Ways To Chill Out On Labor Day Weekend

Put your hands on your shoulders at the base of your neck. Go ahead, do it. If you feel tension there, you’re not alone. Aside from being an issue of posture, this can signal stress. The American Psychological Association notes that stress causes muscles to tense up, as your body’s way of protecting you from injury and pain.

If you’re tense now, it’s not surprising. A Gallup poll released in April found that Americans' stress levels increased in 2018, and were higher than those in most of the world. Luckily, there are tons of methods for releasing stress — and what better time to test them out than Labor Day weekend. Even if you’re not a little ball of stress like the rest of us, relaxing is good for your health. “Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool,” isn’t just for the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Mayo Clinic notes that relaxation techniques can lower blood pressure, improve sleep quality, and combat fatigue.

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So, kick back and try these soothing techniques and products.

Do a face mask



Face masks are nice because you can feel productive while doing basically nothing. You slap (okay, gently place and smooth down like a tricky puzzle piece) them onto your face, and then you get to chill for 15 to 30 minutes and not talk to anyone or move much. What could be more relaxing. During this time, you can take a bath, nap, watch Netflix, read a book, meditate, or write a letter to your mom. Joanna Vargas’s Euphoria Face Mask ($75 for a box) is a great one, as is the Dr Jart+ All That Contours mask ($7.50).
Joanna Vargas Euphoria Mask$75.00 Buy
Photographed by Ashley Armitage.

Go out (or stay in) with your friends or family



The APA recommends maintaining a healthy social network for stress management. Laughing with others, having scintillating conversations, and blowing off steam can help you relax. You can go out and enjoy your friends company, or you can save some money and curl up on the couch together under a blanket for wine night.

Try a CBD pen



Beoboe, a brand The New York Times calls the The “Hermès of Marijuana,” offers a pen you can use for relaxation and anxiety that doesn’t get you high. The sleek pen contains a mix of calming hemp-derived cannabidiol, essential oils, and plant-derived citrus and grapefruit terpenes.
Beboe Luxury CBD Pen – Calming Blend$75.00 Buy

Get a massage



Unless you don’t like being touched by strangers, you’ll be in heaven. The American Massage Therapy Association says that massage therapy is a great way to relieve stress. If you don't want to pay for a full on massage service, you can try it at home with a tool like Theragun.
Theragun G3$399.00 Buy
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Photographed by Beth Sacca.

Listen to some calming acoustic music



If you’re feeling stressed, it can be calming for the brain to listen to music without words. If you’re thinking, I didn’t come to this website to be told to go listen to Sebastian Bach! If I wanted that kind of recommendation, I’d ask my grandma... I’ll stop you there. There are plenty of modern day acoustic options. Daniel Jang has multiple playlists of Violin Covers on Spotify, in which he turns pop songs such as “High Hopes” by Panic! At The Disco into soothing ballads. For the record, the Finding Nemo soundtrack is also soothing.

If you must have words with you music, some research has shown that just listening to music in general tends to have a calming effect.
Photographed by Ashley Armitage.

Hug someone



I know we’re not all huggers, but this gushy form of human contact can actually reduce stress, according to one study published in the peer reviewed journal PLOS One. “If you received a hug on a day that you had experienced some interpersonal conflict, the hug was actually a modifier of the stress response – meaning you had less of an increase in negative emotion, and less of a decrease in positive sentiment,” said Cleveland Clinic’s Scott Bea, PsyD in a press release about the research.
Photographed by Ashley Armitage.

Book a spa treatment on Regi



Regi is an online platform that makes it easier than ever to book massages, hydrating facials, cryotherapy, or even botox. If you live in New York or L.A., Regi makes it easy to book self care appointments that will relax you — without the hassle of calling a million spas to find an appointment time that works for you.

Try Aromatherapy



There are various essential oils out there that may help with everything from stress to sleep to period cramps. You can try various kinds of plant-derived oils, but lavender is a good go-to base oil, according to experts.
doTERRA dōTERRA Lavender Essential Oil$25.67 Buy

Take a bath



Get a glass of wine, a bath bomb, a good book, and maybe a bath caddy, and sink into the relaxing haven that is your bathtub.
Bed Bath & Beyond Haven Teak Bathtub Caddy$39.99 Buy
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Read a book



Getting lost in the plot of a good book is a great way to forget all of your troubles. One study even found that just six minutes of reading can be enough to reduce stress levels by more than two thirds, according to researchers from the Mindlab International at the University of Sussex.
Amazon Normal People: A Novel$15.40 Buy
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