If you need a reason to set aside some time for fun and relaxation, National Relaxation Day is August 15th. Everyone can benefit from some more leisure this year!
Relaxation for you may be splurging for a massage or pedicure or just a quiet night on the couch with Netflix as your date. I enjoy these things too!
Relaxation can also be getting out of the house for an afternoon with no time constraints. Plan some essential leisure time alone, with a girlfriend or your spouse.
It isn’t necessary to plan something extravagant; you can be a tourist in your own hometown. Many times, we are so busy with the day-to-day we forget what’s available locally. Whether you live in a big city or a small town, you appreciate it more when you take the time to experience new opportunities!
Here are 9 relaxing activities you can do while exploring your hometown.
Spend time at a local park.
Visit a local park and spend time in nature. Breathing in fresh air clears the mind and refreshes the soul. Pay attention to your surroundings and soak up its peacefulness. Spend time alone reading, drawing, or journaling. Share the space with your spouse with quiet conversation or none at all. Parks with water are particularly relaxing. Enjoy aquatic sounds as you read a good book.
Bowling can be good exercise, but a relaxing activity too. Taking a friend bowling can be the ticket for a fun time and lots of laughter. And in the summer, the air conditioning is a plus! National Bowling Day is August 14th.
Shop at a thrift store.
Dropping donations at my local thrift store is something I do regularly, but visiting the store isn’t always on my list. Now is the time to visit your local thrift store to see what treasures they have to offer. There are Goodwill and Salvation Army thrift stores in many cities. Smaller towns seem to have their own independent shops operated by local charities. Check out the local library – many have used bookstores or thrift shops. National Thrift Shop Day is August 17th.
Relive the past with mini golf.
Few cities have mini-golf courses anymore, but if there is still one in your town, a round of golf can be a blast from the past. It’s great for couples or the entire family.
Practice taking photos.
With better cameras on our smartphones, there is no need to own a DSLR camera or take classes to enjoy photography. One idea is to take a drive in the country and make periodic stops to photograph something that grabs your attention: flowers, abandoned barns, or water features. Need some coaching? CNET.com and Popular Science offer simple tips for iPhone and Android. World Photography Day is August 19th.
Enjoy a banana split.
National Banana Split Day is August 25th and is a delicious reason to scout out a new ice cream parlor. Order it original with vanilla ice cream and strawberry, chocolate, and caramel toppings, or go rogue! If it helps, remember that bananas are a useful source of potassium!
Take a factory tour.
Some companies still have fun factory tours, such as Kellogg’s in Battle Creek, Michigan, and Blue Bell Ice Cream in Brenham, Texas. The best thing about food factory tours is the samples at the end! You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy this experience.
Roam through a bookstore.
Locate a used bookstore or other independent bookseller and take some time strolling among the shelves, no purchase necessary. Roaming through a bookstore is one of my preferred activities for relaxation! My personal favorite bookstore is Half Price Books. Every store has a diverse inventory, and you never know what treasures you’ll find.
Being outside to enjoy the night sky is another way to relax. Take a drive somewhere with less light pollution and stargaze. An inexpensive app I use is called Sky Guide (available at the Apple app store). This app points you to the locations of planets, constellations, and even the path of the International Space Station. Many astronomy groups have free observation nights with the opportunity to view planets through their giant telescopes.
What are some of your favorite places to relax in your hometown?
Share them in the comments!