We all have moments where life gets on top of us. 100 deadlines hit at once, we have to do months of work in one week and the inbox feels overflowing - I am sure you can relate.
This is why Erno Laszlo and I are passionate about providing simple, easy ways to relax and take a step back from it all, such as turning your daily skincare routine into a mindfulness moment. Promoting pockets of relaxation before you start your day and go to bed.
But, in honour of National Relaxation Day on August 15th, we thought we’d give you a few extra ideas to up the relaxation and decrease the stress. I’m confident you’ll love them because they’re just so easy and effortless to fit into your daily life!
#1 - Belly Breathing for One Minute
One of the first physiological signs of stress is quick, shallow breathing. It’s a telltale sign of our sympathetic nervous system (stress response) kicking into action.
Belly breathing, however, forces you to slow your breathing down and tricks your body into thinking you’re relaxed - even if you aren’t yet! The phrase “fake it ‘til you make it” comes to mind. It triggers your parasympathetic nervous system to step up and return you to a place of calm and relaxation.
After you apply your serum or VTM Micro-Essence, take a moment to belly breathe. Put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. As you inhale deeply through your nose, feel your belly push out. Then, as you exhale through your mouth, feel your belly fall, and gently use your hand to push all the air out. Repeat this for 1 minute, really taking your time to go through the motions, release tension and welcome in a peaceful calmness with each breath. You’ll be amazed at how you feel afterwards.
#2 - Walking
The simple act of walking holds so many incredible health benefits for our minds and bodies - from loosening up our muscles and bodily tension to distancing us from the stressors that threaten our inner peace.
Research shows that walking also promotes the release of endorphins (brain chemicals that make us more relaxed and improve our mood). Just a quick 10-minute walk can improve your mood. So whether you have five minutes or five hours to spare, try to get outside today and move your body.
Even better, see if you can get out in nature and away from the hustle and bustle. Dr Erno Laszlo was passionate about the benefits of connecting the mind, body and skin and used to encourage Marilyn Monroe to take a short walk every morning after her skin care routine!
#3 - Napping
I’m here to reassure you that there’s nothing wrong with a mid-afternoon siesta. It can actually make you more alert, reduce stress, and improve your cognitive function.
According to some studies, you can expect more benefits from getting 20 minutes of sleep in the afternoon than you could from an extra 20 minutes in the morning. And experts also say that lying down and resting is a mood booster - whether you actually fall asleep or not!
Why don’t you try out the power of napping today? Perhaps you could apply the VTM Pink Mask and take a 20 minute Zzz while the mask works its magic? Not only will this help you feel great, but also look great.
#4 - Relaxing Food
Food changes how we feel quickly and studies prove that certain foods help us relax.
So in light of National Relaxation Day, why not start the day right with some oatmeal? Not only does it help you avoid sugary cereals, it also naturally boosts your serotonin levels - a chemical often found in antidepressants. Then you can finish your breakfast off with some yogurt. The probiotics have been linked to reduced brain activity in areas associated with stress.
For lunch, maybe try a salad full of leafy greens like spinach. These contain folate, which produces dopamine, the feel-good chemical in our brain. And for a mid-afternoon snack, opt for some dark chocolate - at least 70% cocoa. Dark chocolate has been linked to decreased cortisol levels (a stress hormone), lowered blood pressure, and improved circulation. All are great ways to keep your brain (and gut) happy, healthy, and relaxed!
Relaxed gut, happier skin :)
#5 - Being Around Great People
Our emotions are contagious, with studies demonstrating our innate tendency to mimic the moods of others - for better or worse.
Meaning if you encounter a co-worker who’s in a bad mood, frowning and moaning about their day, you’re more likely to experience a drop in your own mental state. But if it’s someone beaming with love, positive vibes and energy, well, you can’t help but become affected by that in the best way! So on national relaxation today especially, consciously choose to surround yourself with people who make you feel great and peaceful.
Whatever you find relaxes you, I hope you indulge in even more of it today. If you would like a personalized meditation then please find details of the competition we are running on our social media @ernolaszlo ! Days like this are a great reminder to slow down, check in, and look after ourselves first. You cannot pour from an empty cup so take advantage of an entire day to refill you!
If you try any of these tips, let me know how it goes!
With love, as always!