In all the crazy and stress, it’s so important to have healthy habits that help us relax. Below are a few of my personal home-spa practices that I hope can also help you unwind on National Relaxation Day.
Take a Bath
I prefer taking hot baths just before bed when I’m stressed out. I’ll add a few drops of Aveda’s Beautifying Composition Oil to help me unwind. An iced drink is essential to my hot baths. I love to drizzle a couple drops of Angostura bitters on the wall of my drink glass and pour sparkling water over ice. If I’m sore from a particularly heavy lift — like after leg day — I’ll also soak in lavender-scented Epsom salts, which help decrease inflammation, improve circulation, and ease muscle soreness.
Whether in COVID Quarantines or not, I always like to start my day by rolling out my muscles. I use a little vibrating ball — the size of a LaCrosse ball — to calm knotted spots in my back, arms, and glutes. I struggle with inflammation daily and rolling out is a godsend.
Eat a Little Chocolate
The other little simple indulgence I allow myself is a square of chocolate after dinner, which is the last thing I’ll eat before bed. I prefer dark chocolate, frozen or right out of the refrigerator. I love After8 Dinner Mints or Escazu Single Origin Goat’s Milk Chocolate Bars. A wine friend of mine from North Carolina got me hooked on these goat’s milk chocolate bars and regularly sets me up with them. I’m lactose intolerant, but I can digest goat’s milk. These chocolate bars satisfy my sweet tooth without the uncomfortable consequences of consuming dairy.
In a pinch, even just a piece of Frozen Hershey’s Chocolate will do the trick. This was my Mom’s favorite chocolate while I was growing up. When my mom and dad were courting, he used to always bring her a bar when he’d pick her up from college. Unfortunately, she’s no longer here, but just a little bite of Hershey’s frozen chocolate helps me calm down for the evening and, of course, reminds me of my mom. A double win!