Editor's note: No worries; we've updated this story just in time for National Relaxation Day.
We live in a stressful world. Does one ever truly unplug? When is the last time you put your phone down and didn't feel the incessant need to scroll through your apps or check who has liked your most recent social media photo?
It's time to slow down and focus on a healthy, replenishing activity. We've scouted out 10 ways you can unwind and treat yourself to some self-care. Even better, many of them are free.
Free Yoga at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas
There are gobs of research that support the countless benefits of yoga. From the increased flexibility to the restorative, calming benefits, folks of all fitness levels can practice yoga. From novice to full-fledged yogi, D-FW is dripping with yoga studios eager to help students achieve their best downward dog. But yoga studio memberships can be a bit pricey, especially if you just need a yoga class here and there to reset your headspace. Klyde Warren Park offers free yoga classes on weekends with teachers from Exhale Dallas and Dallas Yoga Center. Instructors unite students each week under the Dallas skyline to practice yoga. And it's all for free.
Acupuncture and cupping in Richardson
The purpose of acupuncture is to correct imbalances of energy in the body. From its inception in China more than 2,500 years ago, folks around the world seek acupuncture to improve general health. So what's the science behind pricking with tiny needles? Adopters of the practice find that acupuncture aids in a variety of body-related issues -- sleep aid, pain relief and stress reduction, to name a few. Pearl Acupuncture in Richardson offers a first session for $80 and accepts insurance. They also customize sessions and may include the following treatments: needling, cupping, moxibustion and e-stim.
Cupping may sound familiar, as a number of Olympians, including the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, Michael Phelps, have been spotted with large red circles on their skin. Cupping is an ancient therapy where heated cups are placed on the skin. The cup gets heated by lighting flammable liquid in a glass cup; once the flame is distinguished, the temperature drop creates suction. The suctioning pulls the skin away from the body and stimulates blood flow. The spots aren't permanent and usually fade within a week.
Free Meditation Class at the Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas
Meditation is an ideal practice if you want to reset. And what better atmosphere to meditate than in one of the finest art museums in the city? The Crow Collection of Asian Art offers meditation classes right in the midst of its galleries. And to offer even more peace of mind, the classes cost nothing. In addition to the free meditation classes, the Crow Collection offers weekly free yoga, Qigong and Tai Chi classes.
One of the goals of meditation is to develop a kind and patient attitude towards others. We could all use that right now, couldn't we?
Sole Therapy in Dallas
Massages can be heavenly. And perhaps the most delightful part of the massage session is when the massage therapists pay extra attention to the feet. There are many foot reflexology spots around town that will massage every inch of your feet, even paying careful attention to each individual toe. If one full hour of feet massaging sounds like overload, opt for a 30-minute session. Sole Therapy massages can focus on full body, if that's desired. Clothes stay on and all clients are in one big room, with dim lights and relaxing music in the background. One full hour of reflexology bliss costs $35.
Cooking classes at Sur La Table
If cooking is your way to relax, check the class schedule at Sur La Table stores in Dallas, Fort Worth and Southlake. The sessions are relaxed and stress-free and BYOB (you may want to call and confirm before you book, though). Recent classes offered: Spanish Tapas Party, Pasta Workshop, Cocktails, Date Night and more. You'll receive instruction by professional chefs, interaction with fellow students and generous tastes of every dish you prepare. Each student also will get a 10% discount coupon to use that day on a store purchase.
Float in Dallas
A bubble bath is often associated with a relaxing evening or winding down from a long day. Adrift Float Spa takes this one step further with floatation therapy and sensory deprivation. The weightlessness achieved by floating on top of a dense, saturated solution of Epsom salt and water makes it possible for the body to rest in a zero gravity environment. Because of this, the spine is able to decompress and realign. Floating can also increase blood flow to the lymphatic system, as well as muscle relaxation. This therapy often aids in quality of sleep, improved circulation and reduced muscle pain. The sensory deprivation aspect offers an escape from over-stimuli, causing the normally dominant left hemisphere of the brain to relax while the right hemisphere becomes active. A single float session is $80.
Laugh it out at Dallas Comedy House
They say laughter is the best medicine. There seems to be a bit of truth to that as laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells. Not to mention, laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural "feel good" chemicals, which promote a sense of happiness. So take a trip to Dallas Comedy House for some good ol' fashioned fun. If you're feeling brave and want to be responsible for the giggles and eruptions of laughter from the audience, you can take your own improv class: Look for the free Improv Comedy Jam Sessions throughout each month. If you choose to watch a show, that'll cost you $15 or less, depending on the evening's lineup.
Salt therapy in Dallas
Luxury on Lovers has an apparatus called a "chamber" where folks can relax and engage in dry salt therapy. The treatment lasts 20 minutes. The chamber de-humidifies the salt, which makes it highly absorbent and allows the salt to "scrub" the respiratory system. The dry salt particles circulate within the chamber and help with pH normalization, providing the body with an ultimate detox and atmosphere for relaxation. The 20-minute session can easily be cushioned into a hectic day, helping you reset and focus with some mid-day relaxation. A one-time dip in the salt chamber is $38.
Free Fitness in Fort Worth
Every Saturday morning, free fitness classes take place in Fort Worth on the riverfront of the Trinity Trails in The Trailhead. The Trailhead has a direct connection to more than 40 miles of hike and bike trails and is conveniently located near the Clearfork Farmers Market. Each Saturday, the free fitness classes begin at 8 a.m. and are offered on the hour. Ranging from boot camp to yoga, folks can kick start their weekend outside, releasing endorphins in multiple fitness happenings. And after a Saturday morning workout, one can relax and recharge at the Clearfork Farmers Market or rooftop patio of Press Cafe.
Tea Service at the Dallas Arboretum
Nature and picturesque flowers have a tendency to make you feel a sense of tranquility. Sprinkle in some hot tea, and you have yourself a splendidly relaxing afternoon. The Dallas Arboretum is perhaps the mecca of gardens in D-FW, offering a plethora of quiet spots to rest and have some quiet time. So it would only be natural to have a nice cup of tea while enjoying the scenery. The Dallas Arboretum offers tea service in the DeGolyer Tea Room. In addition to the tea, soup and tea sandwiches are served, followed by sweet treats. Reservations are required for this outing and price ranges between $49-$59 a person. This also includes your admission to the main garden and parking.
By KIMBER WESTPHALL/Special Contributor