Sunday, August 7, 2011

How do you decompress?

There is nothing as magical as taking a deep breath, free of tension and stress. It is a rare moment that I am naturally that relaxed. But it CAN happen.

Since I quit drinking (this October will be 3 years,) there is very little chemical help to "unwind." (For the record, I was not an alcoholic.)

This post will include the top 20 ways I am able to just chiiiillllllllllll.  They are in no particular order.

Writing and sipping coffee

I spend each morning drinking coffee and writing in my blog. It is a great way to release any thoughts, any feelings, any issues I may have. It has been my routine for almost 2 years now.

These hair massagers are awesome!

I bought one of these from Books-a-Million earlier this year. They are AMAZING. Will send chills down your spine (in a good way.) Seriously allows me to take a deep breath.  I only use this on rare occasions. Like a little treart.

Sound and Look of the Sea

Who cannot relax by the water? I love the sound of the waves, the smell of the salt/floral air, the beautiful displays of blues and greens.. Just thinking of this spot is intoxicating. Obviously, this is the "vacation special" form of relaxation.

Hot Bubble Bath

Each night, I rush to my garden tub, get it full of hot water, and dose it with my vanilla and coconut bubble bath - then I soak and read a good book. THIS is how I unwind each night before bed.

Burning candles

I have numerous candles dispersed throughout my house. When I KNOW I need to unwind, I will light one and say a little prayer. Maybe it's the catholic in me, but every time I light a candle, I announce who or what I am lighting this candle for. As a matter of fact - When I finish this post - I will light my candle across from me (the one from the monastery.)

Having my hair washed/styled

I am not sure about you, but I LOVE a day at the salon. Where I go, they always start off with an invigorating head massage with a peppermint oil. Then I get a head massage as it is being washed. Of course, having someone "play" with your hair is super calming and a nice hot blow out (drying) will almost put me to sleep! I get my hair cut about every 6 - 8 weeks.

Homedic's Back Massager

The BEST thing I EVER bought. I keep this thing near by. I have the WORST muscle tension - and this little guy will pound it out. Cost a total of $50, I use it right at the top of my shoulders. It works out those hellacious kinks/knots that never seem to want to disappear. It's also great to take on vacation, put it on your feet, and you can make those sore tootsies disappear.

Homedics Massage Chair

I bought this guy several years ago, and it remains the "final frontier" when I am seriously stressed. It's a Shiatsu chair, I basically plug it up and sit it on my couch and let it roll up and down my spine. Talk about getting the blood flowing!! It coast me about $100 and I think I got my from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Listening to music and dancing around

My "alone time" moment. I have my ipod, with my music.. and I dance around. Yes, I dance around. You read that right. I could get totally lost in music.

Professional Massage

Glory Be! I do love a good massage. I got to the point I was going every 2 weeks... but those days are over for now. However, if you can afford the spoils of a massage, I highly recommend it.


I have been studying meditation (loosely) since I was 16 years old. It takes a looooong time to get the hang of it, and I simply don't do it as much as I used to.. but it is an excellent way to center yourself. I only break this out when I think I can focus.

Floating in a pool

Is there anything more fun? More relaxing? I LOVE the pool and I love to float. I just feel the tension melt from my body.


This is really my number 1. What can I say, but talking to God puts me at ease. Try it some time. You might like it.

Aromatherapy - specifically Blue Oil

I picked up a bottle of this back in January, and when I am driving, and I feel tense or anxious - I roll (it's a roller ball) a little on each temple, and at the base of my neck. The effect - focus and relaxation. I am a BIG believer in aromatherapy.

Spa time - a Facial

Facials can be super relaxing also. Nothing like getting the blood flowing in the area that needs it most. I believe they help you look younger and healthier, and it's nice to pamper yourself. I used to go once a month. Again - new situation, time for a break.

Swinging with abandon

I discovered on my trip home that swinging can be VERY therapeutic. Clearly, I don't go often. But now that I know, I will never miss an opportunity to swing, when given the chance.

Herbal Tea - THIS ONE!

I am not a big tea drinker, but I found this one and now I drink a cup about once a week. Last night I did, and I felt sleepy.. seriously. This is the exact brand and exact one. Give it a whirl.

Jacuzzi Time!

Who doesn't enjoy a nice jacuzzi?


I used to be a yoga fanatic. Not so much anymore, but I do try some of the poses sometimes to release tension, and without fail- it works every time.


Exercise mixed with dancing is always a good choice for me.

Now what about you?? What do YOU do to chill out? Please share, I need some tips!


Christina Genae said...

Love your "unwinding" ideas! I love to read; but if I'm tense or stressed, it doesn't help me unwind. If I'm tired, I love to lie down and read until I fall asleep.

My two favorite ways to relieve stress would have to be practicing piano and working out. Both get me thinking about something else. Although, if I'm frustrated with a person(s), working out seems to help more. I can imagine punching them in the face (among other places) or knocking them out or something equally violent AND relieve stress and burn calories at the same time! It's perfect!!!

The Bipolar Diva said...

Great ideas Nicole! I was just introduced to the hair massagers and they are incredible! Luckily my insurance covers massage so I'm the max they allow!


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