Occasionally my friends joke that I must have cloned myself if I’m able to fit a weekly massage in my schedule.
Ethics aside, I sometimes think it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to clone myself. Life can be tough; more accurately, it can be exhausting. If you’re a parent, make that exceedingly exhausting. This isn’t to say that the trials and tribulations that keep us perpetually weary aren’t worthy of our time: they often are. I’d be fibbing if I said there weren’t part of me that wants to skip driving my son to that extra weekly gymnastics lesson; but I’d also be fibbing if I said that I don’t bubble up with pride watching his energetic little body jump and tumble.
My point is this: I get it. I get that there are a million priorities that make pampering yourself (or even just taking care of yourself) seem like a far-fetched idea for the uber-wealthy with assistants and on-call sitters. But taking care of yourself is critical to your overall well-being—and that well-being affects nearly every other aspect of your life.
Massage is, according to a slew of emerging research, one of the most effective ways to take care of yourself. Most recently, it has proven beneficial in the reduction of pain and stress levels, and in the increased activity of the circulatory system. Pretty amazing stuff. But, you ask, how do you fit it into your already ramshackle life? It’s hectic enough. Yes, I know, which is exactly why it’s all the more important. And it’s why you absolutely must consider fitting massage in. Consider a few of the tips below to help:
- Take a long lunch from work. You’re already out of the house, after all. If taking a slightly long lunch isn’t possible for you, ask your massage therapist if he/she travels and/or if you might be able to pay for a partial massage, say 30 minutes.
- Schedule it early or late. Increasingly, spas (and individual therapists) offer early and late hours. This allows you the ability to schedule in a way that best meets your needs. For someone like me, for instance, it means I often schedule a massage after my kids go to bed. They never even know that mommy is gone.
- Build your massages into gatherings with friends. You don’t always need to compromise on things. Schedule a mini spa day with a friend. You’ll get some catch-up time and some relaxation, too.
- Hire an MT to come to your home. Still find that you can’t squeeze time out of your schedule to drive to the spa? Fear not. More and more massage therapists are packing up and coming to you. And, amazingly, the cost isn’t necessarily higher. Really.
- Join a massage membership program. More often than not, these programs act as regular reminders that it’s time for your next massage. If anything, the reminder itself is worth it.
The long and short of it is this: Massage has whole-body health and wellness effects. By incorporating it regularly into your life, you are doing yourself a tremendous favor. Sure, it can be challenging to fit in—you are busier than ever, I really do get it. But you owe it to yourself to try, and massage therapists and spas, with their ever-expanding hours, travel-readiness, and membership programs, are making it easier than ever. Get creative, set yourself reminders, and make it happen. You’ll be happy you did.