Zen in the Middle of a Grocery Store

Zen PlaceLast week was a bad week. A stressful, sleep-deprived week in which my husband was traveling, my baby was sick and not sleeping at all, and my to-do list grew so long I thought it might choke me.

Like I said, bad.

To top it off, on my day off I had to go to the dentist for a painful procedure. The dentist appointment actually went better than my expectations, but when I got back into my car, I just lost it. I felt all the stress of the week hit me at once, and I knew I needed to do something.

With an hour left before I had to pick my children up from school, I did something I'd never done ...


I pulled into my Whole Foods parking lot and marched up to one of the massage chairs in the front of the stores -- the ones I'd stared at many times as I checked out with my groceries, wondering just who were those people who thought getting a massage in a grocery store was a good idea.

Well, now I was one of them.

I paid my $16, removed my jewelry, donned some headphones, and disappeared into a state of relaxation for about 15 minutes. With my back to a whole store of people going about their business, I was transported to somewhere much better than where I had been when I walked in.

It was exactly what I needed, and I wondered why I don't take time to do things like that for myself more often -- before I get to such a bad place.

So I sat down and made a list of some other inexpensive and quick things I can stop off to do for a quick fix of relaxation in an otherwise jam-packed day. Here are a few I came up with:

A polish change at the salon I typically don't have time for a full pedicure, but a nice new color on my toes and those few minutes relaxing in the chair are a good pick-me-up.

Reading I'm going to start keeping a book in my car, so when I find those extra minutes, I can escape into a book ... instead of being glued to my iPhone for lack of anything else to do.

Walk So many times I find myself sitting in my car waiting for this or that to start; if I just get out and walk -- even for a few blocks -- I know it would do me well.

Buy fresh flowers I love picking them out and they make me smile each time I see them in my house. Instead of waiting for company, I can stop and shop for them any day I need a little burst of brightness in my day.

Lipstick update A new shade on my lips always makes me feel put together and polished ... plus shopping for it is fun, because it always fits.

And I'll definitely be going back for more grocery store massages, especially when we're running low on milk.

What simple things help you escape day-to-day stresses?

Image via Johan Larsson/Flickr

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