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  • Eastside Massage

DIY: Get Away Without Leaving NYC

Not everyone can afford an all-inclusive, luxurious escape this summer, especially a New Yorker. Between coffees costing you $5, lunches averaging $15, the climbing metro-card prices and having to choose between rent or your next meal, any money you’ve saved is literally for a torrential downpour. Any money you’ve earned is your survival fund. But with that in mind, being a New Yorker also means hustle and bustle, anxiety, little to no sleep and high levels of stress! If anyone deserves a vacation, it’s us! We’re in a tight spot here! So what can we do? Here’s a helpful list that we can both use to find peace and tranquility this summer before its back to the harsh winter grind hits.

But first- One of the quickest and easiest ways to get away without going too far is massage!

At Eastside Massage we are currently offering a midday special on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays before 2:00pm. For the discounted rate of $90 you can receive an hour of a wide range of services that will balance, heal and release all tension from your mind and body!

1. Relaxation starts at home

Turn your home or a favorite room (or corner if you’re shoulder to shoulder with roommates) into a tranquil oasis! Mine is the bathroom. It’s easy to be undisturbed; I love to soak away my troubles in regular table salt when Epsom salt isn’t an option and an oil of my choice.If you can get the Dead Sea Salt from the health food store-splurge... its from Israel's Dead sea! 2 cups and 15 minutes = relaxation and peace. You’ll feel better, so just create the time. An hour in a Zen space can make a world of difference. Decorate your preferred area with scented candles to enhance the experience, or if you’re really artsy and creative, holiday lights or lanterns! Soothing soft glowing lights in the dark can really affect your mood.

While you’re at it, you can whip up a facial scrub or mask that will give you the “just got back from vacay” glow. Using your favorite cream with 2 teaspoons of sugar can be a delightful exfoliating experience. Coconut oil combined with sugar and lemon mixed into a paste can also make for a great mask. For a coarser scrub, try almond meal or oatmeal. These combinations can be stored in a jar in a cool dry place for weeks of repeated use. Even water and coffee grounds can perk you right up! You can also enjoy a mini sauna by boiling your favorite flavor of tea (herbal works best, I love mint), and pouring it into a deep bowl. Once you’re comfortably seated, drape a towel over your head and let the aroma and steam soothe you and cleanse your skin.

Incense is also a big help and there’s a wide (and cheap, check amazon or your local street vendor) range of delightful scents that create the experience you want. If you don’t want to spend any money, get creative! We wouldn’t recommend draping any fabric over lights for fire safety reasons, but you can always paint your light bulbs a nice color or simply take one or two out of the fixture to reduce the brightness. Play some music. Lay a blanket and a pillow or two out and just relax!

2. Get Outside

I can’t express how therapeutic and grounding it is to walk aimlessly for an hour (or even longer) and listen to music. It helps with any negative emotions I want to release. Walking through your local park or even getting off a few stops earlier to walk home is not only healthy for your heart, it can ease tension in your mind, putting you in a mindset to take your time and enjoy the feeling of being free and in control while taking in things you may have not noticed before!

There’s always something fun to do in NYC over the summer. Check out these affordable/free events happening in the Upper Eastside! Carl Schurz Park has free concerts. Check out the free events at the local library and Bryant Park as well! Remember as a NY resident when you show your ID the museum donation is up to you!

3. Fly Solo

Have a healthy selfish day! Get reacquainted with yourself and maybe meet new people. Whole Foods Market and the Manhattan School of Music have drummed up a wonderful event: Music Night! Walk through your local Whole Foods (5 locations in NYC available) cafés and listen to gifted student musicians play a wide range of genres. Witness talent and energy of the next generation. It’s Free!

For $30-40 you can enjoy an outdoor painting class by the water! In Carl Schurz Park, you’ll receive all of the supplies you need to create anything you envision. Feel free to bring any snacks or even a nice bottle of wine to enhance your experience.

4. Family Vacation

Have fun as a family! Check out these cool events that can be fun for everyone.

Woops! Bakeshop is offering Macaroon baking classes for your aspiring chef. Even if the child in your life isn’t culinary inclined, they can still have a blast with this unique hands on experience learning how to color and decorate macarons. The kids get to enjoy a snack classic: milk and cookies, while you sit back and indulge in a bakeshop beverage watching them mix ganache to their heart's content!

The Craft Studio has an awesome mini party complete with crafts, games, pizza…need I say more? You can drop the child in your life off here and let them run wild for a few hours while you venture over to the Guggenheim a few blocks over! Everyone wins.

Your summer doesn’t have to be anything less than what you want it to be because you are on a budget. Make the most of all the resources around you, from your kitchen cabinet, to your neighborhood roof top or tailgate party. No matter what you decide, the worst you can do is nothing. So: DO IT YOURSELF! And hurry because before you know it, summer will be over!

Eastside Massage wishes you a fun, safe and happy summer!

By Kimber Erskine, Robin Ehrlich

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