours to your body shape.
Next up: your pillow. You can't have a good night's sleep without a good pillow and you can't go wrong with the Original Pillow from Coop Home Goods. We tested it ourselves and love that it allows you to stuff it with as much or as little shredded memory foam to meet your needs. Plus, it’s machine-washable.
Everyone knows what pillows and mattresses feel like, but what about weighted blankets? If you haven't given them a try yet, you should, as many swear by their calming properties and their sleep aid. The Gravity Blanket is expensive, but more than earns its price-point thanks to its luxurious feel and great weight distribution that left our testers feeling cozy and calm.
Move your body with exercise
Exercise is another form of self-care that can be used to treat the effects of stress, as getting moving can take your mind off your worries. Exercise is great for your health, so it's important to carve some time out of your day to move your body, particularly if your work is mostly sedentary. You can even exercise at your desk if you wish.
If you're going on a run, we highly encourage you to wear the right shoes. In wearing the right kind of running shoe, every step can feel like a smooth glide. For women’s shoes, we recommend Nike's Air Zoom Pegasus 39 which provide better bounce while running than their predecessor.
For men’s shoes, we recommend the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V11 Running Shoes which are cushioned with breathable materials to help the shoe flex and stretch as you run. Before you get started with your exercise, make sure to take the proper steps to prevent heat exhaustion when exercising outdoors.
For those looking to stay inside the house while exercising, consider an exercise bike. The Peloton+ bike is our favorite with a simple assembly process, easy adjustability and many on-demand classes to help you get started on your health journey.
Whatever exercise you're looking to do, a fitness tracker will help keep you on the right track toward your goal. The Fitbit Charge 5 is our favorite since it's comfortable, easy to use and tracks a lot of data—you're able to check on calories burned, the average pace of a run and even how well you slept. Furthermore, it tracks stress levels by measuring electrical changes in your skin, meaning it's the perfect tool to see how your burnout is improving.
Change your perspective with yoga and meditation
Oftentimes, mental issues such as stress and anxiety can be eased by changing your perception of the world and your role in it. Mindfulness meditation emphasizes attention and acceptance to achieve a state of positivity and calm which has been linked to the reduction of stress and burnout. It can be challenging for beginners, but there are apps that can help you get started. Headspace is our favorite meditation app and once you try it out, you'll quickly realize why we love it so much. The app wastes no time getting you into a meditative mindset and offers a wealth of programs that will help you become more mindful. We also love that the program allows you to adjust meditation session length and offers wellness-focused videos. Headspace can even help you fall asleep.
Yoga is a form of self-care that combines meditation with low-intensity exercises that focus on breathing and posture to reduce stress levels. For those looking to try yoga, the Alo Moves app is a great place to start. It’s our favorite yoga app, as it offers a wide variety of yoga styles and teachers, and even personalizes suggested workouts for each user. Not to mention, it's easy to use and its rich content more than justifies its price.
In order to do proper yoga, you'll need the right equipment—at the very least, you’ll need a yoga mat. Even if you already have a mat, it might be time to replace it with a new one. Lululemon's 'The Mat' has everything you could want in a yoga mat. It's big, provides the perfect amount of softness and it’s easy to clean.
You may want additional accessories, like yoga blocks offered by Gaiam. They hold their shape, provide a solid grip and are soft to the touch.
Look into other forms of self-care
There are plenty of ways to relax and relieve stress. One way is through the art of massage. You can give yourself a great massage using a handy foot spa. We tested many foot spas and found Ivation's Foot Spa Massager to be the best overall thanks to its features such as adjustable heat, massage rollers, water jets and a timer.
Why settle for only soaking your feet when you can treat your whole body? Soaking in a long bath is a tried-and-true way to reduce stress. With a bath bomb, you can level up your next bath session and be assured that it will leave you feeling like you're in the lap of luxury. They’re fun, fragrant and quite affordable. In particular, we recommend the LifeAround2Angels Bath Bombs. Not only do they smell and look great, but they actually moisturize your skin, too—all without staining your tub or towel.
While you’re at it, surround yourself with the comforting aroma of essential oils to help you unwind. We love the Saje Aroma Oum out of all the diffusers we tested. It sports a cool design, it’s easy to use and it's made out of high-quality materials.
When you head to bed, we recommend you use the Renpho Eye Massager, which will help alleviate strain on your eyes to give you an easier time when winding down to sleep.
When you’re all done with your self-care ritual, get into a cozy robe and try to focus your mind on positive things. An adult coloring book is a great way to keep your mind active and distract you from worrying thoughts. The Cindy Elsharouni Stress Relieving Adult Coloring Book is a great choice, with over 60 cool designs that you can fill in (even if you don’t have the best coloring skills).
Another practice that people swear by is gratitude journaling. Our tester found gratitude journaling to improve her sleep and overall happiness simply by writing things down that she’s thankful for. While you can buy a new journal, you probably already have one at home that’ll be perfect for the job.
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