Cashmere and spa treatments are all well and good, but some of the best things in life truly are free. In honor of World Relaxation Day, treat yourself to one—or all—of these 15 little gifts.
1. DECLARE TODAY A SPECIAL OCCASION.
We’ve all got something put away for the right moment. It might be a bottle of bubbly, or a fancy face mask, or that bestseller you’ve been too busy to page through. Whatever the prize, it’s not doing you any good on the shelf. Break it out and celebrate.
2. DROP THE BASS.
How long has it been since your last 3-minute, no-holds-barred dance party? It doesn’t actually matter; it’s time for another one. Pull up your favorite booty-shaking track, step away from any breakable objects or furniture with sharp corners, and press play.
3. TAKE A MINI-BREAK.
Try walking away from your computer, phone, and tablet. Just for a half-hour break. If that’s no sweat for you, give the distracting devices a rest for an hour or two. Still too easy? Fine, showoff. Enjoy a whole day of digital detoxing. You may emerge with a new perspective on things.
4. GET OLD-SCHOOL.
If you just can’t stomach the thought of a day without screentime, cruise over to any of the Internet’s many video game emulators and settle in to the simple, nostalgic thrill of helping a little plumber eat his mushrooms.
5. SEDUCE YOUR SENSES.
In a fast-paced, screen-driven world, it’s easy to forget our mouths, noses, and skin. Get in touch with your sensory side with a spritz of a perfume or cologne you don’t usually wear, bites of a juicy plum, or the cool, silky softness of your favorite pajamas or bedsheets.
6. SOAK IN A WARM BATH (OF ADMIRATION).
Think about the last time somebody said something encouraging or flattering about you. Luxuriate in the warmth of being appreciated. Now think about another time, and another, and another. (Can’t remember any? Check your email from supportive friends and family.)
7. AIM LOW.
We’ve all got that one ridiculously easy thing on our to-do lists that we just don’t feel like doing. Do it anyway, then cross it off your list and give yourself a reward.
8. EXPAND YOUR REPERTOIRE.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn the tango, or how to fix a flat tire, or how airplanes stay up. Today is the day to take that first step and give your brain something new to chew on. Find an instructional video online or a book at your library, or call a friend who’s really good with cars/dancing/aerospace engineering.
9. REDISCOVER A CLASSIC.
The books you loved in childhood are still around today; heck, they might even be sitting on your bookshelf. Pick up one of your old favorites, get yourself a refreshing beverage, and travel back in time.
10. BE (A LITTLE) IRRESPONSIBLE.
Tonight’s the night to have french fries (or a milkshake, or nachos, or waffles) for dinner.
11. CHECK YOURSELF.
Take 3–5 minutes for a meeting with yourself. You could use that time to meditate and do a body scan, or you could just assess the situation. Are you thirsty? Tired? Cranky? Sitting in an uncomfortable position? Good news! You have the power to change the situation.
12. SHAKE THINGS UP.
Our brains just love novelty. If you’re in a recipe rut, ask a friend for a recommendation. Sick of all your music? Find something new. Change your route home from work. Brush your teeth outside. Just make a switch.
13. LET IT GO.
Remember that humiliating conversation with your neighbor/friend/boss/new flame? Remember how you ruined everything? Well, they don’t (because you didn’t). Pick one small reason you’ve been beating yourself up. Got it? Good. Now take a deep breath—inhale; exhale—and let it go.
14. HYDRATE AND MOISTURIZE.
This is much less frivolous than it sounds. It’s really easy to get dehydrated without realizing it, but you’ll feel much better once you have something to drink. And keeping your skin moisturized helps it do what it does best: protect you. Plus, you know, it feels nice.
Crossword puzzles, modeling clay, glitter, bubbles, poker—it really doesn’t matter. Give yourself license to play for no other reason than that it’s fun.