Getting Back to Basics: How to Relax


It can be hard for me to unplug and unwind at the end of the day after a stressful day at the office. Right now, for example, it's 7 PM on a Tuesday and I'm watching Billions, cooking dinner, and blogging on my couch after a 9 hour day at the office. In the past few years since graduating from college, I've developed some great ways to calm down, relax and enjoy my nights and weekends stress-free.

Here are my tips:

- Get into comfortable clothes when you get home. This is key to getting into "relaxation mode". I come home, slip into leggings and a big tee, and get ready for a night of taking care of myself.

- Pour a glass of vino. I'm not talking every night, or a full bottle, but knowing when to give up and pour a glass of wine is a skill. Enjoy every sip and pair it with your favorite food - my go-to is a glass of rosé and some cheese!

- Take time for yourself to just be still. Nowadays, we're always on our phones, computers, watching TV, or talking to other people. When was the last time you were alone without technology and just spent time with yourself? See how long you can sit by yourself with no distractions and just think or look out the window. I do this at home and stare out at the people on the street and the cable cars going by - it's so calming and gives me time to find center again.

- Listen to podcasts, read books, listen to music and watch your favorite shows. There are certain bands that will instantly put me in a good mood. Or authors whose writing causes me to get lost in their stories for hours. Find these things, whether it's a new season of House of Cards or Serial, and do them as often as possible.

- Make lists for the next day. Some people may think this is overwhelming, but nothing calms me down more than getting organized for the next day.

- Clean up! To me, nothing is more relaxing than spending 30 minutes jamming to music and cleaning our apartment. Again, this may stress some people out, but it calms me down to do something mindless for a while and dance while I dust.

- Cook a meal with your friends or significant other. Doing things like this, that require you to focus on the task at hand and enjoy time with your friends or family, are key. When Josh and I turn on some music, put our phones away and cook together, it's so fun and everything else in the world melts away.

- Go on a spontaneous date night! This goes with my mindset of "know when to give up and have a glass of champagne". Some days, I'm too tired or mentally drained to come home and think about what I'm cooking myself for dinner, so Josh and I will grab some gnocchi at our favorite neighborhood Italian place, order in Thai food or go see a movie. Take time to enjoy your life and the people around you.