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8 Things to Do on National Relaxation Day (And Why You Should)

An entire day dedicated to relaxation? Yes, it’s true! While not a federal holiday, National Relaxation Day is a reminder to take time out of your busy day to relax. Some people in the US are staunch observers and celebrate this day every year. Others have never even heard of National Relaxation Day! Wherever you fall on this spectrum, this is your chance to give yourself a break. Now, let’s celebrate with a little extra R&R. 

When is National Relaxation Day? 

We celebrate National Relaxation Day annually on August 15 in the United States. However, you probably won’t see this holiday on any calendars. And you’re unlikely to get a day off work for it. For a little National Relaxation Day history, nine-year-old Sean Moeller is the one who created this holiday. In 1985, he pitched the idea for a national day of relaxation! This unofficial celebration of all things relaxation is a reminder to take a pause and just be. 

National Relaxation Day also falls in the middle of National Wellness Month! So, if you haven’t already started your wellness journey, August 15 is a great place to begin. 

Why is relaxation important? 

A relaxation day is long overdue in a world that rewards hard work and even glorifies putting work above your own wellbeing. Constantly feeling stressed from work, putting yourself second to others, and never having a moment’s rest is a surefire way to burn out – and fast. 

Stress is all around us. It’s almost impossible to avoid completely. But there are ways to reduce your stress! Relaxing activities can help you combat the emotional and physical signs of stress. Symptoms of stress can include disrupted sleep, irritability, depression, feeling panicked, and mood swings. If you’re seeing these signs of stress, schedule a relaxation day on your to-do list ASAP!

If you struggle with saying “no” to others or need to be constantly busy to feel productive, National Relaxation Day should be on your radar. Making a conscious effort to schedule relaxation is a great way to avoid burnout and prevent excess stress.

How to celebrate National Relaxation Day

We’re here to take the stress out of planning this relaxing holiday. These are tried-and-true ways to get more relaxation into your day on August 15. People find different types of activities relaxing. So, try a few from this list and see what works for you. 

Relaxation activities and ideas

1. Schedule 5-10 minutes of absolutely nothing. 

It sounds silly. But for those struggling to relax, the key is doing nothing, even for a moment. When we feel like we have to be working, moving, and doing constantly, we physically can’t relax! So scheduling time to do nothing at all is a great way to force yourself to relax, even just a little.

2. Practice yoga or meditation

These ancient relaxation techniques are still around for a reason. Tying breath to movement is a great way to bring attention to your mind and body. There are different types of yoga and meditation, so try a few before you decide it’s not for you.  

3. Get a massage

Nothing is quite as relaxing as getting a professional massage. But if traffic, parking, and crowded spas take away from your experience, try this: book an at-home massage for National Relaxation Day. Get personalized treatment from a licensed massage therapist, all in the comfort of your own home. They’ll massage away all the tension and stress that have built up. Regular massages are also a great way to combat a stressful lifestyle.   

4. Go outside 

It’s no secret that nature has healing properties! So try to spend time outside on your relaxation day. If being active helps you relax, try a hike, bike ride, or long walk. If passive relaxation is more your thing, head to the beach or park with a good book and some healthy snacks. What if you only have 5 minutes? No problem; find a shady bench and just relax in the great outdoors.

5. Unplug and unwind 

Take a break from technology. We’re so connected all the time, and that can actually increase your stress! Take a moment on National Relaxation Day to put down your phone, close the laptop, and turn off the TV. You can read a book, go for a walk, or just simply be present in the tech-free moment.

6. Take care of your skin, hair, and nails

A little self-care is the perfect way to celebrate this holiday. When we look good, we feel good! So schedule a relaxing facial with a professional esthetician. Get a blowout or freshen up your look with a haircut. Take a moment to go for a manicure. The key to making this a relaxing experience? Don’t think about work or your to-do list while you’re getting pampered! 

7. Get some extra ZZZs

Most adults don’t get enough sleep. So treat yourself to a few extra minutes of blissful rest for National Relaxation Day. Go to bed a little earlier, or set your alarm 30 minutes later. You’ll be surprised at the difference a few minutes can make!

8. Do what makes you happy

The most important factor when planning your National Relaxation Day activities is your happiness. Just because hiking makes some people feel relaxed, doesn’t mean you have to do it, too! We’re most relaxed when we’re comfortable and happy. So however you plan to celebrate, make sure it involves something you love. 

Relaxation days, any day

The relaxation doesn’t have to end once National Relaxation Day is over! Once you find a relaxation technique that feels right, keep it up. De-stressing regularly is key to your overall well-being. The best way to ensure you stay relaxed is to schedule your relaxation days in advance. In addition to scheduled breaks and regular exercise, try booking monthly massages for the ultimate relaxing activity. 

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