Have you ever felt every step you took as light as a feather? Like you were roaming effortlessly about?
This sensation of feeling like we're floating on a big fluffy cloud can certainly be accomplished by incorporating a handful of steps in your daily routine. We may have felt this way after a long cardio-intense workout. I personally feel this state of relaxation after an intense yoga routine and sauna session followed by a hot and cold shower and a warm cup of tea.
Athletes probably feel this way as well after an intense training- hours of pushing their bodies past their limits. They even probably have become accustomed to this feeling overtime and don't even realize it! However, for those who do not make exercise a part of their everyday or week even, it might take as little as one great workout a week or a few 30 minute walks to notice a huge difference in the way we feel.
This physical and mental state of “grace” is an amazing feeling we often forget can easily be attained. By simply committing ourselves to not only move more but by incorporating more self-care rituals, we can shift a bad week into a great one.
#1 Blissful meditation walks- Go to a nearby park and plan nothing else but to walk and be present in every step; 20-30 minutes a day at least 3+ times a week should be enough for you to see a huge difference in your mood, anxiety and depression levels. Walking will also help you sleep much better because it gives your mind a mental break helping you to let go of accumulated stress. Our minds need this so much guys! Especially today in our fast-paced society.
#2 Learn to embrace COLD showers- There isn't another feeling like the intense refreshment after a cold shower, especially after an exercise routine. Get yourself one of those large body brushes with a handle on them (guys, this goes for you too!) and use an invigorating body wash like Tea Tree! Your body will feel as soft as baby powder and as your skin will look as clear as a crystal. I like to start off with a steamy shower and slowly turn the knob as cold as I can handle it. You will find your body getting more used to this temperature change!
Some people are reluctant to trying this and I get it... a shower is supposed to be relaxing so why feel uncomfortable? But trust me, if you haven't tried it, you will be surprised at how amazing you will feel as soon as you dry up and get dressed. Even your clothes will feel softer on your skin. The shock of cold water dripping down your bare skin might not seem pleasant and usually it's not . . . but just like exercising isn't comfortable either, we still do it because we want to see those results!
#3 Face and body scrubs or masks- Therapy for your skin. If you suffer from acne, it may help to clear your skin after your workout routines by the exfoliating action of the beads, removing dirt and oils from your skin. Face masks work by hydrating the skin and replenishing moisture. The act of exercising works wonders towards improving breakouts, but a good face and body scrub and/or a face mask will cleanse and sooth your skin and prevent germs and impurities from accumulating. If you do weights and usually touch a lot of gym equipment, this is another reason to invest in one as well, as gyms are one of the most germ friendly environments.
#4 Self-massage and soothing music- What an amazing way to promote relaxation, especially if you are really in need of a nap! You will sleep like a baby, deep and carefree. There are tons of videos on youtube on self-massage including facial self-massage. Did you know most of the tension we experience accumulates in our neck and face muscles? This is why it's important to use massage techniques. Consider Craniosacral therapy, which works by improving the functioning of the central nervous system and getting adjusted with a good chiropractor.
Soothing music stimulates relaxation of our mind so listen to a playlist during your downtime. My favorite type of music to listen to ease my mind in the middle of a long day is piano music, I love Peaceful Piano on Spotify.
#5 Nutrition- stock up on vegetables and add them to your meals more regularly. This will also help clear out your skin if you have acne issues, ramp up your energy, and provide more mental clarity because you are getting all of the micronutrients your body and brain need to perform its best. Another plus is that it helps with weight control. You may also find that your endurance increases and you don't crash as easily throughout the day.
These activities are not limited to just before or after exercise, but can surely be incorporated at any time in the day. The goal is to keep the body in a deep relaxed but also alert state in order to function better throughout the day. These small efforts mentioned above can help our body feel light and we may find that we naturally seek more movement.
Awe. Don't we all just want to feel and look as relaxed as this fox?