If you're like many busy adults, you're so bogged down with work and family obligations that you rarely have any time at all to relax and recharge your batteries — and you may be feeling more stressed out than you'd like as a result. You may also find that your vacations are anything but relaxing, especially if your household includes active children. Nonetheless, you probably also know that it's important for adults to get at least a little downtime every now and then for the sake of your own well-being. Fortunately, there are many things you can squeeze in during the course of an average week that can help you relax, clear your mind, and generally de-stress from the challenges of everyday life. Following are three of them.
Popular in Asian countries and gaining a serious foothold in the U.S. and Europe, forest bathing simply means sitting under trees. Research suggests that trees may emit certain phytochemicals that promote good heart health and reduce the chances of the development of type II diabetes. Although further studies are necessary before these claims can be substantiated, you may have noticed that you feel better when you've spent some time in nature. You don't have to go into the deep wilderness to indulge in forest bathing — simply head to your nearest park on your lunch hour or before work. Tai Chi provides another way to get a brief break from everyday life during the course of a normal day. Tai Chi classes are so popular with working people that classes can be found before and after work, as well as during the lunch hour. A martial arts based type of exercise, Tai Chi provides a low-impact workout and is associated with decreases in depression and anxiety. Research suggests that Tai Chi may also help improve the quality of your sleep.
Like the above activities, salt caves are said to have both mental and physical benefits. Salt caves are spa features made to resemble ancient Himalayan grottos, with low lighting provided by rock lamps. These involve a therapeutic atmosphere with soothing instrumental music and comfortable seating. As you relax, a specialized machine quietly releases microscopic particles of extremely finely ground dry salt into the air. The entire experience is meditative, which is why it's such a powerful relaxant, and the practice dates back centuries. Because it's becoming more and more popular in the U.S., your local spa may be equipped with its own salt cave.