National Relaxation Day is August 15, so this week we celebrate. This genius day was officially established in 1985 by fourth-grader Sean Moeller (smart kid); however, Jimmy Buffett has had the concept down since the 1977 debut of his hit song Margaritaville. Inspired by white sandy beaches and a life of fun, sun, and margaritas, Margaritaville arouses a sense of relaxation in us all.
And what better day than today to take advice from the master of escapism himself, Mr. Jimmy Buffett. From the songs we all know and love to the lesser-known treasures, Jimmy’s music can’t help but make us want to throw our briefcases to the wind, hop on a plane, and lie on the beach for days.
However, Margaritaville is not just a place. It is a feeling, a state of mind. Therefore, in recognition of National Relaxation day, let us all use the wise words of Mr. Buffett to find ways to relax, unwind, and enjoy the world around us.
“Mother Mother Ocean, I Have Heard Your Call”
Nothing says unwind like burying your toes in the sand and staring out into the deep blue sea. If you don’t have a beach nearby, head to your favorite lake or river bank and get those feet in the mud!
Being outdoors is proven to help with mood, lessen symptoms of depression, and give you an endorphin rush. So find your most relaxing watering hole, kick back and enjoy the scenery – and the benefits it provides!
“Everybody’s on the Phone, So Connected and All Alone.”
Sadly, in today’s day and age, we all rely too heavily on technology. It’s how we interact with friends and family, it’s how we meet future boyfriends and girlfriends, where we order anything our heart desires, and find answers to life’s most profound questions. Unfortunately, this technology meant to connect us has a serious downside.
University of Illinois psychology professor, Alejandro Lleras, conducted a study that proved smartphone addiction is associated with anxiety and depression. And who of us can honestly say we don’t spend too much time on our phones?
So today friends put the phones away and enjoy each other’s company. Go bowling, or have a backyard BBQ, go to a Jimmy Buffett concert – as long as it’s technology free it doesn’t matter what you do. The idea is to be present in the moment, doing something you enjoy with those that bring you happiness. It becomes much easier to truly relax when the digital distractions are removed.
“It’s You and Me and the Colour of the Sun”
So often we take for granted the beauty of our surroundings. We’re preoccupied with where we need to be, replying to that text and skimming Facebook, that we forget to stop and look at the world around us.
One of nature’s most beautiful gifts is the sunrise and sunset. Every single day, twice a day, we have the opportunity to witness a spectacular display of solar power in action.
So take that special someone, or just a friend, and explore a cool place to watch the sun do its thing. Not only will you feel relaxed and at ease, but you’ll also be soaking up some Vitamin D, which has numerous health benefits.
“Goin’ Conky Tonkin’, Cruisin’”
Sometimes all we need to relax and unwind is a change of scenery. Someplace new to enchant us and distract us from the hardships of life; a place that will dazzle the senses in new and exciting ways.
So how about an impromptu drive? Pick a destination near or far, somewhere you haven’t been, and just drive. Focus on the newness of the adventure – new streets, new restaurants and different types of landscapes. Try a fresh cuisine or an adventurous activity not available in your hometown.
According to Forbes, traveling to new places has many mental health benefits including increased creativity, fresh, positive outlooks, and a decrease in overall stress. If this can all be achieved by merely exploring somewhere new – sign me up!
“If Life Gives You Limes, Make Margaritas”
It’s hard to argue that a perfectly made cocktail isn’t an excellent remedy after a stressful day. Between work drama, traffic jams, and temper tantrums, one must have a way to decompress!
Liquor lovers will be glad to know that, according to the Mayo Clinic, alcohol – in moderation – may actually have heart benefits. (This means one a day for the ladies and two for men.)
So, what better day than National Relaxation Day to whip yourself up a tasty margarita and toast to good health! Stay in and play around with fun new drink recipes or head to your favorite local watering hole for your go-to cocktail.
“Cheeseburger in Paradise”
Or perhaps pizza in the city, or ice cream at the park? No matter what your guilty pleasure, nothing says happiness and satisfaction more than scarfing down your favorite dish. Most of us have a love affair with our favorite foods, and indulging in them is one of life’s greatest pleasures.
So, in recognition of the holiday, enjoy that cheeseburger guilt free. Head to your local Margaritaville Restaurant and satisfy that craving. Savor the moment – and the food – as you enjoy a delicious, mouthwatering meal.
But don’t always rely on those cheat meals for your happiness. It’s all about balance, so splurge now and then, but be sure load up on foods that help boost your serotonin levels naturally to help improve your mood 24/7.
“Gentleman of Leisure” (Or ladies)
Let’s take a look at the average American who works 40 hours a week and gets two weeks vacation yearly. This translates to 10,400 work hours a year and 336 vacation hours a year. This perspective is a real eye-opener… we work over 30 times more than we relax!
It may be too late today, but one small way to chip away at this atrocious imbalance is to do what most of us dream about doing each morning – play hookie! Yes, you are going to take a ‘personal’ day and do whatever you want. Today you’re rightfully taking back 8 of those hours and giving them back to team vacation where they belong.
It is no secret that work causes stress. It is a part of life we must all deal with. But every now and then, we must take back control and restore balance in our lives. Taking a day to relax and disconnect is sure to do the trick. (Just don’t tell your boss I gave you the idea!)
“Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On”
So often we are wrapped up in what needs to be done – we have responsibilities that dictate how we spend our days. Going to school or work (or both), taking care of children, running errands, returning phone calls – most of the time our days are decided before we even realize it!
But today is not going to be like that. Today we take a time out to breathe – to relax. Use this day to treat yourself and your body. Go to the gym, meditate, or if you are lucky enough to live close, head to a St. Somewhere’s Spa, which was recognized by US News as one of the Top-30 Relaxing Spa Getaways in the U.S.
“Growing Older but Not Up”
As the above topic touched on, we as adults spend so much time taking care of our responsibilities that we forget how to have fun. We are so preoccupied with the obligations of daily life that we forget to enjoy it.
So on National Relaxation Day, think back to one of your favorite childhood games and try to recreate it. When we were kids we were carefree, imaginative, and open to new ideas. We need to bring that inner child out, give the adult a break, and just enjoy the pleasures of life.
Go shoot some hoops, play hide-and-seek, bust out the Nintendo, or simply reminisce about your favorite activities growing up. Deep down we are all just big kids, and sometimes we need a little encouragement to bring them out!
“It’s These Changes in Attitude, Changes in Latitude.”
Spoken like a true wise man, Jimmy hit the nail on the head with this classic tune. Similar to ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ these words remind us that there’s more to life than grinding away for a paycheck every week. They stress the importance of having fun, experiencing new things, and giving yourself an escape.
Do you notice that when you’re on vacation how all those worries and responsibilities we’ve been talking about seem to fade away? Time slows down, and your primary concern becomes pina colada or strawberry daiquiri.
So take some time today and start planning your next vacation. Dream of white sandy beaches, rugged mountains, or off the path villages and you be in a Margaritaville State of Mind in no time!
“Party at the End of the World”
No matter where you are today, be sure to take some time for relaxation. Remind yourself that finding that inner calm is a state of mind – one we need to channel more often.
I’m Sarah, and I love exploring our planet and learning from its many wonders. You can follow my adventures and insights on instagram @sarahthewanderess and on my blog TheWanderessWriter.com. Happy Travels and Fins Up!