If you’re like me, your everyday life is not perhaps the Disney fairytale you had hoped for. There are alarm clocks in the morning and bills at night. Some days at work energize you, but many days are simply drudgery from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. where you come home wanting only blankets, Buzzfeed, and junk food.
Some days, that’s okay. But most of the time, those sort of comfort rituals don’t revive us for the next day; they simply make us dread it all the more. The point of time outside of work is meant for rejuvenation, right? Here are some ways I come back to myself after a stressful day at work:
- Try a colorful new recipe. I like the ones that involve a lot of prep. It means I focus on what I’m putting into my body rather than looking to food as a way to numb myself.
- Work out. Now, maybe working out isn’t your first go-to. But this doesn’t have to mean an hour lifting weights at the gym. Sometimes, it’s just a brisk walk outside, or perhaps a dance party to your favorite music. One way I have a lot of fun exercising is to put on a playlist of Just Dance videos on YouTube. It’s a great way to get in some cardio without doing jumping jacks.
- Stretch out. If you’re getting some exercise anyway, why not spend some extra time soothing your muscles in some static and dynamic stretches? I like putting on calming instrumental music while I stretch.
- Color. It’s a little elementary, but for some reason, it works. They even make coloring books for adults now. It’s also a way to feel artsy if you’re like me and can’t draw to save your life.
- Go to bed early. Forego that extra episode on Netflix. Try going to bed 30 minutes before your normal bedtime. Even if you don’t fall asleep right away, try to get comfortable, breathe deeply, and just rest your eyes. More than likely, they’ve been staring at a screen all day, and they need a break just as much as you do.
- Journal. I get it, not all of us are writers. But there’s something so cathartic about purging your thoughts onto paper and then shutting the book. This can be a great way to get things off your chest that perhaps you can’t talk to your friends or family about.
- Make a cup of tea. Not everyone is into tea; however, there are few things more soothing than holding a warm mug in your hands. For non-tea drinkers, try apple cider or hot chocolate. Instead of doing something while you drink it, just sit and concentrate on enjoying the flavor.
- Clean. Maybe this is unique to me, but I like cleaning the bathroom when I feel overwhelmed. It’s an easy thing to do while also checking off something from my to-do list.
- Put on some lotion. I’m a very scent-oriented person. I often bring different lotions on different trips so that a place is “imprinted” onto a scent. For example, I always bring Bath and Body’s Japanese Cherry Blossom whenever I go skiing, so it can be a wonderful way to bring back memories. Rubbing lotion on my hands and wrists takes care of my skin as well as encourages me to breathe deep and think of happy memories.
Remember, the point of this is to refresh yourself. If you feel just as stressed and lethargic after an activity as beforehand, it’s not going to satisfy you. Find something that enlivens your heart again, and return to that as often as you can.
What about you? Do you have any healthy comfort rituals that refresh you?