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Neighbors of Kane County

TriCities August/September 2019 Issue: Indulge

Aug 20, 2019 12:58PM ● By Tim

By Tim Sullivan

In the next few weeks summertime will begin its transition to Fall. Family vacations end, kids go back to school. There won’t be another significant holiday until the end of October.  September and October are the two of the best months of the year to self-indulge. Why? The two biggest reasons are weather and personal schedule.  Although the days are getting shorter there is still plenty of daylight to enjoy, and some of the best weather of the year.  With the kids back in school, and no pressing holidays to swallow up your time, what are you going to do?  For a short period of time you can take some breaks from being chauffeur, cook, schedule keeper, nurse, and family manager.  It’s time to spend a little time on “ME.”

Besides, if you don’t take this time to rejuvenate, you’ll start the holiday season running on empty. Not good.

A study at Montreal University concluded that women are more likely to experience burnout than men.  Psychology Today lists these signs of physical and emotional exhaustion:  chronic fatigue, insomnia, forgetfulness/impaired concentration and attention, increased illness, loss of appetite, anxiety, depression, anger, along with a host of other physical symptoms.

“If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, this should be a wake-up call that you may be on a dangerous path. Take some time to honestly assess the amount of stress in your life and find ways to reduce it before it's too late. Burnout isn't like the flu; it doesn't go away after a few weeks unless you make some changes in your life. And as hard as that may seem, it's the smartest thing to do because making a few little changes now will keep you in the race with a lot of gas to get you across the finish line.” – Psychology Today1

You know the basics to better mental health: eat right, get enough sleep, exercise and…learn how to say “No!” 

And how about some really “good for me” self-indulgence.  Why not! You deserve it.  So, before you have to turn back every minute of your life to others…here are some little things you can indulge in and be happy.

Treat yourself to a little luxury.  Spend an hour at State Street Jewelers in Geneva and pick out something special just for you.  Figure out your guilt threshold budget and spend it. Then go home and show it off with a little “me” attitude.  Feels good already, doesn’t it?  It works just as well with clothes, handbags, furs.

Indulge in decadent food.  So, what have you been denying yourself, forever: chocolate, ice cream, sushi, steak, seafood?  Even if just once, go for it.  DO NOT save this for the holidays.  Go to Batavia Creamery (Batavia) for ice cream, as for chocolate, you could take a self chocolate tour down Third avenue in Geneva.

For seafood, check out Crabby Boil in Batavia.  This Louisiana Cajun style fare is fun, messy, delicious and memorable.  It’s more than dining out.  It’s an experience. 

Go solo and dine alone on a quiet afternoon.  Go to your favorite local restaurant, between 1pm and 4pm, with a book or headphones and enjoy a relaxing afternoon meal.

Dinner with the girls.  Share a bottle (or two) of your favorite wine at a favorite restaurant.

An evening with best friends.  Set aside an evening, at home, or at a restaurant, with another couple or small group of friends who bring you joy when you are together. 

Fine dining date.  Have a date with your spouse or significant other at a special restaurant.  Splurge and indulge.  If you don’t mind a 35 minute drive, check out Migrate Restaurant in East Dundee.

Music.  Music is one of the proven methods of self rejuvenation.  It reduces stress, improves healing, helps reduce depression and other psychological disorders.  Music is a powerful anecdote for burnout and a perfect companion to self indulgence. 

“A study published in the Journal of Health Psychology found that participants who listened to classical music had significantly lower blood pressure levels than participants who did not hear any music. Researchers believe that listening to music may help your heart recover from stress, decreasing blood pressure as a result.” Readers Digest2

Of course you want music that you enjoy most, but if you have not experienced classical music, spend an evening with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.  Whether or not you are a fan of classical, the live performance of a full orchestra will leave you feeling rejuvenated and possibly inspired. 

Theatre.  Maybe a theatre performance downtown Chicago is on your self indulging wish list, but there are some pretty good offerings in the TiiCities area: Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Batavia Fine Arts Centre in Batavia, and Paramount Theatre in Aurora. See page __

Art.  There’s a film festival coming to the TriCities in September.  A perfect and rewarding way to escape the ordinary. See page __.

Buy a new car.  Seriously, if you are in the market for a new car, don’t wait until next spring, get in the driver’s seat now.  The experience of buying/leasing a new car is exhilarating.  And the thrill lasts for months.  So, while you enjoying this time to self-indulge, you might as well do it on new wheels.

Body pampering.  As soon as you walk into your favorite salon/spa, it’s all about you.  For a short time you can leave all your worries behind and enjoy the moment.  Most resources agree that a spa treatment has positive health benefits.  For example, a massage can release serotonin, which is an essential chemical for transmitting messages between nerve cells.  Katrina’s in Batavia, offers a 90-minute facial that includes advanced skin care, using the latest technology depending on your skin needs (microdermabrasion, microcurrent, ultrasound, LED therapy, or oxygen therapy).  

A quiet afternoon.  Have you been to Harvey’s Tales bookstore in Geneva?  There are two floors with little nooks for every genre, a refreshment bar and outside patio.  Pick out a book, get a smoothie, relax and read. 

Nomad weekend vacation.  Most people over plan their vacations and before they leave, they have built stress into the trip.  Escape for a mystery weekend.  For example, book a room in Door County, WI for a 3-day weekend in September or October and just go.  Do no other planning ahead.  Let the weekend find you. You’ll discover all the things you would have missed if you planned ahead.  Letting the days just happen, can lead to some unplanned adventures, and unanticipated special moments.  As long as you don’t worry about all the things you would have done if you planned ahead, you will have a totally relaxing, rejuvenating experience.

Nomad vacation to do list: Pick a place; book a room; pack light; bring a cooler with drinks and snacks; avoid venues and restaurants that require reservations; let it happen.

 Personal.  Indulge in something personal: soft sheets, satin, bubble baths, candles, chocolate covered strawberries, old romantic movies,

Find what works for you and do it.  Take a walk in a forest preserve, go window shopping, spend more time at your gym.  Discover ways to enjoy personal time while you have it.  Not only will you feel better about yourself, but don’t be surprised if your rejuvenated self makes other feel better, too.