Lists. Lists. Lists. The advent of cooler weather often involves composing lists. What gifts does everyone want for the holidays? At whose house will you celebrate? And, if it’s your home, for how many people will you have to cook? What staples should you stock up on before the roads get icy? Just thinking about the items to add to such lists can be stressful.
But you could lessen the stress. One way to minimize stress and maximize your enjoyment of the season is to also schedule in some ways to relax. Penciling in some time for yourself will keep you healthier.
Here are a few relaxing ideas you may want to include on your next to-do list:
Spending some time at the spa getting massages and facials can wipe your stresses away.
Spa time can help you smile. A day of pampering might seem like a gift to you, but it can also improve the lives of those around you. Fitting in a little pampering between seasonal chores can help you greet the family and your chores with a smile. It need not be an extended spa visit, as a little pampering can go a long way. Spa pampering can include everything from facials to pedicures to massages. Some spas even offer a course in stress-management techniques.
Enjoying a massage can make all the difference. Making lists and checking them twice can tense up your neck muscles. And your poor back might be sore from lugging around bags full of presents or groceries. One way to ease sore muscles and improve your circulation is with a massage. Whether it’s Swedish massage, sports massage, or a deep-tissue massage, kneading muscles has been shown to reduce tension on both physical and psychological levels. A massage session may last from 15 to 90 minutes and can be performed by different types of professionals. Most states require licensing or certification.
Water therapy works wonders. Don’t assume water therapy is only for warm weather. Even though leaves are falling or snowflakes are drifting into view, you can use the healing, soothing power of water to calm your nerves and restore your sanity. Hop into a Jacuzzi for a relaxing soak. Float in a pool or try floatation therapy. Water can help you feel much lighter.
“Relaxation is the art of letting go.” Dan Brule
Keep in mental and physical shape with exercise. It may be tempting to write off exercise as the temperature drops and the seasonal chores mount up, but don’t even think about it. Exercise is an important way to keep your metabolism up, clear your mind, and combat the extra calories you crave around this time of the year. If the cool weather makes it harder to walk outside, take a stroll inside the mall or join a gym.
Acupuncture can block stress. According to a recent study at the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health, acupuncture relieves stress, and now doctors know why. It works because acupuncture can block the stress-induced elevations of hormones excreted by the pituitary adrenal gland.
Healthy eating is more important than ever; do do not assume that the winter months are an excuse to eat every festive treat that comes your way. Appetites are naturally stimulated by cooler weather, as people get into hibernation mode. Indulge a little but stay focused on being healthy. Satisfy your appetite by eating dishes with more vegetables and grains, such as healthy soups and vitamin-rich casseroles. You may have the seasonal urge to eat food with a higher fat content, but stick to healthy fats, such as olive oil.
“The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” -Confucius
Yoga can help you decompress. Yoga poses are designed to release tension in different parts of the body. And because you pay attention to breathing, it can help slow the pace of your thoughts and make you focus on the present. That may be one reason that yoga has been shown to lower your blood pressure. Yoga can also help increase flexibility, which in turn helps you get through your busy day. According to the American Council On Exercise, after as little as eight weeks, participants in a yoga class can improve their flexibility by as much as thirty-three percent.
Meditation can help you prioritize. Feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities can make you feel tense. That’s where meditation can help. Whether you practice meditation in a group or by yourself, spending a few minutes being mindful can help you reduce tension. Meditation can also help practitioners gain a new perspective on their problems, and, in doing so, differentiate between what’s important and what’s not. Twenty to thirty minutes a day can make a huge difference.
Which techniques will you add to your list? By practicing these stress-reduction techniques, you may find it easier to get things done and enjoy the cooler, busier months without losing your cool.
GIVE SOME OF THESE LOCAL SPOTS A TRY
Birch Body Care, Kingston
Massage; Body Treatments, Power Naps 845-331-7139, birchkingston.com
Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa, Milton
Pool; Jacuzzi; Sauna; Massage 845-795-1310, buttermilkfallsinn.com
Emerson Resort & Spa, Mt Tremper
Outdoor Pool; Jacuzzi; Sauna; Massage; Yoga; Fitness Classes 845-688-2828, emersonresort.com
Health Quest Wellness Center, Rhinebeck
Poughkeepsie. Complementary Therapies: Masssage; Acupuncture; Reflexology; Fitness Classes 845-871-4380, health-quest.org
Honor's Haven Resort & Spa, Ellenville
Pool; Jacuzzi; Sauna; Massage; Yoga; Fitness Room 845-210-1600, honorshaven.com
Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz
Jacuzzi; Sauna; Massage; Pool & Fitness Center for Registered Guests 877-877-2664, mohonk.com
Mountain Float Spa, New Paltz
Floatation Therapy; Massage 845-256-9800, mountainfloatspa.com
New Leaf Holistic Health, Kingston
Naturopathy; Acupuncture; Homeopathy; Botanicals; Massage 845-331-2235, newleafholistichealth.com
The Ridge Gym, Stone Ridge
28 West, Woodstock Pilates; Zumba; Yoga; Spinning; Fusion... 845-687-0000, theridgegym.com 845-657-2342, 28westgym.com
Wellness Rx, High Falls
Massage Therapy 845-687-8500, wellnessrxllc.com