Last week, I was lucky enough to finally cash in on a gift certificate I’ve had since Christmas: a half day at the Lake Austin Spa and Resort. While I’ve had massages before, this was my first time to visit a “real” spa — complete with indoor and outdoor pools, gardens, and steam room. The atmosphere was beautiful and very serene, and I found myself fascinated with the varied behavior of the other guests: some were swimming laps, some reading novels, and others were actively typing away on their iPads. We all do different things to relax and “escape” a bit, don’t we? While the spa was incredible, I still say my favorite way to relax is taking a long bike ride by myself in the afternoon, followed by a hot shower and a glass of red wine. What do you do to unwind after a long week? Do you like to catch a few rays with a good book by the pool? Or watch old movies in your pajamas? Do you factor in time to meditate in a more formal way? What’s your relaxation style? Let us know in the comments section!

31 comments
  1. 1
    diane smith | June 2, 2013 at 6:57 am

    Great Post!!! I have never been to that Spa & Resort, but my friends have said it is
    wonderful. Here is a list of some of my ways of indulging myself:
    1. Starting early in the morning: meditation.
    (I can highly recommend a little book called Jesus Calling, by
    Sarah Young to lift your spirit)
    2. Taking a nature walk & then coming in and having an ice tea made with
    a Bigelow Plantation Mint tea bag and a fresh sprig of mint.
    3. After a day of work or errands…calling a few close girlfriends over
    for a glass of bubbly and or wine.
    Will be putting the Austin Spa & Resort on my “MUST DO” list! Sounds fun!
    D

    Reply
    • Jennifer Rose Smith | June 2, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Thanks for sharing this, Diane! The nature walk followed by iced tea sounds right up my alley.

      Reply
  2. 2
    Shana Norris (@ShanaGibson) | June 2, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Definitely reading. My favorite places are in my big, comfy bed or outside. In the sun if it’s not too hot, or in the shade of a tree or umbrella if it is.

    My kids no longer require constant supervision at the pool, so I’m currently enjoying VERY relaxing reading time while they swim.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Rose Smith | June 2, 2013 at 9:21 am

      That sounds great, Shana. I think of reading by the pool as kind of a “lifelong hobby.” That’s wonderful that your children have gotten to the age where you can pick up that hobby again!

      Reply
  3. 3
    Kate | June 2, 2013 at 8:33 am

    My latest way to relax is to wake up early Saturday morning, open the curtains in my living room, and stretch on my chaise reading blogs with a cup of coffee. I’m lucky enough to live above a bagel shop that hires musicians (a French accordionist or a bluegrass trio) to play outside, so sometimes I’ll open the windows and listen to the music.

    On Sundays I like to go hiking for a few hours, making sure to leave my cell phone in the car.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Rose Smith | June 2, 2013 at 9:25 am

      Kate, I am jealous! Just think — to open my windows and hear a French accordionist on Saturday mornings! That just sounds so relaxing and quaint. Thanks for sharing your relaxation routine with us.

      Reply
  4. 4
    Desiree {Chic Coastal Living} | June 2, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Love the top photo and I like what Diane shared about the Jesus Calling book. I used to read it everyday! Definitely lifted my spirits during a pregnancy that was difficult. I could use more time to relax. Bloggers (me) seem to spend way to much time using social networks and I really need to just limit my time in that aspect. This summer I’m off and will have more time to blog a few hours then relax. I teach 3rd grade during the year. 🙂 Great post!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Rose Smith | June 2, 2013 at 9:34 am

      Ah! Summer seems to be one of the many rewards of being a teacher. I hope you enjoy every week of it. And completely agree with you about bloggers having the tendency to spend too much time on social media! That’s one issue that I would like to personally correct over the next year. A friend of mine recommends a program called The Pomodoro Technique (http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/) that is supposed to be really helpful for addressing that very issue. I haven’t tried it yet, but am very interested. Thanks for sharing your relaxation ideas with us!

      Reply
  5. 5
    julia-life on churchill | June 2, 2013 at 10:55 am

    hmm..yes to all of the above! I like to read a devo in the morning. and as far as relaxing goes (I love love our kids) but I would find reading or movie watching relaxing so long as it was a getaway with my spouse sans kids.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Rose Smith | June 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      Thanks so much for your honest answer, Julia! I don’t have kids, but I can only imagine that all good parents feel that way. Sounds you should make some plans to send the kids out with a babysitter while you two stay in!

      Reply
  6. 6
    kelsey | June 2, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    beautiful photos!
    kw ladies in navy

    Reply
    • Jennifer Rose Smith | June 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      Thanks so much, Kelsey!

      Reply
  7. 7
    Daisy | June 2, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Such lovely restful images…..My own favorite path to relaxation involves freshly made coffee, a cozy bed with tons of down pillows, the newspaper, and my golden retriever snoozing within arms reach. For pure bliss, nothing beats a morning walk on the beaches of South Padre Island.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Rose Smith | June 2, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      Daisy, that sounds wonderful! I agree, there’s just nothing quite like lounging with your favorite pet. I do that with my dog every chance I get! There’s just something about watching him be so content and relaxed that makes me feel that way, too. But a morning walk on the beach… now that’s something we can’t do in Austin! Sounds absolutely wonderful.

      Reply
  8. 8
    McKenzie | June 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I’d love to relax at a spa one day, I’m glad you had a great time. Yes, I tend to watch movies in bed and read or listen to music in the sun to relax after a busy week 🙂

    http://currenlylovingblog.blogspot.com/

    Reply
    • Jennifer Rose Smith | June 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      Yes, I definitely recommend visiting a spa at least once in your life! I thought it was a really cool experience. But movies in bed and magazines by the pool are pretty hard to beat, too. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, McKenzie!

      Reply
  9. 9
    Cody (@Lu_and_Ed) | June 2, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Music is my go to – I take a long walk every morning with the dogs and listen to music while I walk. When I work, I listen to music – so I always feel relaxed when I am working! 🙂

    Reply
    • Jennifer Rose Smith | June 2, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Awesome, Cody. It’s amazing the power music has to change our moods. We listen to music at the Camille Styles office, too! Lately we’ve been loving that sort of Serge Gainsbourg/Jane Birkin 1960s frenchie stuff. Tres détente!

      Reply
  10. 10
    Lindsay {Everistta} | June 2, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    That looks heavenly! With a 7 month old, relaxation is sparing these days, but I love a good book or a movie.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Rose Smith | June 3, 2013 at 6:42 am

      Sounds like you have your hands full these days, Lindsay! Hopefully you can catch some quiet time during one of his/her naps. Maybe squeeze in part of a movie or a few chapters!

      Reply
  11. 11
    Supal {chevrons and éclairs} | June 3, 2013 at 4:55 am

    I’m a big fan of leisurely reading, but going on long, long walks in cities are always so relaxing when you know you don’t have much to do! I’m not much of a sit down and stay in one place type of person (lots of backpacking trips here), so I like a bit of adventure that escapes from the norm!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Rose Smith | June 3, 2013 at 6:45 am

      Thanks for sharing, Supal! Backpacking trips sound great. There are tons of great day hikes and trails around Austin. But you’re inspiring me to just a take a long walk downtown and do some people-watching!

      Reply
  12. 12
    Kat Rodriguez | June 3, 2013 at 5:48 am

    I find wandering through a gallery or museum to be a great way to relax. Much like getting lost in a page-turning novel, my imagination carries me away from the everyday world, allowing me to see reality through the eyes of the artists.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Rose Smith | June 3, 2013 at 6:47 am

      Wonderful, Kat! What a great habit to be in. My grandmother used to take me to the art museum on Saturdays in the small town we lived in. It was a very relaxing and refreshing activity for us. I need to put that on my to-do list again. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  13. 13
    Winzer | June 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Reading! Always love curling up with a book or two or sometimes three! Also anything next to water is relaxing. Swimming or cruising around the lake at sunset.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Rose Smith | June 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      Yes! So many good memories for us on “Hydrotherapy”. Your mom knew what she was talking about when she named that boat. 🙂

      Reply
  14. 14
    Sara Rycroft | July 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    My favorite way of relaxing is inviting my friends that I know there will be no fighting with and just laughter and fun, putting a playlist together of songs that are perfect for the beach, my boyfriend helps me put up decorations all around our backyard and then POOL PARTY with a barbecue.. my boyfriend is the best griller I know so I always eat to much on those nights! And then we all get comfortable in the living room and watch a comedy all together, but we always finish but talking the entire time!

    Reply
  15. 15
    naava | August 16, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Mine, i just took my salon and spa to make me feel relax. Also meditation is really effective when it comes to relaxation.

    Reply
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