I think if you were to look back at this time and discuss it with someone who didn’t live it, it would be easy to imagine that all of this time at home would equal a lot of time for relaxing. Of course, we know that isn’t the case. Nowhere to go doesn’t equal nothing to do, and even nothing to do isn’t the same as leisure. With that in mind, we’re sharing our favorite ways to relax at home.
How to relax in the middle of the day
I think we’re all conditioned to look at relaxing and downtime 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, or scrolling Instagram until my eyes are burning. 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.
Relax with a Book
I deeply miss browsing books in the library or a book store. Fortunately, there are a lot of great ways to find books to read for free, even if your library is closed. 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, and I’m so happy they’ve added this feature to Overdrive and Libby for ebooks. I also love the way a brand new stack of spines looks on my nightstand.
I have beat my goal of 52 books this year, by a lot. I’ll finish out the year with over 80 books read, but most of them are a very specific type of book. I’ve written up a list of books to read when you can’t focus if you’ve had a similar problem!
Give yourself a manicure at home
For less than what it would cost for a salon manicure, you can pick up the supplies to paint your nails at home. I do miss getting my nails done, but I don’t miss the price tag. 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.
This year I’ve gotten into doing my own dip nails at home and it is not as hard as you might think. In fact, it’s a great pandemic hobby, because you can spend time watching instructional videos, joining the Facebook groups and going wild for new colors!
I know this is a tall order in some places in the winter, but tuck this one if your back pocket for days when the weather is cooperating. Head outside and enjoy the sunshine. Pop in some headphones and listen to music, or a podcast (try our podcast if you haven’t, yet!) 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 got a puppy last December and it has been great to have a reason to get outside every day.
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. Set a goal to take a walk every day, devote 15 minutes to that language you’ve always said you would learn. Work through your giant to-be-read pile with a goal reading of one book you already own each month. Consider a MasterClass subscription where you can learn things like tennis and bread-making, directly from the pros!
Declutter a small space
No, this is not the time to Konmari your entire house, but pick an area, like your nightstand or kitchen counter. Clean off the space, throw trash away, relocate items that don’t belong there, and give the surface a quick swipe with an all-purpose cleaner. Break out one of the good candles and light that baby up. I am not a naturally neat person, but I feel instantly more at peace when my space is clean. Starting a load of laundry and running the dishwasher has a similar effect, as does driving my car through the car wash.
Take a midday 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. Don’t believe me? Try it!
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