Sometimes, you just need a couple hours to yourself. School or work might have been overwhelming, you might have issues occurring in your relationships, or maybe you just had a grueling week and want to reward yourself. Regardless, in my experience, relaxing and refreshing can be very effective in productivity and feeling a sense of well being. Here are some of the things that I have done in the past to pamper myself!
1.) Hike or take a walk in nature. Even sitting in nature and taking it all in clears my head and makes me feel better.
2.) Go out to eat. Yes, sometimes food can be a wonderful reward! This past weekend, I went to a restaurant called Asian Bistro to have delicious hot stone bibimbap, and then I also had lunch at a Japanese restaurant where I had avocado sushi. For snack, I got myself a raisin croissant and an acai pomegranate bubble tea. Everything was so delicious and I felt so happy afterwards!
3.) Go on a run. I’m not a big runner (especially compared to Stephanie), but running helps me “run off my stresses” and “run away from my problems”!
4.) Cook and try out a new recipe. My friend and I made egg custards together, and we had an amazing time bonding and cooking. Even if you’re cooking by yourself (as I often am), cooking is a great way to relax. Seeing and eating the final product gives me an amazing feeling. See my first ever blog post on Why I Love to Cook 🙂
5.) Hang out with your family and/or friends. Whether it’s playing board games together, watching a movie, walking around town, or just talking, being with other people makes me feel happier.
6.) Take a long shower, put on a face mask, and listen to music. Your skin will thank you and you’ll feel super refreshed!
7.) Take a half-day trip by visiting a farm, going to the city (if there’s a city near you), visiting a museum, going to a flea market, or something else.
8.) Try something thrilling-like white-water kayaking, or rock climbing 🙂
9.) Take a nap-cause sleep is amazing and I can never get enough of it!
Now that I’ve shared my tips, I hope you feel super inspired.
We’ve all felt it. That irritable sensation of hanger that makes you say, “I would kill for ____!!!”Let’s talk (or read) about cravings.
What do I crave? Let’s see…dark chocolate, avocado toast, guacamole, greek yogurt, mangoes… And of course the unhealthy: cookies, chocolate cake, brownies, ice cream, pita chips (the last one’s debatable I guess)
Of course, not everyone has cravings. But studies show that nearly 100% of women and 70% of men have cravings. So what is to blame for this global hanger?
Memory areas of our brain which associate food with a reward
Calming stress and reducing anxiety – typically foods high in fat, sugar, or both
So how do we respond to cravings?
Portion control! Don’t go for the family size pack of chips because they are cheap because a craving for chips could lead to eating half the bag
Eat several meals a day to prevent overeating
Start a cravings journal and write down what causes your cravings
Drink more water
Take a walk after eating a meal
De-stress by meditating, doing yoga, reading a good book or magazine, taking a hike, etc.
So the next time a craving pops up, don’t give in!!! Stop yourself before it’s too late.
Let’s admit it. We all used food at least once in our lifetime to cope with negative things – our emotions, stress, or even with positive things – rewards and celebrations. In our society, the most common way to celebrate a birthday is to go out for dinner. The most common way to deal with a bad day is to eat a whole-tub of Ben and Jerry’s or eat all the chips in the Family Size chips bag.
But this also happens to healthy food too. I remember once, I ate so many nuts that the next day, my mom had to hide all the nuts in our house because seeing them made me feel like I would barf.
With that being said, it’s no surprise that even though we have our eating habits and exercise habits in check, if we don’t take care of our mental health, whatever health goal you have in mind for 2016 or your whole life isn’t going to come true.
Today, I’ve come up with five activities you can do that DO NOT involve food. Whether it’s to cope with stress or to celebrate.
1.Get a manicure and/or pedicure | This is such a simple thing, yet this is my go-to stress reliever. It’s a great breather – not too short but not too long. It’s long enough that you have to hit the pause button while patiently waiting for your nails to dry, but not too long that it takes up a good chunk of your day.
2. Buy a new workout gear | This is one of my favorites as a self-confessed shopaholic. This sounds cliche, but it’s true. You feel more motivated to workout when you have the right clothes and gear to exercise in. So go splurge yourself on a few items from your favorite athletic wear store (my personal recommendation: Lululemon or Nike), or if you’re a shoeholic (which I’m also am … not good for my wallet at all), I recommend trying Brooks running shoes – they’re super comfortable.
3.Take a nap. | I definitely need to tell this myself more often, but naps does wonders to your mood. Who knows? You may just feel upset and down because you’re lacking on your hours of sleep. Go set a timer for 30 minutes and sleep it out.
4.Get yourself a bouquet of flowers | Or whatever that makes you feel spoiled. Personally, both my mom and I love getting flowers from the store to display in our house. The bright colors instantly lifts our moods up. So find whatever item that aesthetically pleases you.
5. Buy a new song/album. | Instead of playing that one song you’re obsessed with on YouTube and having to annoyingly wait for the ads to pass or having to re-click the replay button numerous times, allow yourself to buy that song. Especially, if that’s song is Taylor Swift, because her songs are nowhere to be found on Spotify or Apple Music.