We all have those days — the ones that feel never-ending, like everything that could possibly go wrong has, and that leave us wondering how on earth we’re supposed to get up and do it all again tomorrow.
When that happens, sometimes a good night’s sleep is enough to recharge us enough to conquer the next day — but sometimes a little more TLC is required.
While no amount of face masks or bubble baths can serve as a substitute for tackling real issues, doing certain things can help you unwind and give yourself the recharge you need to get back on track. No matter what your situation, these are things — both big and small — that you can do when you’re in the market for a much-deserved mental recharge.
1. Go for a walk (or run) outside
This is a tough option when it’s minus 30 degrees outside, but even a quick walk around the block with your dog to get some fresh air can help clear your head. If you live near a walking or hiking trail, more power to you — spending some time on a walk or run outside is a totally different feeling than going on one on a stuffy gym treadmill. In whatever capacity you can, get outside.
2. Take a yoga class
I’ve only recently hopped on the yoga bandwagon (Why do I need to go sit, breathe, and stretch for an hour? Who has the time?), but going to an actual class where you’re held captive and required to do those things is vital to those of us who are used to going 100 mph every second of our lives. Being in a dark room and having no distractions (read: don’t have the option to quit halfway through and browse Instagram for the rest of the hour) does wonders for your mind. Shutting off and allowing your mind to escape to a stress-free place leaves you feeling more serene and at ease than you can imagine — it’s like hitting a restart button on your brain.
3. Follow the two-minute rule
The two-minute rule states that if a task is going to take less than two minutes, to do it straight away — whether it be responding to an email or calling to refill a prescription. This way, the small tasks you’re procrastinating won’t weigh on you throughout the day, and you can focus all of your time and energy on the big things you need to tackle.
4. Give yourself a spa night
We know a face mask won’t cure all our problems like we hope they will, but that doesn’t mean they won’t help us feel a little better. Turn off your phone, fill up a bubble bath, light some candles, and sit in peace for a while. Taking a full break from your phone while doing something just for you can give your batteries some much-needed juice.
5. Drink a cup of coffee or tea
Don’t gulp it down on your morning commute like you usually do — make your favorite coffee or tea, and sit and give yourself some time to scroll through Instagram or Pinterest guilt-free.
6. Give yourself a week of easy nights
It’s always borderline impossible to resist after-work drinks with your coworkers, but giving yourself a week of obligation-free nights can leave you feeling your fullest. After work every night, make yourself dinner, watch an episode of your favorite show, and get to bed early. Getting the additional rest is enough to make you feel like a new person on its own.
7. Set a time that you take a break during your work day
No human being on this earth can work for eight hours straight without taking a step back to get their head on straight. In our office, we’re all about 2pm walks to get coffee — some fresh air in the middle of the day always gets us ready to conquer the rest of our afternoon. Whether you work in an office or from your home, set a time that you’ll hold yourself to for taking a break every day.
8. Get a journal
We often preach the wonders of journaling, and for good reason. Taking even five minutes to be alone and write down some of your thoughts — no matter what they are — before bed (instead of scrolling through your phone) can help you feel at ease and sleep more soundly.
9. Allow yourself to do something fun
If you’re a workaholic who has a hard time letting yourself take a break and say yes to plans, set aside a time that you do something non-work-related, exclusively to have fun. Whether it be getting drinks with friends or having a staycation for the weekend in your town, take the time to log out of your work accounts and step away from stress.
10. Read a book you enjoy
Make a habit of keeping a book on hand that you can step back and read a chapter of whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. It will allow you to escape from reality for a few minutes, and can give those of us who work on our computers all day a break from the constant screen time.