About National Relaxation Day
Now, this is the kind of national holiday that we can all get behind – National Relaxation Day! No matter how you do it, make sure to take a step back and unwind from your hectic schedule.
We all feel stressed from time to time, and that is normal, but too much of it can have negative effects on your health. Even if you can’t find the time to relax all day, try to take a short nap, buy a new book to read for pleasure, or make an appointment to get a massage or similar pampering on another day. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you give yourself some well-deserved downtime!
National Relaxation Day is an annual event on August 15th. It was proposed by nine-year-old Sean Moeller of Clio, Michigan in 1985.
Find Time to Relax at Work
It's the place where most of us spend the majority of our waking hours, so work shouldn’t always be stressful. In fact, people do better work when they are focused and relaxed.
Consider the following options for relaxing on the job:
- Just Breathe - Breathing deeply helps counteract the physical effects of stress like high blood pressure, fast heart rate, and short, shallow breathing. A few full, deep breaths can help you relax, reduce tension, and relieve work-related stress in seconds.
- Eat Foods That Reduce Stress - During the most stressful times, it’s easy to reach for unhealthy vending machine snacks. Instead, fueling the body with whole foods filled with vitamins and nutrients can elevate mood and energy.
- Get Your Daily Dose of Laughter - Laughter really is good for stress relief, according to scientific research. Laughter stimulates the production of endorphins, increases circulation, and helps muscles relax. On the health front, it decreases heart rate and blood pressure, which is a must for folks who want to feel a little calmer.
- Chew Gum - Studies have shown that chewing gum decreases stress, reduces cortisol levels, and improves mood. A 2008 Australian study found that chewing sugarless gum in particular increases alertness and improves multitasking performance.
- Add Some Greenery - Consider starting a community garden to let employees get their hands dirty while calming their minds. Or, keep it simple with buying a variety of indoor plants. Indoor plants have been found to reduce stress and anxiety, improve concentration, increase productivity, creativity, and problem solving. Soil releases microbes that encourage serotonin production which improves mood.
- Create a “Chill Out” Campaign - Consider hosting a “Chill Out” campaign to help employees relax. For a day-long event, invite local vendors like yoga instructors, psychologists, artists, and other wellness professionals to set up informational booths or workshops on-site. The campaign could also be stretched out over the period of a week with different relaxing activities scheduled for each day.
- Offer a Half Day of Work - Give employees an unexpected half day off work to just relax. Encourage them to avoid making appointments, running errands, and the like. Ask that they spend the time off doing what truly relaxes them, whether it’s spending time with family, going fishing, or just hanging out on the couch.
Source: 7 Ways to Help Employees Unwind on National Relaxation Day by Total Wellness
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