This week has completely flown by for me, which usually means the last five days have been an absolute whirlwind. Since I’m staying in tonight, I spent my train ride home thinking about all of the options I have to help me take a breath and revel in the fact that it’s the weekend. I realized that I have a pretty standard list of go-to activities I tend to do when I’m de-stressing, and wanted to share it with everyone. Hopefully, something here can help you, too.
- Pick up a good book. There’s nothing like curling up with a good book to let the remnants of work things slip into oblivion. Right now, I’m reading The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood, the second in her dystopian trilogy. Oryx and Crake is one of my all-time favourite books, and Atwood is one of my all-time favourite authors. I met her a couple of years ago and I can still remember that very moment when I shook her hand and told her what an inspiration she is to me. I’m a few years behind on this trilogy; Maddaddam, the final book of the series, came out a couple of months ago and reminded me to catch up. Still, better late than never, and a well-written book is always the best way to remove yourself from this universe and run away to another.
- Marathon your favourite TV show. I watch a lot of television. Probably too much. And if I really love a show, I can usually watch an episode at least 5-6 times over time (double that, if it’s How I Met Your Mother). Sitcoms are usually the best medicine for a stressful week, especially shows like Modern Family and Happy Endings (rest in peace) that can guarantee a belly-aching laugh. If you’re not careful, you could end up watching episodes into the wee hours of the morning (but I usually don’t mind).
- Paint your nails. I’ll admit it – this one is particularly girly. What can I say? If you’re hanging out in front of the TV watching an old episode of Gossip Girl (yes, I do this a lot), you might as well give yourself a cute manicure while you’re at it. I was recently gifted a pack of appliqués that I have been holding on to (it’s really too gorgeous to use). I do think this is the weekend I’ll finally try them. If you really want to pamper yourself, take a nice warm bath first. Baths are underrated nowadays, and I do wish I had a deeper tub. This will be a structural requirement for my future home.
- Drown everything else out with music. Put on a good album, turn off all the lights, lie in bed, and feel all of the tension melt away. Music heals the soul. Put on something that is relaxing and will put you in a calm mood. One of the best albums to do this with is Lorde’s Pure Heroine. All ten tracks are even better when you have a chance to close your eyes and just listen. Other suggestions: Hurry Up We’re Dreaming by M83, Continuum by John Mayer, Ceremonials by Florence + the Machine, IV by Bravestation.
- Sleep. Sometimes, if it’s been an exceptionally long week, all you really need to do is sleep. Nothing feels better than waking up the next morning and actually feeling refreshed. Sleep will give you that – and you’ll be ready for whatever plans you’ve made for the next couple of days off (especially if you actually still need to do some work on the weekend). Turn off all the lights, your laptop, maybe even your phone. Disconnect. Rest. You deserve it.
How do you like to wind down after a crazy week?