|More like this please!|
1. Sleep. A massage will help you sleep better anyway: take advantage of it! Practice good sleep hygiene (as much as you can, if you have small children in your bed or house like I do), and try to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night -- and if that seems too outrageous a request, try for it the night after your massage at least.
2. Take a walk. What? But massage is just lying down! While that's true, massage and walking have many of the same effects: less anxiety, more energy, easier movement, and an uplifted mood. Even better is if you're able to walk in nature, or with a good friend.
3. Give a hug. The best part about giving a hug? You get a hug back. Although we don't tend to acknowledge it, touch is a vital need for most of humanity, as important as sleep and food and shelter. So find someone safe, and hug it out.
4. Smile. Smiling, especially with your whole face, lifts your mood, reduces stress, and improves your outlook on life. The neurology that controls your muscles and the neurology that affect and reflect your mood are inextricably linked, so while of course we smile when we're happy, to some extent we're happy when we smile too.
5. Don't smile. Yup, I totally contradicted myself just then, except I also absolutely didn't. While smiling can improve your mood, it's also necessary to not smile sometimes. Just like with massage, sometimes the feelings that come up as we go about our daily lives are big and dark or sad. Just like your massage therapist does, hold that space for yourself to simply feel the pain or fear or grief, and offer yourself compassion for it. It's okay to not smile.
6. Look at beautiful people. Which is to say, look at people, because we all contain beauty, and if you look long enough, you'll start seeing it in everyone. Including in you.
And of course:
7. Book another massage. Because isn't it easier to relax today knowing that tomorrow or next week or next month you get to feel the bliss of massage again?
Those are my ideas (and what I try to do between my own massage appointments). What do you do to bring that feeling into the rest of your life?
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