Sometimes, there’s nothing more satisfying than cancelling your plans.
It provides instant relief, and as long as you don’t go overboard and become known as the flaky one, you could be doing yourself a huge favor in the mental health department. Here, writer Hina Khan shares four simple activities you can practice to press pause, unwind and really make the most of your next night in.
After an eventful week, there’s nothing more satisfying than cancelling your plans for the weekend and taking care of yourself. We’re often in the grips of a go-go-go mentality throughout the week, so it’s nice to unplug, prepare your favorite meal and binge on your favorite show.
It’s so important to recharge and take care of yourself. Self-care is something that gets tossed around quite a bit and everyone defines it differently. Sometimes the definition isn’t so clear either—self-care can be any activity that recharges your spirit. Perhaps it’s cuddling with your partner and cooking your favorite meal together, or trying out watercolor for the first time. If you’re at a loss on how to recharge after a long week, we’ve got some tips ahead to help your get started.
1. Enjoy Your Favorite Meal
Is there anything that provides more comfort than eating your favorite meal after a stressful day? Add in your favorite beverage and you’re set to go. Whether your favorite comfort meal is a pasta dish from a local Italian restaurant or a cheese plate with jams, honey, olives and the like, take some time to plot out how you’ll get your favorite meal at the end (or beginning) of the day. Remember, Postmates and Instacart were created just for this purpose!
2. Unplug and Reconnect…with Yourself!
If you’re like us, your iPhone is your organizer, diary, matchmaker, photographer and so much more. We can’t imagine a life without our digital bestie, but it’s also true that it’s a source of distraction and stress. Sometimes the best thing you can do at the end of the week is to power down your phone, cuddle up in a throw blanket, and read your favorite book, journal or watch a show. This is especially delightful during cold, winter months. #hyggevibes
3. Jumpstart Your Meditation Practice
The hype is real—having a meditation practice can help you focus, relieve anxiety and realign your soul as you go through your day-to-day activities—it’s a reminder to live conscientiously and focus your energy on what serves you. If you don’t have a meditation practice, you can start as early as tomorrow. There are several apps that can help you meditate for as little as five minutes a day; UCLA also has free guided meditations you can listen to. We find it helpful to start the day with a ten minute meditation, followed by a ten minute stream of consciousness journaling session and ending with a warm beverage that you can sip on while getting ready.
4. Take Care of Your Face and Body
Taking time to pamper your face and body is so great for your mental well-being, whether it’s giving yourself a foot massage and pedicure, dry brushing your body, putting on a sheet mask or taking extra time to do your makeup. One of our favorite tricks is to take a clear vase or mason jar and add a few fresh eucalyptus branches—the leaves lend a fresh, invigorating scent that will last throughout the week.
To maximize the feel-good vibes, we also suggest listening to music that either energizes or soothes you, while taking time to consciously take care of yourself. For example, if you’re taking extra time to do your make-up in the morning, take a moment to massage your face with moisturizer and feel where you might be holding onto stress. Is your jaw tight? Do your eyes feel tired? Give those parts of your face some extra love and attention—chances are, you’ll start to feel better in a few minutes.
No matter what your self-care routine is, be sure to do something that fills you up at least once a week. You might have to cancel plans, but there’s a thrill in spending some quality alone time with yourself to recharge and reinvigorate your spirits!