I love Friday the 13th. I get excited when one comes up…if I had my way, this would be a floating national holiday. I think that it’s ok to take this day off, or calling in sick may be even more in the spirit.
It’s always been a lucky day for me (knock wood).
I have a long history of loving the number 13 in general – I was born at 3:13pm, my sister was born at 11:13am (I think, but this may be family legend), which always made me feel special and connected to the number.
My romance with my future husband started at a Friday the 13th party I threw in honour of the day. We got married on Friday the 13th (this date was chosen on purpose, of course).
So, whenever this holy day rolls around, I love to watch people’s reactions. Apprehension, excitement, complete indifference…all across the spectrum.
I love Friday the 13th because it is a day we notice, it is not just a regular day, it calls attention to itself whether or not you believe in the superstition. I love this day because it is a little thrilling, scary, there is the feeling of the unknown and that anything could happen. This is one of those days when it feels like the veil is a little bit thinner than others.
When I say that this is a lucky day for me, I don’t mean to domesticate the energy…there is still a feeling of wildness and unknown in that luck.
I am a fan of ritual and I celebrate every holiday or tradition I can fit in but sometimes its refreshing to challenge our assumptions, try things on from a different perspective, and question why we celebrate or fear the things we do.
On that note, I created this Tarot spread that you can do on Friday the 13th to explore your own perspectives and assumptions. I used four cards, because four is the number that is considered unlucky in Japan!
Do you celebrate Friday the 13th?
Does it slip by without you noticing? What do you consider lucky or unlucky?
Put some time aside on Friday to think about what you believe and why. It doesn’t have to be scary, have fun with it.
This could be the missing link in the total fitness regimen, as it offers a whole host of benefits for the mind and body. To start with, it’s a proven way to relieve stress, lifting your thoughts up and away from whatever is causing you trouble at work or at home. If you’re worried about setting aside long hours of your day to sit in a dark room and think about nothing, stop. Sessions as short as five minutes can be squeezed in between exercises at the gym or built into your daily routine at home. That’s even easier if you have a dedicated space. Just find a quiet corner, throw down a mat, and you’re ready to go … or sit, actually.
This ancient Indian practice is similar to meditation, but with a twist. It has an emphasis on breathing and calming your thoughts and contains a series of poses that each have their own specific benefits. Some ease digestion, others relieve back pain, and many focus on relieving stress and anxiety. They accomplish all of this by drawing a connection between the mind and body that isn’t there in everyday life, says one practitioner from DoYouYoga, adding that when done regularly, the practice encourages living in the present in a more mindful and conscious way.
Much like yoga, this traditional Chinese practice fits somewhere between exercise and relaxation, and one of its main benefits is — you guessed it — stress relief. This comes through slowly advancing through a series of movements that gently stretch, rotate and twist muscles, ligaments and tendons, releasing tension throughout the body. Moreover, its focus on whole-body coordination makes you stronger, an added bonus for bodybuilders and weightlifters, while providing an excellent transition from workday hustle to quiet family life. And like meditation, five minutes is enough for a quick session.
Almost everybody has a favorite playlist to put on when it’s time to relax, but what about strumming a guitar yourself? Studies have shown that making music can be highly therapeutic, as it takes your mind off whatever’s causing you stress and onto the movement of your hands and the sounds of the strings. For those who aren’t tuned into rhythm and tempo, the visual arts provide a similar creative outlet, and you do not have to be Picasso to get in on the action. Coloring books have been gaining ground as a way to wind down after work, along with knitting and quilting. All of these provide an excellent source of accomplishment as you gain a new skill in addition to an improved sense of well-being.
None of these methods are a substitute for a good night’s rest. It sounds simple enough, but you may not be doing it right even if you hit the hay for the recommended eight hours each night. That’s because you need to sleep soundly rather than wake up in the middle of the night tossing and turning. Time you spend doing that doesn’t count. A sleep expert at MindBodyGreen recommends eating the right foods throughout the day to get your 40 winks. You should also think about comfort. Relieving stress through the activities above will get you on the right track, as will the soothing sounds of a noise machine and keeping your room as dark as possible — and don’t forget a nice pillow.
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