Happy National Relaxation Day!
I’m not sure where or when this trend of oddball minor holidays got started in our country, but as with National Virus Appreciation Day (October 3rd) and National Festival Of Extraterrestrial Abductions Day (March 20th), it seems a very superfluous thing that we should even have a National Relaxation Day. Any busy parent of young children knows, relaxation is something that is often very elusive to us… and yet relaxation is most often what we really need in order to be the best parents we can be for them. Because, whether you work full time in the home or at a job outside of it, you simply cannot take care of anything else in your life if you don’t stop to take care of yourself every now and then. Perhaps this is exactly why we need this holiday in the first place? To remind us that, as Matthew Broderick’s character in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off puts it:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Ok. So, message received, Universe…
Now then, how is one supposed to go about observing such a holiday? It’s been so long since I’ve been able to so much as go to the bathroom without at least one child and one pet in tow, I’m not sure how i could get away long enough to pamper myself enough to feel relaxed. Where would i go? What goods or services would I purchase? Funds have been slightly limited lately, so extravagant spa days are certainly not in the budget. And, if anything, I would feel guilty for spending the money on myself, and for taking the time away from my kiddos…especially when my dear husband, as the awesome stay-at-home-dad that he is, probably deserves the pampering and relaxation more than I do.
Lucky for me, I was the winner of our local Whole Foods Market’s Relaxation Basket Facebook Giveaway last week… just in time to celebrate! I picked up my gift basket on my way to work the other night, and couldn’t wait to get home from work in the morning to try it all out!!!
Here’s the super awesome goodies I won. I still can’t believe it!
And I love lavender!
It is probably the first ingredient someone would think about when you think of relaxation. Lavender has been used for centuries to promote healing, relaxation, and a variety of other uses in and around the home. I have to admit however, I was a little leery when I saw the combination of lemon and lavender in the products I was given. Truth be told, I’m not the biggest fan of lemon –unless it is an actual fresh slice of lemon in my ice water or (UN-sweetened) iced tea.
One doesn’t normally associate lemons with relaxation. One associates it with floor cleaner and furniture dusting spray.
I did some research however, and although this information “probably hasn’t been evaluated by the FDA”, I learned that lemon actually is a very potent essential oil used for relaxation and stress relief. It also apparently helps to boost your immune system and fight depression and anxiety. Apparently this is exactly what I needed! (But, God always knows that and provides it for us, doesn’t he?)
So, I went ahead and gave it a try. And let me tell you…it was all just awesome!!!
That morning, I snuck into the house after getting home from work, my goodies safely tucked in their Whole Foods Market reusable shopping bag. I tiptoed to my room and into the master bathroom, so as not to wake anyone. I slowly shut and locked the door behind me. Then I turned on the faucet of our humble bath tub, letting the water get just hot enough before pulling the stopper and letting it fill.
I opened my goodie bag, and then the seal to the Natural Calm Lavender Bath first. It was a fine, white powder (which i wasn’t expecting…not really sure if I thoght it would be like epsom salt crystals, or what have you) but it smelled just heavenly when opened. Unfortunately, it didn’t come with a measuring spoon, and I wasn’t going to go racing out into the kitchen to get one and risk waking up the kids, so I did my best to pour a 4 oz. ‘serving’ into the running bath. I swirled it around to dissolve in the water, and pulled out my hand to discover my skin was so soft! Definitely a blessing in a profession where you wash your hands with harsh soap and hand sanitizer some 500 times a shift!
The Zum Mist lavender and lemon aromatherapy spray I opened second, and sprayed it around the bathroom, gingerly at first, just to see what the hype was about. I was surprised at how much it smelled so clean and refreshing. So, I decided to sneak back out into the bedroom and spray it on the sheets while my husband slept like a baby. The scent didn’t linger very long, and needed to be shaken before sprayed, but I was sold. I’m not sure why I doubted that this would be a good scent combination?
I then snuck back in the bathroom and locked the door again. Inspired by the room spray, I went and dug out my lavender scented jar candles from under the sink. These were actually from our wedding, and hadn’t been used in probably years (or since the last time the power went out in a storm). I found the emergency matches we keep out of reach of children, and lit the candles to set the mood. I shut the glaring vanity lights and the bath water off, and climbed in the tub. Well, I probably don’t need to tell you how good a nice, hot bath feels after a long night of running around at work. I thought to myself, this is so simple. I just need to do this for myself more often. We all do.
Next, I got my new Earth Therapeutics Hydro Body Sponge bath pouffy and the 365 Everyday Value Meyer Lemon Shower Gel included in my basket. This shower gel is from Whole Foods’ signature line of products. Made with argan oil, coconut oil, and aloe vera, the shower gel was not overly sudsy, even when used with the poof. But, it left my skin clean and soft, with no filmy residue after rinsing. liked that the scent was light and fresh, not strongly lemony before or after the bath.
I soaked in that ethereal bath for a bit longer, until i was all pruney from the process of osmosis, then got out and into my warm, clean, fluffy-but-ratty-because-i’ve-had-it-for-over-a-decade bath robe. Lastly, I applied the 365 Everyday Value Lavender Body Lotion to my freshly cleaned skin before slipping myself into my nice, warm jammies that were awaiting me. Also made with argan, coconut, and aloe vera oil, this lotion left my skin silky but not greasy. The lavender scent was light and not overpowering as well.
I sprayed a bit more of the Zum Mist aromatherapy spray on my pillow, layed myself down, and I was out like a light… Successfully relaxed on National Relaxation Day.
A+. Mission accomplished!
That is, until my kids woke up 30 minutes later.
(But, such is the life of a parent. Am I right?)
Thankfully, my loving husband got up with the kids so that I could get some sleep. It seems insignificant, but it really made a difference in my day, this small act of pampering and time I gave to myself…and really in my life. Because I can’t say it enough: if you don’t love and take care of yourself every now and again, you can’t really love and take care of anyone or anything else. So I urge you readers: today, in the spirit of national relaxation day, just get out there and do something nice for yourself. You are worth it and you definitely deserve it!
And THANK YOU AGAIN to my local WHOLE FOODS MARKET for this awesome relaxation gift basket!!! I feel so spoiled! They had no idea I was going to write this review of their super sweet spa products when I won it. But I hope they know how much their gesture was appreciated and needed and enjoyed!