8 Steps for a DIY Wellness Retreat

Deep-tissue massages, juice cleanses and seaside resorts all sound well and good. For the rest of us who lack time or money for expensive weeklong retreats, relaxation doesn’t have to come at a price. Mashable suggests eight cost-effective and convenient ways for anyone to experience the benefits of a wellness retreat within their homes. By taking small, regular steps towards building up fitness and health, you can reap the same benefits, without a trip to Bali.

1. Yoga is a popular activity at wellness retreats, and can be done in your own home with a yoga mat and some free online yoga videos. Gentle stretching exercises increase flexibility, respiration, energy levels and stress management.

2. Detox by cutting out alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, sugar and dairy. Substitute excessive consumption with healthier choices. Ban processed foods and follow a clean eating regimen by cooking for yourself. Try meat-free alternatives and locally-sourced produce.

3. Disconnect from your mobile devices. Ban non-work-related use of your laptop, iPad and cell phone. Technology can affect your sleep and increase anxiety.

4. Scent your surroundings with aromatherapy. This holistic practice calls for essential oils that can be added to your bath, used in an oil burner or applied onto skin. Lavender and basil oils have inflammatory, antibacterial and sedative properties that can help reduce joint pain and stress.

5. Find inner peace through meditation. For a few minutes each morning, sit in a quiet space and focus on breathing. Breathe deeply and let your thoughts gently pass by. A consistent meditation practice can significantly decrease anxiety and stress in the brain, according to a 2011 Harvard study.

6. Get out and commune with nature. Visit your local park or forest and take a walk or a bike ride. Studies show spending time in nature can lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It’s a literal breath of fresh air for your mind, body and soul.

7. Try foam rolling. The myofascial stretch-release technique kneads muscle tension by rolling over a sore spot and holding for a minute. A long cylindrical roller can help combat stiffness from sitting at a desk all day.

8. Commit to daily exercise to get your fitness back on track. Start with 30 minutes of cardio-exercise, such as a morning jog or a run on the treadmill. For a more rigorous workout, take up mountain biking or train for a marathon.

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