August is a wonderful time of year – warm, long days that are filled with fun activities. It has been especially warm this year (for some, exceptionally and uncomfortably warm!). People are out at the beaches, taking a hike, at the mall, having BBQs with friends and family, plus on the top of it, those with children are hosting playdates, taking kids to camp….on and on. The pace can become frenetic! This is an essential time for rest and restoration to counteract all that activity and stress. All the fun and activities can deplete us – and this is a time we want to be out having fun, not feeling depleted! So, try these simple things to rest, restore, and re-create yourself:
1- Restorative yoga – most yoga studios have a restorative yoga class, and often on a Friday night. Take a date or a dear friend and have a slow evening class.
2- Take 5. Just lie down, not necessarily sleep, for 5 minutes. Close your eyes. Focus on your breath and be sure you’re breathing from your abdomen. Quiet your mind and keep focusing on your breath.
3- Float! Like to swim? Be sure to get your laps in, or splash around with your kids, and then float on your back for a few minutes. Follow your breath and quiet your mind.
4- Create a quiet and special place at home for yourself – take 5 for a favorite cup of tea and watch the sunrise, or sunset, or watch the birds and squirrels. Connecting with nature, and just being – no talking, no walking, no active thinking, just being. Feeling relaxed and in tune with nature can be deeply restorative.
5- Come in for an acupuncture treatment. Those who have experienced it know first-hand: nothing beats an acu-nap! The science backs us up there, too: acupuncture helps our brains make more serotonin (the neurotransmitter that helps us feel good) and supports us staying in “rest and relax” instead of “fight, flight or freeze” when stressed.
Last thought for those with kids – we’ve got 2 weeks till most schools start. Don’t over-schedule this time! Go slowly, enjoy and savor time reading together, going for a hike, just having a popsicle together and talking. Or, just be together, for a few moments, before you’re off to the next grand adventure.