August 15th has been deemed National Relaxation Day and for good reason! Life today seems to be lived at a much faster pace making it harder to relax. These daily challenges can make us more susceptible to stress and other mental health problems. Research shows the negative and even life-threatening effects that stress can have on our bodies. These days it can be easy to become overwhelmed with work, family or financial responsibilities – and most times a combination of all three. This puts tremendous stress and pressure on our minds and bodies and can ultimately lead to burnout. Everyone needs to take a break from time to time.
National Relaxation Day
With the chaos of daily life we can often forget to make time to slow down and take time for ourselves. National Relaxation Day is celebrated every year on August 15th and encourages us to slow down and unwind. It’s a day to focus on ourselves and find some time to relax and a reminder that not only does relaxation make us feel better, but it also has long term health benefits too.
We all know the old adage “You cannot pour from an empty cup”. Essentially, that means that we need to take care of ourselves in order to adequately take care of others. In this day and age we are constantly on the go. When we are overstressed and over-worked we cannot perform at our full capacity which leaves us at risk for experiencing burnout and an ultimate decline in physical and mental health.
Benefits of Relaxation
- Improved mood & concentration
- Improve sleep cycle
- Reduce stress hormones
- Increase serotonin and endorphins
- Lower fatigue
Ways to Celebrate National Relaxation Day
Incorporating self-care and relaxation doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive or time consuming. Small, regular acts can have big benefits. It’s important to find ways to include self-care and relaxation in your regular routine.
Ideas for celebrating National Relaxation Day include:
- Breathing exercises
- Rest and relaxation
- Prayer and meditation
- Enjoy time in nature
- Take a Spa day
- Digital detox
- Do something you love
- Go for a walk
- Have a picnic and people watch
- Read a book
- Curl up with a cup of tea
- Practice Yoga
Take a Deep Breath
One simple way to find relaxation and reduce tension in the body is to practice breathing exercises. Breathwork is more than an exercise in breathing correctly, it provides quick relief from stress, trains us to breathe slower and deeper and can help to lower blood pressure. Deep abdominal breathing helps to put the brakes on acute stress by eliciting the body’s relaxation response and diverting health problems associated with chronic stress.
Slow down, breathe and relax with this simple breathing exercise:
- Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor.
- Close your eyes and breathe in through your nose, filling your lungs and belly all the way up with air.
- When you can’t breathe in anymore, open your mouth as wide as you can and breathe out with a “HA” sound and feel a sense of release as you exhale.
- Repeat this 3-4 times.
- After the 3-4th time close your mouth and focus on finding just a steady rhythmic breathing pattern.
- Take this time to scan your body and take inventory of how you are feeling.
- Stay here for as long as is comfortable. When you are ready slowly open your eyes and allow yourself to readjust to your surroundings.
This simple breathing exercise can be practiced whenever you need to reconnect with yourself and find a bit of relaxation. *Please be mindful not to practice this exercise while driving or operating heavy machinery.
How UHSM Supports National Relaxation Day
This August 15th celebrate by doing things that help you relax and de-stress whether it be spending the day in your PJ’s watching your favorite movies, getting a massage or enjoying a nap. Making time for relaxation and self-care is not selfish, it’s essential to prioritize overall physical and emotional well-being. While National Relaxation Day is only one day, the concept of relaxation and self-care should be practiced everyday to prevent burnout.
UHSM is a huge advocate for the importance of a healthy mind, body and spirit connection. Our perks include resources to support our members in all aspects. Our exclusive memberships to Pray.com and Noom.com are great resources to take advantage of this National Relaxation Day and all year long! Learn more about our programs and becoming a member here.
Relax and Unwind!
Everyone needs to take time to relax and unwind. There are many ways to relax and unwind, in the end it’s all about what works for you and what truly allows you to find relaxation. Life is busy and filled with stress and it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of daily life. It is essential to make time each day to include self-care and fill your cup to allow you to perform at your best.