3 ways to relax outdoors

24 June, 2014

Despite all of its beauty and the fantastic weather, summer can be a time of great stress for some people. It's understandable – between taking the kids to and from summer camp, planning for the multiple holidays of the season, hosting friends and preparing for the upcoming school year, there's a lot to keep track of. It's important, though, to ensure that you surround yourself with the capacity to relax easily when you get the chance. While some people might go to a spa to relax, you can create your own calming environment in the comfort of your own backyard. Use these tips to make sure you're never more than a moment away from tranquility:

Just breathe
It may be a deeply overused sentiment, but there's a good deal of truth in the old expression "just breathe." It can be so easy to get caught up in the tensions of our lives and look past this simple trick for restoring mental clarity and peacefulness. Find an area in your backyard where you can be left alone for at least 20 minutes. Sit or stand and attempt to clear your mind of all things barring the rhythm of your breath. There need not be a specific cause or catalyst for this sort of meditative thought, but the benefits are considerable. In fact, researchers at Harvard Medical School have suggested that "relaxation practitioners" may have a higher capacity to fight disease and illness. What's not to like?

Prepare
New mothers are often told to "sleep when the baby sleeps." This same mentality of capitalizing on an opportunity as it presents itself can be applied to outdoor relaxation. Take some time at the beginning of the summer to set up an area where you can relax when the time is right. Place one of our Sol Sling Loungers somewhere in the yard or near the pool where you can be uninterrupted in your leisure, and surround it with a few things that put you at ease. Music adds a nice touch if you have a sound system with outdoor speakers. By having this dedicated space at the ready, you're set to steal away for a few moments of peaceful reflection whenever the opportunity presents itself. Try to set up your space in an area where you're unlikely to be interrupted; it need not be isolated as long as the area is understood as your relaxation venue.

Stretch
Try setting aside some space in your yard to perform yoga while the weather is nice. All you'll need is a mat to set on the ground, and it provides the perfect opportunity to take in the view from your yard while doing something for your own benefit. A recent study indicated  that women who perform yoga at least once weekly begin to release considerably less cytokine, a protein that causes stress and moodiness. Start a yoga routine outdoors this summer and carry it through the rest of the year. You'll be surprised at the difference it makes.