Put those books away and relax your senses

Daily Sundial

With midterms here, and finals fast approaching, it is important to remember to take time out for relaxation, and rejuvenation.

Although Ms. Fantasia Fabulous has already graduated school, I remember what it was like when I was a struggling student. There is barely enough money left for Top-Ramen let alone for spas, or expensive massages. I am going to show you how you can incorporate your five senses to help you relax. A quick trip to Target (pronounced Tar-Jay), or even the familiar 99 cent store, can provide you with the necessary tools to create an at home relaxation haven.

For your sense of smell aromatherapy is key. It is no accident that aromatherapy has existed for centuries. With the right mixture of scents, you can rearrange your mood. For relaxation, essential oils of lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, and patchouli can soothe a stressed out soul. Because of its increase in popularity, you can find essential oils in everything from candles, to dishwashing soap, but we are dealing with an at home spa, so candles and bubble baths are your best bet. Johnson and Johnson bedtime bath has the most relaxing scent, and leaves your skin feeling soft as a baby’s bottom, for $3 a bottle.

Although aromatherapy helps to relax your sense of smell, you also have to include sight and sound to really get yourself in that state of relaxation you are seeking. There is no better way to create a mood, than by lighting candles. The subdued lighting gives tired eyes a break. As I mentioned earlier if you can find some candles that incorporate aromatherapy, it will really enhance the spa feeling. My favorite candles are the Votivo brand, in Black Ginger, which has just enough spice to warm you up.

For your sense of hearing, music, or ambience sound, is essential to the relaxation process. Who can relax with the sounds of a bustling street? Your choice has to reflect your own personal taste, and what puts you in that relaxed state of mind. Now, it is easy to find relaxation C.D.’s, which are the most common choices for spas but my personal favorite’s include Sade and Etta James, but the choice is yours.

You can have a lot of fun with your sense of touch. If you are in a relationship, use the available resources and commission your partner to give you a massage. A little lotion, or oil, and tender, love, and care will definitely make you feel pampered, and probably closer to your mate as well.

If you are flying solo, pick up a book on self-massage, and work away. Also a warm bath, and some meditation can help center your thoughts, and alleviate stress.

For taste, I really believe either really warm, or really cool feelings promote relaxation. Teas, Soups, and warm starchy foods tend to take you back to Mom’s home cooking, and make you feel cozy. Refreshing salads and fruits are also basic spa fare that don’t weigh you down, It is also important to note that a nice cocktail tends to relax you as well. I like a nice vodka-limeade cocktail, which never fails me.

Connie Llanos can be reached at spotlight.sundial@csun.edu