Monika Roberts’ flare for life is as red hot as her hair color. She’s the Bacchanalian Society marketing chair, Club Red of the Red Cross Board Member, on the Advisor’s Committee of One World Wednesdays, marketing chair of Second Sundays on Main, on the National ADDY Committee and the District 5 Second Lieutenant Governor for Ad Club Cincinnati.
“I would say I’m out three to five nights a week depending on my actual work schedule,” she says. But there’s one thing that helps her keep up the fast pace: a good night in.
“To me, it’s important to both go out and stay home,” she explains. “With as much running as I do, a night home helps me keep myself from getting too frazzled and worn out.” Her SSB involves a glass of wine and a good book. Gardening if it’s a weekend. Cuddling up with a movie if her boyfriend, Aaron, is there. “Aaron and I like to cook dinner together, too, and to do the crossword together.”
Health Benefits of a Relaxing Night in
As Dr. Brent Owens, a chiropractor at Gateway Chiropractic Center in Montgomery, explained in this story, the day-to-day stress response can have a detrimental effect on your body over time. He says everyone needs to take time – may it be just a few minutes or an entire night – to incorporate relaxation techniques into their lifestyles.
According to the Mayo Clinic, relaxation techniques can reduce negative responses to stress and help you enjoy a better quality of life. “Relaxation isn’t just about peace of mind or enjoying a hobby,” says the Mayo Clinic’s Web site. “Relaxation is a process that decreases the wear and tear of life’s challenges on your mind and body.”
Practicing relaxation techniques can improve how you physically respond to stress by:
- Slowing your heart rate
- Lowering blood pressure
- Slowing your breathing rate
- Reducing the need for oxygen
- Increasing blood flow to major muscles
- Reducing muscle tension
You may also gain these overall health and lifestyle benefits from relaxation techniques:
- Fewer physical symptoms, such as headaches and back pain
- Fewer emotional responses, such as anger and frustration
- More energy
- Improved concentration
- Greater ability to handle problems
- More efficiency in daily activities
There are several main types of relaxation techniques, including:
- Autogenic relaxation. Autogenic means something that comes from within you. In this technique, you use both visual imagery and body awareness to reduce stress. You repeat words or suggestions in your mind to help you relax and reduce muscle tension. You may imagine a peaceful place and then focus on controlled, relaxing breathing, slowing your heart rate or different physical sensations, such as relaxing each arm or leg one by one.
- Progressive muscle relaxation. In this technique, you focus on slowly tensing and then relaxing each muscle group. This helps you focus on the difference between muscle tension and relaxation, and you become more aware of physical sensations. You may choose to start by tensing and relaxing the muscles in your toes and progressively working your way up to your neck and head. Tense your muscles for at least five seconds and then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat.
- Visualization. In this technique, you form mental images to take a visual journey to a peaceful, calming place or situation. Try to use as many senses as you can, including smells, sights, sounds and textures. If you imagine relaxing at the ocean, for instance, think about the warmth of the sun, the sound of crashing waves, the feel of the grains of sand and the smell of salt water. You may want to close your eyes, sit in a quiet spot and loosen any tight clothing.
Fun Night in Ideas
While Roberts typically uses her nights in to relax and recover from her busy schedule, she does like to occasionally entertain. “At Halloween, I love having parties,” she says. “I did a ‘Famous Dead Person’ party this year where all the guests dressed up as someone famous and dead.” Roberts says she also likes White Elephant parties so she can regift.
While they aren’t opportunities to regift or dress up like a dead person, direct sales parties are another reason for women to entertain in the home. We’re not just talking about Mary Kay and Tupperware here; this growing industry is now offering new, unique reasons to have the girls over.
The Traveling Vineyard brings an independent wine consultant to your home for wine tastings, Daisy’s Tea for Two brings tea time to you and your friends, www.homechocolateparty.com lets you and your choclate-loving friends divulge in decadent chocolates for an evening and Zoë Custom Cosmetics brings personalized mineral makeup to you and your cosmetically-clueless friends at a “Palette Party” where licensed (yes, not just salespeople) professionals give you advice on skincare and makeup.
This Web site offers a useful list of various direct sales companies and links for you to learn more about the various types of parties you can enjoy with each.
Second Photo: Amy Storer