This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Straight Up™ Tea and Albertsons Companies. The opinions and text are all mine.
Now that our kids are all back in school, we are happily falling back into a routine. I really loved our summer and wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to long, relaxing days without setting an alarm clock, but I am pretty excited to jump back into a routine. And, of course, I’m pretty happy to have a little bit of alone time every day. I’m naturally an introvert, so I crave time on my own to recharge. This year my youngest is in second grade, so this is my second year with both kids in school for a full day. Those six hours seem like a huge chunk of time, but I was shocked by how many days passed last year where I got little accomplished.
My husband loves to tell me how I was spending my days all wrong. While my natural tendencies were to fill my time with volunteering at school, running errands, and keeping the wheels turning for Long Story Short, he was shocked that I didn’t take advantage of my alone time to watch TV, movies, and read more books. I did spend entirely too much time playing Candy Crush and complaining that I didn’t have enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished.
I went into this school year with an entirely different mindset. I’m still volunteering at school, but I decided ahead of time how much time I was willing to put in, and I’m holding myself to that schedule. I never got into a good routine last year which meant that I spent much of the year trying to catch up. This year I’m starting with a plan to go on. I’m making menu planning a priority so that evenings aren’t a mad rush to find something for dinner. Also, I’m making it a priority to enjoy my days. Sure, mindless cell phone games have their place, but ideally I want my school weeks to be a good mix of productivity and down time.
Easy Ways to Relax
With that in mind, I’m sharing my five favorite ways to relax in the middle of a busy day. I think we’re all conditioned to look at relaxing and down time as something that needs to happen at the end of our days. If you’re a night owl, that might be perfect timing, but the moment I say goodnight to my kids, every ounce of energy and motivation drains from my body. I usually end up climbing into bed and watching TV until I fall asleep. This year, my goal is to find a few quiet moments throughout the week where I can slow down for a minute and enjoy my days.
Read a Book
An even better idea would be to go to the library or a book store. Personally, I think the public library is one of the greatest inventions of our time. I love walking in and leaving with a giant stack of books to read. Bookstores have a similar effect, but of course the cost of brand new books adds up quickly. I admit to getting a little thrill when I find a book I’ve been waiting for on the “Lucky Day” shelf of my library. I also love the way a brand new stack of spines looks on my nightstand. I’m making it a goal to keep a book with me so I can use the extra minutes waiting in the car for reading.
This is particularly important if you live in a place that is going to be miserably cold in a few months. Head outside and enjoy the sunshine. Take a cold drink with you, leave your phone in the house and just breathe for a few minutes. I am always surprised by how great I feel when I take a few moments to just stop running around and soak up a little sun. We recently found Straight Up™ Tea in our local Albertsons, and I’m loving the simple flavor profiles. Straight Up Tea is available in five flavors: Sweet, Unsweetened, Sorta Sweet, Rooibos, and Honey Green. Straight Up Tea offers authentic, true tea taste. It has all natural ingredients with no artificial anything! Pick up a buy one get one free coupon before you go!
Give yourself a manicure
For less than what it would cost for a salon manicure, you can pick up the supplies to paint your nails at home. I love getting my nails done, but I don’t love the price tag associated with regular manicures, nor am I always in the mood for chit chat. I’m an introvert, remember? With a little practice, I’m pretty darn good at painting my own nails, and I’m just vain enough that it gives me a little mood boost when I’m walking around with pretty nails. Also, I still have a horrible nail biting habit. If they’re painted, I leave them alone. Plus, it’s a fabulous excuse to sit around for a few minutes while they dry.
Work toward a silly goal
A few years ago one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to finish watching a few television series that I had always wanted to watch. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it was fun to set a goal that didn’t feel like a slog to complete. I have a lot of shows on the back burner and often settle for re-watching a show that I already know and love rather than diving into something new. Think about the kinds of fun goals you can set for yourself that will feel more like a reward than a challenge to complete.
Take a bath, a shower, or a nap
You guys, I don’t know how to tell you this, but I hate napping. It sounds like the most delicious thing in the world – drifting off to sleep in the middle of the day – I inevitably wake up feeling groggy and just generally off for the rest of the day. I know people who find a catnap to be absolutely restorative, and if that’s you, set a time and find a dark quiet place and take that nap. For me, a bath or a shower in the middle of the day feels absolutely luxurious. It’s entirely too hot for baths right now, but a middle of the day shower is a treat. Don’t believe me? Try it!
What are your favorite ways to grab a few minutes of peace in the middle of a busy day?