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hello weekend: YOUR 2-day RELAXING / REVIVING PLAN

Nikki Yazxhi



Try this simple feel-good plan over a weekend to get your good vibes back

SATURDAY – relax

Try this Ayurvedic routine to help you wind down after a busy week…
WAKE UP: and calm down
Before you get out of bed lie on your back with arms stretched out at shoulder level; knees bent and together. Roll slowly to the right, lifting up your left hip. Look up your left arm to hand. Return to the centre and repeat on the left. Do five times on each side. This yoga move relaxes your muscles and mind before you start the day.
MORNING: massage
Heat and massage boost circulation and raise body temperature. Resting afterwards makes you more aware of your temperature slowly falling and in turn makes you feel more relaxed.
Step 1: Take a hot, steamy shower or bath for at least 10 minutes.
Step 2: When muscles are warmed up, massage your body with long, flowing strokes using a body lotion or oil. Keep the movements slow and deliberate and work towards the heart. Keep working on the area until it feels warmer. Starting with your feet, work up your legs, your stomach (using circular movements), breasts, buttocks and back. Massage each of your hands, working your thumbs into the fleshy part of each palm. Finish with long strokes along your arms to your heart.
Step 3: Slip into some comfy clothes and lie down in a darkened room with no distractions. If you can drift off to sleep for an hour, you’ll feel even better.
AFTERNOON: lighten up
Don’t make any plans – leave the afternoon free. It may be disorientating to find yourself with free time after a week of to-do lists, but try to relax into it. Instead of trying to achieve something, focus on just having fun and de-stressing. Here are three instant de-stressors to try:
* Touch: Go barefoot in the park or garden. It’s believed the electromagnetic force of the earth calms you down.
* See Wear shades of purple or blue. These colours de-stress you and those around you. People will be calmer in your presence and that will help you stay calm.
* Listen: Music is the ultimate soother. Listening to classical music especially by Mozart and Bach have been proven to have a profound effect on the brain.
EVENING: chill out
Plan for a night watching one of your favourite movies on DVD. But first indulge in some ‘mobile meditation’. Go to your local park or beach and get in touch with nature. Notice the surrounding sites and sounds and be aware of your feet hitting the ground. Let your mind be still. Whenever you catch your mind thinking about work or worries, bring your thoughts back to the nature around you to help you feel calm and centred.
Try these foods to get you in a good mood…
* For breakfast (brunch or lunch) have some turkey slices on a bagel or wholemeal bread. Turkey contains tryptophan, a natural mood enhancer.
* If you’re vegetarian, have a hot chocolate as milk contains tryptophan too.
* Brazil nuts are a great snack for when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Their high magnesium levels will lift your mood and help clear a muddled head.
* Fish is rich in the amino acid taurine which inhibits the release of adrenaline and helps protect you against anxiety.

SUNDAY – revitalise

Here’s how you can revive and revitalise so you’re ready to take on a new week…

WAKE UP: and let the sunshine in
Have a warm cup of water with a large wedge of fresh organic lemon to kick-start your liver for the day – and then step outside. Exposing yourself to even a few minutes of direct sunlight as soon as you get up is the fastest way to wake yourself up.

MORNING: get moving
Going for an early morning walk will get your ‘engine’ primed, stimulate your metabolism, kick-start your circulation and will release endorphins (feel good hormones) to elevate your mood. It’s important to do some form of exercise even when we’re ‘relaxing’. You’ll feel much better – and less stressed.
AFTERNOON: look forward to laughing out loud
Research has shown that when you anticipate watching a funny show two days before actually watching it, fatigue and tension is reduced by as much as 50 per cent. So arrange to meet a friend who shares your sense of humour or look forward to watching re-runs of Friends, Seinfield or Arrested Development. The anticipation is as important as the laughs.
EVENING: do things differently
Run a bath and sprinkle in Epsom salts to feed and soothe your muscles. Add couple of drops of your favourite essential oil and sink in to soak away your worries. Aim to get to bed by 9.30. It’s probably a break from your usual Sunday night routine – but every now and again you need to make an effort to do things differently. It gives you a whole new perspective on life and that, in turn, gives you energy.
Want a pep-up without resorting to coffee? Try these caffeine-free snacks:
* an orange is the ultimate power snack. It’s portable, rich in nutrients, contains energy boosting carbohydrates and the zingy citrus scent also helps to wake you up.
* almond butter on sliced apple: almond butter is a great source of protein, plus the apple gives you energy.
… and most importantly, have a great weekend!
{Pic: Spell Designs}


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