Whether you’re a business traveler with a packed schedule of meetings and reports, or a leisure traveler exhausted after a day of intense sightseeing, everyone could use a little relaxation. But what if you don’t have the time to go to the spa or get a massage? Here are some simple stretches and massages that you can do by yourself in your hotel room or at home.
For Mental Relaxation
Make sure that you’re wearing loose, comfortable clothing and that your movements aren’t restricted in any way. Breathe deeply in and out at least ten times, standing straight or sitting cross-legged. This is a great standalone relaxation activity if this is all you have time for and it’s easy to sneak in, perhaps in between meetings or when you have some free time in the middle of the day.
Breathing is, in fact, one of the most overlooked aspects of general relaxation and most of us don’t breathe deeply and fully on a regular basis. When you breathe in, visualise the air dropping all the way to the base of your abdomen. Try to empty your lungs completely when you breathe out. Of course, it’s very important to focus just on your body, your breath and your muscles – leaving all other thoughts out of your mind. A cycle of ten deep breaths like this will do wonders to reduce your stress levels.
For Your Feet
Our feet seem to take the brunt of our daily stress, especially when we’ve been walking all day. Start by soaking your feet in warm water for a few minutes, then stretch your feet gently forward and backward. Hold each stretch for at least five seconds. Use your hands to flex your toes, again holding each stretch for five seconds to get the full benefit.
Sitting on a chair or at the edge of a bed, place a tennis ball under your foot and roll it around to massage your sole, arch and the base of the heel. Then, slather on a thick foot cream, paying particular attention to dry skin and callouses, slip on a pair of cotton socks, and elevate your feet on a pillow as you read or watch television.
For Your Neck and Back
Sit cross-legged with your back straight and relaxed as you breathe deeply. Continue to breathe deeply as you turn your head slowly to your right, and hold that position for a few seconds. Bring your head back to centre and turn it to the left, also slowly, and hold it there for a few seconds. Repeat this about four to six times until you feel the tension beginning to leave your neck. Rotate your head around your neck, very slowly, a few times.
Then stretch your legs in front of you, keeping your knees soft and your back straight, and reach forward to touch your toes. If you can’t reach them, widen your legs slightly to allow your back to stretch forward. As always, hold each stretch for five seconds and breathe deeply the whole time.
Another way to stretch your back is to lie face down with your palms flat next to your shoulders, then push yourself up very slowly onto your palms. You should feel a stretch starting from your lower back. Prop yourself up as much as you can and hold the position for five seconds before slowly lowering your torso.
If you do have the luxury of extra time, head to the Banyan Tree Spa where you’ll find a whole range of massage and body therapies in a tranquil setting high above the city!
You are advised to consult with your doctor or physician before undertaking any physical activity or exercise, and are advised to stop immediately and seek professional advice if you feel pain or discomfort.