It’s nearing the end of summer — your hair is fried from the sun and the chlorine, you’re at your wit’s end from work and you just need some down time. We get it.
You’re in luck because Aug. 15 is National Relaxation Day, which gives you an excuse to put yourself first and engage in self-care.
And don’t listen to the haters — self-care isn’t some made-up excuse to relax. It’s an important responsibility we have to ourselves. If we don’t care for ourselves, who will?
So, to help prepare you for a day of relaxation, we’ve come up with some ideas you may want to try out.
Halotherapy, or salt therapy, is said to treat a wide range of ailments (the common cold, allergies, inflammation) because it is filled with negatively charged, ionized salt particles and 84 trace elements and minerals, including calcium, potassium, magnesium and others. It’s essentially an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-microbial experience. The Montauk Salt Cave (90 E. 10th St.) is a man-made cave with a twinkling night sky, glowing salt crystals and comfortable seating, where shoes and cellphones cannot enter. In addition to just taking it all in, the cave also offers singing bowls, reiki, gentle flow yoga, massage, waxing and facials. ($40 for a single session and $30 for groups)
If that’s not your thing, head to the nearest body of water. Water gives our brains a rest from overstimulation, which is a real problem here in New York City. The blaring car horns, the hordes of people clogging the sidewalks and the incessant emails we receive all contribute to an erratic mind state. When we get in front of a body of water, whether it be a lake, ocean or stream, it’s like a vacation for our brains, calming us and giving us room to think clearly.
So, if you simply take a walk on your nearby esplanade or go boating, there’s a big chance you’ll be in a better place.
Yoga Yacht by Daisy Yoga brings both blue space and calming yoga into one experience. The boat takes groups to the Rockaways, where you’ll get off and do yoga on the beach for $75. We’d call that a double dose of serenity.
Sometimes the only thing that will do is a good nap. At least two napping lounges have opened in Manhattan within the past year, so if you can’t make it home but really need those winks, head to Casper’s The Dreamery (196 Mercer St.) or Nap York (480 Seventh Ave.).
The Dreamery, which charges $25 for 45 minutes on a Casper mattress, has nine sleep nooks, pajamas and coffee at your disposal.
Nap York is three floors of nap pods, yoga and meditation classes, a co-working space and a cafe, which charges $15 for a 10- to 20-minute nap and up to $89 for a full night’s sleep — it’s open 24 hours a day.
These places are ideal for those who work long hours, travelers or people who just can’t make it home for a rest.
If you can’t sleep or you want to clear your mind, consider meditation. There are many meditation studios around the city, but it may be intimidating for newbies to walk right in. MNDFL offers non-denominational meditation workshops and self-guided practice times (for $5) in light and leafy studios in Williamsburg, Greenwich Village and the Upper East Side. Its classes are thematic (breath, intention, sound, sleep, emotions, among others) and range from $18 for 30 minutes to $25 for 45 minutes. First-time classes are only $10.
Don’t have time for even that? Be Time is a mobile meditation studio (a bus) that roams the city streets, parking in popular areas so that workers (or anyone) can stop in for services ranging from a 15-minute “quick reset” ($11) to a full 30-minute class ($22). The bus is soundproofed so you won’t be able to hear those sirens out on the streets while inside the dimly lit and cozy bus.
It would be absolutely impossible to include all of the city’s spas, but here are a few affordable options we’d recommend.
From massages ($45-120) that target specific problems like stress, lethargy, muscle tightness and even hangovers to nail salon services ($15-$78), Chillhouse (149 Essex St.) is a one-stop shop for anyone who is in need of some self-care.
Clear your schedule and head to Premier57 (115 E. 57th St.) if you’re looking to make your body sweat, freeze, rest and relax. Aside from its big hydrotherapy pool, there are several themed steam rooms and saunas, a meditation room and even a sleeping room. If that wasn’t enough, the spa has treatments, from a Korean body scrub to body wraps and massages. And if you get hungry, there’s a cafe.