I’ve written already about my decision to redress the balance between time spent on the go and time spent relaxing, because in the end it just leaves me unbalanced.
One day last week, I almost cried on the way to work remembering a cute dog video I’d watched. And as much as I love going new places, by the end of the first fourteen weeks of 2016, I’ll have visited five cities that aren’t London across five different countries, and I think I need a rest.
So this week has been better! I’ve had two evenings in, and Saturday is set aside for Zumba and a casual (and short) shopping trip. (Not shopping in central London, obviously. That would suddenly become the most stressful day of the week.)
However, on Tuesday evening, when I stayed home and watched three episodes of Once Upon a Time in a row, I still couldn’t relax fully. I felt like I should have been doing something else. Fortunately, this wasn’t actually my fear of missing out, but guilt that I wasn’t blogging – I am fixing that now!
I’m responding to today’s Daily Prompt: the word ‘refresh’. It’s got me thinking about what I need to recharge my batteries, or calm myself down, or get back to feeling like myself. (Melodramatic as that sounds.)
- Writing/blogging. I’ve been writing in some way or another since I was five years old, from my first epic masterpiece of a poem, ‘The Cat’, to a (rubbish) novel when I was a teenager; from diaries to this blog.
- Listening to music. (And singing.) I cannot sing and feel sorry for those I live with if I subject them to it too often, but belting out something from Nashville or a musical or anything by Taylor Swift always makes me feel better.
- Spending a Sunday watching films or TV with my housemate. I am also wondering if it would be really weird to take a couple of days off just to binge-watch Once Upon a Time.
- Reading. One of the best ways to escape/travel/get lost/find something/feel something.
- Going to the gym. I hate myself for saying this, and wonder how much of it is actually tied up with the fact that I pay for the gym and therefore feel guilty if I don’t go, but even if I’ve been turning something over in my mind, the repetitiveness of the rowing/cycling/running seems to quieten it. I don’t think at the gym.
- Holding hands and hugs.
- Catching up with friends. I have great friends here in London, but obviously I left some in Scotland. It sucks that I can no longer organise things spontaneously with them, but it’s lovely to get visitors and, of course, wonderful to go home.
- Going home.
- Skype with the family. I am so glad they invented Skype before I ever left home. A phone call is good, but even better is speaking face to face (sort of) with mum, dad and my sister. I also try to get Charlie’s attention, but the poor dog is never going to understand Skype.
- Going somewhere alone. Every now and then, I like to go somewhere I am likely to know no one and explore/experience it at my own pace, whether that’s a new town, a museum or a show. It’s a way of being sociable and antisocial at once!
- Nights in. Whether that is an evening of me time, or a movie night with the boyfriend, it is one of the best ways to shut out everything else.
- Sleep. I love nights when I can put the lights out at half ten, and know I don’t have to get up for eight hours.
- Getting up early. On the flipside, I enjoy the hours between 7.30 and 11.30 on weekend mornings, because my household still seems to be asleep then, so it feels like stealing extra time.
- Tidying. Actually, I don’t like tidying. I just like the result.
- Lists. I love lists. I love this list. Lists help me to focus. When I’m at my most stressed, I write ‘Empty head’ lists of absolutely everything that’s swirling around in my brain and making my mind messy. Then I decide what is actually within my power, when I’ll be able to check the items off, or if I can just cross them away already because they don’t actually matter.
So as I write this post (a list), listening to music, on my own, eating chocolate, after the gym, about to go to bed early, I am thinking that this has been a good week to refresh.
How about you?