ZEN EXPERIENCES: THE IMPORTANCE OF REST & WHERE TO FIND IT
"Let's just zen out for a bit..." It's a phrase you might just hear at work. The centuries-old philosophy of Zen has, with positive effects, made its way into society. There is now greater awareness of the importance of consciously taking time to rest, and this rest actively contributes to improved mental and physical health. SUITSUIT takes you on experiences that will completely calm your mind. And believe us, there are definitely other ways than following a tight yoga schedule.
TAKE A BREATH AT THE WHITE DOOR STUDIO
A studio as a source of pure inspiration, that's The White Door Studio in Amsterdam. This creative studio is aimed at artists, makers, and entrepreneurs. You can find a photo studio, podcast studio, and an event space there. This place is perfect for finding peace and letting your creative ideas run wild. The beautiful interior is the perfect setting for the wide range of workshops, lectures, networking events, and exhibitions that are organised there. In addition to attending great events, you can also take yoga classes at different levels of intensity.
FRESHLY ROASTED COFFEE AND TOTAL REST
Nothing is better than finding peace while enjoying a nice cup of coffee or a hot mug of tea. The Netherlands has dozens of coffee shops known for their great atmosphere and high-quality coffee. For example, there is Kek in Delft, which serves delicious coffee and tasty cakes. On Westerkade in Utrecht, you'll find the musical Koffie Leute, where you can find fresh sandwiches, coffee, and a vinyl collection.
Spread throughout the Netherlands, you'll find branches of Barista Café, a great meeting place with an interior where you can completely shut yourself off from the hustle and bustle. 30ml in Utrecht is a paradise for lovers of freshly roasted coffee. The team of coffee specialists is there to serve you a great cup of coffee and to tell you more about the story behind the coffee.
TEA AND GARDENS AT LANDGOED CLINGENDAEL
Beautiful bridges over serene ponds, surrounded by blossoms and plants rarely seen in the Dutch landscape. That's the Japanese Garden located in Landgoed Clingendael in The Hague. Relax in the lovely tea garden or enjoy Japanese architecture, history, and culture. Fun fact: the Chinese word for zen is 'chan', which means 'concentration'. However, the pronunciation of this word was difficult for the Japanese, so the word 'zen' was created. The Japanese Garden hosts tea ceremonies, music performances, and exhibitions every year. If you want to learn more about Japanese culture or are fond of beautiful parks, it is definitely worth a visit!
WRITE IT ALL OUT
Writing everything out is a great way to give your thoughts, feelings, and experiences a place. Journaling gives you more insight into yourself and helps you process emotions better. Start with a simple A5 notebook or turn it into an artistic work full of colours, drawings, or even small paintings. There are also special (bullet) journals where you can record your goals, dreams, and insights. Your own journal can be incredibly helpful in letting your thoughts flow freely and finding peace after a busy day or week. Don't impose strict rules on yourself about journaling but pick up your journal when you feel the need.
NATURE AS A SOURCE OF PEACE
We previously wrote about the Japanese practice of 'Shinrin-yoku', which means forest bathing. It is seen as a way to consciously find peace in nature. Exposure to the natural environment, such as forests, parks, and dunes, can lead to a reduction in stress, an improvement in the immune system, and an increased mood. You don't have to walk or run to take in the beautiful nature, it's about taking a moment to stop.
OUT OF YOUR HEAD, INTO YOUR BODY
When we are busy in our minds, it often manifests in a tense body. Fortunately, there are various ways to release that tension, including a wonderful massage. Combine the best of both worlds: a massage in the fresh outdoors. At the Thermen Bussloo wellness resort, you can have a hot stone massage in a Finnish kota. At the Hotel & Wellness Zuiver in Amsterdam, you can enjoy a massage in one of the cabanas in the fresh outdoors. Or take a deep breath after a Thai massage in an open-air pavilion at the Veluwse Bron.
SWIM YOURSELF INTO RELAXATION
Want to both relax and be physically active? Swimming is the answer! Endorphins that reduce stress are produced during swimming. Focusing on your breathing completely relaxes your mind. Swimming also contributes to improved sleep and has a meditative effect. You don't have to wait for summer temperatures for a great swimming experience. Most (sport) swimming pools have fixed mornings and evenings where you can swim however long you’d like. Whether you want to swim for fifteen minutes or an hour, you determine the duration of your meditative workout routine.
Photo credits: Karen Steenwinkel, Zuiver Amsterdam, @Sarahdistel, @thewhitedoorstudio, @Soundofkala, @Charlotte.debeaumont , Unsplash, Kek Delft