Often, after a long day at work (read: Monday…or any other day that ends in”y”), while it seems like my body couldn’t possibly move one more inch, my mind will continue to run a thousand miles a minute with thoughts of what I managed to finish at work for the day, and what is still on my to-do list.
I’ll admit, while the jumble of thoughts can be slowed down significantly with a glass of wine or two (or a bottle, who are we kidding?), my mind still works overtime. And often, while I think I’m most creative after a liter and a half of cabernet, I’m really just temporarily quieting the stress and saving it for a much later, inconvenient time. Like the middle of the night…when I’m trying to sleep. And nothing is worse than waking up for another busy day, while sleep deprived.
Luckily, I’ve found ways to relax after an entire day of “being on”, in addition to other than consuming massive amounts of alcohol. Just an hour of me-time can go a long way; here are a few less traditional things I like to do to help shake the remainders of the day, some of which may help you, too:
- Mindless Television – be it the Real Housewives of any city (except Atlanta…oh, the YELLING?!) or a NatGeo documentary about alligators, just an hour of something that I don’t have to fully pay attention to, but can still easily follow, is exactly what I need. I know there are people that will tell you that television rots your brain…but sometimes, everyone can use a little mind-rot.
- “Wogging” – not quite walking, and certainly not a jog, but a short even-paced “wog” with the canines right when I get home can help me relax before resuming at-home tasks, such as laundry, prepping for the next day and making dinner (and God bless microwave popcorn). Plus, it generally helps me reach my daily 10,000 step FitBit goal!
- Foot Soak – one of the best rituals I’ve adopted is filling the bathtub just enough to submerge my feet just past my ankles. Sometimes I just don’t want to go through the whole pomp and circumstance of committing to a full-bath, so this allows me to soak my tired feet while taking a deep breath (and an opportunity to close the bathroom door – keeping the world at bay for a bit longer). I will sometimes take the mail or a magazine in with me and read through while sitting on the edge of the tub. Yes, a PR mind is ALWAYS multi-tasking!
- Pinning – Sadly, I am one of the 90 percent of “pinners” who have several robust boards on Pinterest…but no plan to actually do the work associated with the craft or home project I pin. I have at least 5,000 wine corks and no fewer than 50 ideas for those corks pinned, and yet in the two years I’ve been on Pinterest, I have yet to complete one corkboard. Comparably, it’s like reading a fantasy book. realizing that you’re never going to own a flying dragon – but still thinking of all of the places you’d go if you had one.
- Singing! – (Hey, don’t judge. I warned that these were my non-traditional stress relievers.) I love to sing! Broadway show tunes…jazz ensembles…smooth jams…rap…if it has a beat, I’ve probably belted it out. I can even sing a pretty amazing skat version of Summertime from Porgy and Bess (you should hear the acoustics in my bathroom!)
Maybe it’s because they are all so ridiculous that they make me laugh, which is a stress-reliever in itself, or maybe it’s because it really does help shift my mind to a different place – even if for only a few minutes. It’s not yoga or meditation, but oddly these five silly things really do work when I’m trying to momentarily escape reality; maybe I will even try combining a few in the future – would love to see the looks on my neighbor’s faces while I’m loudly singing tunes while “wogging” around the block.