How Do You Stay Zen?

So no matter what stage of life you're in, there are always days where you feel like you need a vacation ASAP.  I know for me, those days can be very often.  I'm not kidding.  Although it's a given that you can't just 'up and vacation' every single day and at any given moment, there are definitely ways to get you feeling as zen as possible.  I happen to know of a few things that get me feeling calm almost instantly.  No, none of them are illegal and they all cost barely anything.  Haha?

My first suggestion to you is to get yourself near some type of water.  Now I know that not everyone has a pool, lives near a pool or lives near a beach.  This can be tough but seriously, the power of water is unreal.  If there's a pond nearby, take a walk around it and see how instantly calm you feel.  If you are able to jump in and out of the pool, do it.  Sometimes, just the change in body temperature is all you need to get feeling so much more relaxed than you did before.  Maybe run through the sprinklers like you're a five year old.  This is yet another thing that I WILL NOT judge you for!  Last but not least on the waterfront (haha see what I did there), get to the beach!  I think it's widely known that the waves crashing in and out are the most calming and relaxing noise in the entire world.  You know what I think doesn't get enough credit though?  The view.  I mean obviously people think of the beauty of a beach when they look at the view, but the healing power is ACTUALLY incredible.

Now ever since I was a little girl, my dad always introduced the idea of having a zen garden and I was always into it.  I thought it was just about the weirdest thing in the entire world, but I also thought it was cool.  As you can tell, the cool points weighed out the weird points.  Now that I am 24, I have a lot more of those stressful moments than I did when I was about 10 (rightfully so).  This is certainly my version of a zen garden, a zen beach!  I got this from Brookstone and the sand is absolutely amazing in it.  The best way I would describe this is 'wet sand that never dries out.'  Do you remember Squand from when you were about 12-13?  That question was for the people about my age.  I certainly do!  I used to love it and I feel like this is the Squand for adults.  The sand box, knife and circular shape toy come separately from the actual sand, but they were not pricey when all was said and done.  I think I paid $35 for everything.  When I say this releases stress, I am not kidding at all.  If you need a second to step back and away from your work for a second, this is certainly the avenue to go down.  The second you pic up the sand and let it fall through your fingers, it's literally the best thing ever.  So therapeutic.  

Thirdly, I would suggest tea!  Now, I am sure that I'm not the only one to tell you that tea is amazing for when you are stressed.  I'm sure there are also people that can tell you that it makes you fall asleep.  I think the healing power is all in the warmth and the taste.  When I want to feel more relaxed and when I want to come down from my high stress level, I always turned to tea.  For some reason, I like the fruity flavors and herbal aspects.  I can't lie, when I'm not feeling stressed out (and even sometimes when I am) I turn to a K-Cup, but tea is always a sure bet in making me feel so much better.  It doesn't have to be hot!  I made a video a couple of days ago on my YouTube channel about how to make Sunbrewed tea and nothing makes me more relaxed than a nice TALL glass of that with maybe a few mint leaves.  Ahhhhh, perfection.  

A nice shower once in a while is the answer to every SINGLE one of your problems.  Nothing feels better than getting in the warm (or sometimes cold) shower and rinsing off, it's just the best feeling.  I really haven't always been such a fan of face masks, but for some reason now they bring me so much joy.  Recently I have been using a First Aid Beauty oatmeal mask which I do fancy, if I do say so myself.  If I had to pick the one body wash that I favored of all body washes, it would definitely have to be this one by Caress.  Tahitian renewal is like, the best scent in the entire world.  IMO, it smells so exotic and Caribbean and it makes me the happiest girl in the world.  Showers never felt so good, no lie.  I even like this better than Eucalyptus Mint scented body wash from Bath and Body Works.  Oops, did I say that?  Sometimes, like I said, a shower is just that worth it.  If you're into face masks, there's that too.  

Lotion is your bff when you're feeling stressed.  Give yourself a massage, or get someone to give one to you ;), with the right lotion and you'll be happy as a clam.  These are two of my absolute favorites right now.  Hawaiian Tropics makes the best scented suncreens and lotions, I know I have told you guys about this time and time again.  I guess its just the pressure that you are releasing from your muscles when you apply lotion, but it can sometimes be the best feeling in the world.  A great scent doesn't hurt.  

I know sometimes it's not easy for everyone to just go out to the store and get a bunch of fresh flowers to keep in your home.  I always see popular fashion bloggers and some of my favorite other bloggers doing this and I always wish I could.  The reason why I can't is because I live with my brother and father, they do NOT appreciate it enough for me to spend my money on flowers.  Lol, I am NOT even kidding.  This photo was taken in my backyard though and that's where this tip comes from.  Go outside and look at the flowers that are naturally so close to you.  It is that easy.  Sometimes just seeing the colors will stimulate you to just think that much more positively.  If you feel daring enough, pick one and take it home with you (as long as it's not on someone else's property).  There you go.

Get on that computer!  Okay, so normally this isn't the answer to all of your stressed out problems but sometimes it just helps to hop on to your computer, read some mindless articles and watch random stuff.  You know you've all done it.  Sometimes it just takes you to a better place and we all love that when we're feeling so unbelievably stressed out.  Who knows, you could use the internet to find yourself a pen pal and form a new relationship that could change your life forever.  That sounds crazy, but it's really not.  There's a lifetime of opportunity out there.  

This one is completely new to me and I could not be more shocked.  Cook yourself (and your family) a meal.  I know, I know, stop the presses.  Cooking is so stress relieving its unbelievable.  For the longest time, everyone that knows me knows that I just cannot cook.  My ex-boyfriend, who is now my best friend (I know, ah), couldn't cook either and it was one of the 'cute things' in our relationship.  I don't know why, but it was just cute that we both couldn't cook.  It was always a longstanding joke about who was the worst cook, him or me.  It was him.  Seriously, who doesn't know how to make Mac and Cheese from the Kraft box?  There's directions on the box!  Moving on....

When I say cook for yourself (and your family), I put 'and your family' in parenthesis for a reason.  The first reason being that I want you to make sure you know I mean for your parents or sibling or something.  Don't plan this huge dinner party and invite your entire extended family over for dinner that you said you make 'because it helps you relax' and 'you're good at it now.'  No.  That is going to be a disaster.  That actually defeats the entire purpose.  Cook slowly, follow a recipe if you want to.  I tend to get inspired by recipes and then  cook my own thing.  This keeps me so calm because I don't feel pressured to get anything right.  After all, isn't this supposed to be relaxing?  And then at the end, I have something to be proud of.  Really guys, the unexpected healing power of cooking is on point.  

This probably does not come to a surprise to you but candles are everything when it comes to relaxation and getting you zen.  I always post about candles and these are actually some of the newer ones that I have picked up recently.  As I write this post, I have already burned through Endless Weekend and it was so summery and delightful.  The aroma and just the look of the right candle can mellow you right out.  No joke.  It must be a combination of the light, scent and look, it's just relaxation magic!

These are some of my favorite things that help me to feel zen on the daily.  If you think about it, most of them if not all are so easy to do/purchase.  Sometimes all you need is time, or a nap.  I am just not one of those people that can fall asleep in the middle of the day though.  Let me know if you think I am missing anything and share your favorites for getting zen in the comments or on Twitter!  -Brit.  

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