Juggling numerous tasks and deadlines has kept me on a pretty hectic schedule during the last few weeks. Thankfully parenting duties have called for my attention, providing me with the much-needed opportunities to look up from my keyboard every so often and enjoy the beauty surrounding NYC—such as the waterfront views, florals and spring restaurant or spa specials. If it weren’t for the mini breaks away from my Mac, it’s highly likely I’d miss a lot of spring’s bounty.
It’s not always easy, but no matter what occupies our waking moments, taking a break from our endless list of tasks is necessary in order to stir or re-ignite our creativity. Rejuvenation certainly helps maintain overall health and well-being.
So go ahead and pencil in some time for yourself, you deserve it. But, no working (for a short while). The idea is to relax and reduce your stress levels and take time to embrace wellness.
Here are five of my favorite ideas to get you started:
- Spa Treatments. Melt your stresses away, if even for an hour or so, and visit a professional purveyor of spa treatments via the Nationwide Spring Spa Week. Let the experts pamper your weary soul with massages, body scrubs and facials. While you’re visiting, your only task entails immersing yourself in aromatic essential oils and tranquil music within a serene setting.
Although technically Spring Spa Week ends on Sunday, April 22, 2012, it’s not too late to book some treatments. I’ve learned that some places, such as Origo Spa in downtown Manhattan are extending Spring Spa Week until the end of April due to overwhelming demand. So, if your tasks have kept you from making an appointment, go ahead and inquire if there are still slots that you can reserve at your preferred location.
- Enjoy the outdoors. If a stroll, hike or bicycling jaunt around your neighborhood is more to your liking, then please go out and explore. You may surprise yourself with some unexpected discoveries.
Are you curious what bicycle makers and retailers are up to? Perhaps, a visit to the New Amsterdam Bicycle Show will satiate your curiosity. After attending the event at posh Skylight SoHo on Saturday, April 28 to Sunday, April 29, 2012, bring your new bicycle or dust off your trusted two-wheeler and ride around town at a leisurely pace.
- Great reads. There’s nothing like a good book or magazine to transport you to destinations near and far, without the actual task of packing and weaving in and out of airports. Take a short break from your daily demands and retreat to a room, light a scented candle, play some relaxing music and curl up with that book or magazine you’ve been meaning to start (or finish).
- Meditation. Whether you prefer a group yoga class or meditating in the privacy of your own home, according to neuroscientists at UCLA, regular meditation offers vast benefits.
Study findings showed that meditation increases brain density, reduces symptoms associated with depression and anxiety, improves your overall mood and emotional control and fosters compassion for yourself and those around you. And, if you’ve ever closed your eyes and filled your mind with just positive thoughts, if even for a short time, you know that you can think more clearly and feel re-energized afterwards.
- Healthy Eats. A well-balanced meal helps maintain your overall health and mental well being. And if you’re in the mood for some salad (huge portions), walk over to the High Line and watch as Alison Knowles chops vegetables in time to catchy tunes to re-create the 1962 event, “Make a Salad”. The art performance is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 22 and is in conjunction with Earth Day 2012.
- Below is a recipe for chai tea via The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila.
• 5 cups water
• 1/4 cup roughly chopped unpeeled fresh ginger
• Three 4-inch cinnamon sticks
• 3 whole cloves
• 4 cardamom pods
• 3 black peppercorns
• One 1-inch circular slice unpeeled orange
• 4 black tea bags, regular or decaffeinated
• 1/4 to 1/2 cup honey, to taste
• 1-1/2 to 2 cups milk (low-fat or whole), to taste
Combine the water, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, peppercorns and orange slice in a medium pot. Partially cover the pot, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Take the pot off the heat, add the tea bags, cover, and steep for 5 minutes. Put a strainer over the bowl and strain the liquid. Add the honey to taste. To store the chai in the refrigerator or freezer without milk, do so now. Otherwise, return the tea to the pot, add the milk and reheat.
Chai will keep in a covered container for five days with milk and for two weeks without milk. To freeze, omit milk and freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to six months. Thaw in refrigerator and heat with milk on the stove.
Makes 6 cups of relaxing goodness.
Do you have a recipe for your favorite beverages? What are your favorite ways to relax? Have you read any good books lately?
With our own virtual cups of chai tea, Editorial Creatives wishes you a beautiful and relaxing week. Regardless of what you decide to do, don’t forget to take some time from your busy schedule to enjoy some quiet moments by yourself. Namaste.