Just before I call it a night, I thought I’d leave with you something to help you relax…
- Find laughter
Which means NOT reading the news because let’s face it: the media loves depressing, morbid, scary stuff. I don’t why, apart from the fact that it sells well and there’s obviously a demand for it. Just once, I’d like to see Google aggregate a collection of Happy – something like 60% Yay and 40% TheWorldIsGoingToCrap. But I digress.One of the best ways for me to loosen up and start unwinding is to have a good, solid belly laugh. Which means deliberately staking out great sites such as SomEEcards (okay, only some of them are hilarious), or blogs of truly funny writers you love.
- Soak feet
Something as simple as pampering your feet can do wonders. Sud up. Use warm-to-hot water. Add some minerals. Exfoliate. All while watching TV. If you have one of those feet massagers, add that to the regimen. Or better yet, run a hot bath and sink in. If you’re feeling guilty about water use, remember that you use more water in a 10-minute shower than you do in a typical bubble bath.
Resist the urge to check your email. Leave Facebook alone. Stop tweeting. Get to a place where you can almost watch your toenails grow and let the information overload in your brain die down to a nice gurgling at the back of your head.
Dedicate a full hour to stretching your body out, because there’s nothing like a good stretch to loosen those muscles you never knew you’d been bunching up the whole day. Some people jog – I prefer to stretch. Guys, don’t knock pilates and yoga, btw. Step it up some, and you can properly work up a sweat in some of those poses. And while you’re grunting on the spot all flamingo and one-legged with sweat pouring down your face while wondering how these stick-thin women do it sans effort… you might finally forget about everything else.
I loooove bonnet dramas. And I personally find watching TV less stressful on the eyeballs at the day’s end than reading or writing – even though I loooove doing the latter two as well. But when I have a couple of hours in the evening (or even when I don’t!), I pop in a favourite, curl up on the sofa with a mug of low-caffeinated tea, and run away with my characters.
- Game on
One of my guilty pleasures and “time wasters” is Words with Friends on my iPhone. It’s scrabble, basically. And at my day’s end – just before I go to sleep, usually – I play catch up with about 15 games I have going on. It’s a quick way for my brain to channel into something semi-taxing but unrelated to the day’s concerns and work. My husband plays a lot of FPS games on the PC – same thing. It allows both of us to direct the day’s adrenaline somewhere else – some place simple – before winding down for the day.
- Turn in
I am a huge procrastinator when it comes to bedtime – which is how I end up blogging. But set an alarm for yourself every night, then go to sleep when it rings. Do it. And do it now. Because the best way to relax after a hard day is to catch some much needed zzzz.