One thing I discovered when stepping up the benchmark and physically becoming an adult was the reality of having to juggle an endless amount of different balls relating to jobs, bills, lifestyle expenditures, social activities, university and that one percent spent dedicating to myself and relaxing.
It wouldn’t be until one day when I promptly stopped juggling all of my balls and decided to take a step back and take a look at the real picture front of me, that I realised I had been neglecting myself. In all aspects. From my mental health to my physical and emotional wellbeing, I found out the hard way that there simply isn’t enough hours in the day to perfect my image of being an indestructible Superwoman with flawless skin, gorgeously styled hair and my sculptured, ultimate dream body enclosed in ruby-toned spandex complete with gold bracelets and four inch heeled over-the-knee boots.
Because I am a Registered Nurse in the real world and outside of this carefully constructed online world of reality, I work within an environment that is based upon being self-destructive in all concepts of the manner.
As a result, we Nurses’ often tend to function on the minimalist amount of sleep, increased consumption of caffeine in the wee hours as we pull another double and swinging moods as we fight the urge to either quit our job, the urge to kill or maim the patient who keeps pressing that buzzer although we’re still standing at the foot of the bed, talking to them or plotting our dream holiday to a foreign island that has no cell service and an open bar.
Due to the health industry being ferocious and unapologetic as it spits you out (in my personal opinion), I believe is fundamentally crucial to our wellbeing that we need time to escape from our commitments. Where this time is simply dedicated to unplugging from social media, unwinding from our every-day stressors and the constant buzzing of patients’ alarm bells and recharge in solitude and peace. Even if you do find yourself being a little time-restrained and contemplating if an orange jumpsuit with black boldly printed prison numbers is really your style; here are some quick and easy ways you can unwind and relax in under 60 minutes.
Read a chapter or two.
Before the ages of the internet and social media, where man drew on the walls to tell a story for generations to come, reading a chapter or two of a book is the best thing to do. There is something about popping down to your local library, getting a library card and borrowing a book to consume its knowledge and in-depth power is something indescribable. Or, you get rid of the dust that’s been accumulating on those bedside books of yours and actually start reading.
Have a spot of tea
Following on from putting down your mobile phone, computer and simply disconnecting from the world for a few minutes, I suggest having a spot of tea or coffee will do the soul good. The spent pouring and making yourself a mug of tea/coffee and sitting down, is an important time for the body to slowly begin the unwinding process, eliminating the additional strain on your shoulders and internal body organs and allows your mind to start processing things clearly.
So, I recommend you putting your phone onto airplane mode for as long as it takes you to slowly sip that mug and simply focus on the world around you. Listen to the sounds (in my case, the sounds of vehicles driving past my window and air coming through my bedroom windows)and simply spend this time to think about yourself. Last but not least, enjoy every sip.
Go for a walk with a family member or friend
How often do you take time out to physically treat yourself and more importantly, how often do you get to chat to a friend or family member? If you are finding yourself counting on one hand the amount of times you’ve enjoyed going out for a short, half an hour walk around the block with a family member or friend than I think it’s time I intervene. Instead of facetiming or texting each other on a regular basis, ask them if they’ve got any plans in the upcoming days and schedule in time to catch up. The fresh air, scenery and a great laugh is just what the nurse orders.
Relax in a bath
There is something magical about carving out an hour or so for yourself, sneaking into your bathroom with a lighter in hand and a glass of wine in the other. To which, you perch the glass of wine on the bathroom counter and you casually lean over to pop the plug into your bath tub. When carving time out for myself after driving to my parent’s house, because the bathtub we have at our little beach shack is built for a rather small adult or child, I make this opportunity as glamorous as possible.
My go-to recipe for utmost relaxation and pampering is a glass of white wine (preferably mascato since I have a bit of a sweet tooth) and half a chocolate muffin with deliciously, oozing frosting as the rest can be saved post bath-relaxation. To cap off the atmosphere before we move our focus onto our bath-tub, I would suggest turning off the main lights after lighting a few tea candles or a candle you’ve been saving for a special occasion.
As for the bath its self, I normally put three large handfuls (give or take) of vanilla scented bath salts, a sinful amount of bubbles because I am still a child at heart or if I need a true soak after a stressful week, I put in some Radox bath soap or some Epsom salts. Then I percolate for about 20-30 minutes or until my fingers and toes resemble old, wrinkly sultanas (raisins for my international readers) and just before I get out, I grab an exfoliator glove and scrub my skin down from neck to toe.
There’s nothing more delicious than slipping into freshly laundered bed sheets with silky, smooth legs and pedicured toes. Which brings me to my next point.
Book yourself a mani or pedi.
Before I started working as Registered Nurse and embraced the solitude life of not being able to wear nail polish on my fingernails due to increased infection risks and unprofessionalism, my toes are the exact opposite. When I was able to reach down and paint my own toes, before my belly started expanding in size as my pregnancy advanced, I have unfortunately resorted to making an appointment and getting someone to professionally paint them.
Although there is something extremely relaxing and pampering, especially when someone is doing the hard work of painting your toes, exfoliating your feet and capping it off with a nice little massage; I enjoyed pampering my own feet. My DIY at home salon spa consisted of putting on a long-awaited movie I’d been saving for a rainy day or a few episodes of Nigella Lawson, getting settled with all of my various nail polish colours (normally consisting of black and neutrals) and only then, would I begin pampering my poor, tired hooves.
I would also recommend wrapping this DIY at home session off by giving yourself a deliciously slow massage whilst focusing on the areas that either hurt and feel tense. A foot massage can stimulate blood flow to various parts of the feet, release tension in the body’s internal organs as Eastern Medicine states various points on the soles of the feet are internal organs. Also, you get to enjoy your hard work while peering down at your newly sparkling toes.
Unwind by pampering yo’self
I have a guilty confession to make.
I am a hardcore, die-hard fan of facial masks and I am a firm believer in pampering my body with an hour and a half long massage. I know I promised you various ways on how you can unwind and relax in 60 minutes or less but this massage occurs every two or so months. Or, when I feel like my head is about to explode from the tension in my shoulders and neck and my forever lingering migraine is resurfacing.
However since this post is structured to be delivered in 60 minutes or less, there is an option for you and that is: most beauty related businesses often have a half hour option for the treatment of your desire. Whether it be a facial, that leaves your skin glowing, plump and dewy or a stress-relieving half hour massage focusing on whichever body part is aching the most, you’ll be able to unwind and simply focus on being pampered.
Bake until you’re content…. Or full.
Before going onwards with this post, I do have a disclaimer for you.
Although this post isn’t being sponsored by any form of organisation or person, my disclaimer is: you should never bake nor cook when you are angry, tired or bored. The end result often leaves a bitter taste in the mouth and the eater will often feel your emotions and thoughts while consuming your baking masterpiece.
Having always been someone who loves baking and cooking mass amounts of food for her family due to the influx guilt that comes with being an Italian at heart, I often find there being something peaceful, relaxing and delicious about cooking a meal and baking a variety of different sweets. I often become tickled pink when I run my fingers over the bound covers of my various cooking Gods such as Nigella, Jamie and Donna Hays to name a few, before pulling out my well used and thoroughly graced with food and cake splatters cook books.
At the end of the relaxing period of time, my loved ones end up with something delicious to eat and I feel relatively at ease and relaxed within my soul.
It’s time for a haircut
Last but not least, I find there is something magical, relaxing and empowering about making time for a haircut.
Due to my hectic work schedule and long hairs (pun intended) spent running on the ward floor, I often tend to resort to wearing my hair in a top knot whilst working and shoving pens into my hair, so I don’t lose them or they ‘permanently’ get borrowed by fellow staff members. As a result of wearing my hair in a constant top knot and sticking things in my hair, my hair often tends to become neglected and when it comes time to brushing it out daily, I find myself peering down at split ends and reminding myself to book another appointment for a haircut and style.
When booking an appointment, the first thing I often tend to do and actively encourage others to do is switch off our phones and simply immerse yourself completely into being pampered. With each snip replacing my wild-man of Borneo hair and my subdued hues of auburn and reds start appearing, I am either deeply engrossed in having a conversation with the hair stylist and doing anything to not discuss work or I’m head over heels in reading outdated stories about outrageous swinger parties, rock ‘n’ roll partying and which famous A-lister is divorcing.
It is such a guilty pleasure of mine!
With my appointment nearing the end as I discuss how much additional volume needs to be removed, due to my hair being incredibly thick and heavy; I often find myself wanting the time to slow down further as I am beginning to feel the affects of becoming relaxed and at ease. Not to mention, I love the feeling of having swishy, bouncy and gloriously fabulous locks. So, if you are in need a new cut and style, I recommend booking yourself a hair appointment and enjoy the time simply relaxing and unwinding.
If you do find yourself with a spare 60 minutes or so and are in desperate need of some ‘me’ time, these are just some of the quick and easy ways you can implement in your day/evening to unwind and relax.
Tell me which one is your favourite by leaving a comment down below and I look forward to seeing you next Sunday, at 10 am.