Whenever I decide to take a vacation (or staycation – the new term for taking a vacation, but not going out of town) I end up getting sick. Most of the reason for that is I’ve been running around like a nut, but not allowing myself to take many breaks. Then when I don’t have the stress of work and trying to fit normal life into my work day, and my body starts to wind down, I invariably get sick during my time off. (That is usually why I won’t take a vacation. Maybe I have it backwards though, and should take more time off and do it before I am running on empty.) This time I had pneumonia over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
So this time, let’s talk about things we can do to de-stress and take care of ourselves so that we can avoid running our immune systems into the ground. And guess what, taking the pressure off does not require a lot of time or money. You can find ways to pamper yourself. See some of the ideas below.
1) Turn off the bathroom lights and burn several fragrant candles. Turn on a heat lamp if you have one. Then run a nice warm bath, with or without bubbles. No bubbles? Add some bath salts to soothe the aches away. Or if you’d rather, have a nice warm shower.
2) You can add relaxing music or a peaceful background soundtrack like ocean waves, trickling water, etc. Listen to an audio book if you would prefer. Men can tune in to a favorite sportscast if they find that relaxing.
3) I like to take a book into read as that seems to be the only place I don’t get interrupted. (I have my children trained. Momma’s soaking in the tub, don’t knock.) Invariably the water is so relaxing that I get little of the book read, but get a nice warm nap.
4) Massage your scalp, temples, and upper neck as you stand in the shower or soak in the tub. Men can wrap a warm towel around their faces to give them the old-fashioned barber shop effect.
5) Wrap up your private spa treatment with a bit of body spray or for the men folk, aftershave.
6) No time for a bath? Try putting some soothing bath salts in a basin of warm water. Stick your feet in for a comfy treat. Enjoy the relaxation or soak your feet while reading a book or listening to relaxing music. When your foot soak is over, rub some peppermint lotion or gel into your feet. You will love the feeling of the peppermint.
In the time management/de-clutter your life class that I took this summer, the instructor insisted that each person needs an hour of me-time daily. Admittedly, that is hard to do on a daily basis. But give it your best shot. Maybe if I had a little me time more often, I’d relax enough to stave off illness when I take a vacation. I will tell you, though, that when I have had that me time, it has been like heaven on earth. Don’t have an hour? 30 minutes is better than nothing.
If you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will. Relax and enjoy!