This week (and really this past month) has been...rough. For a lot of reasons - none of which are major - but when added together, have become incredibly draining for me. By Thursday night last week, I vented to two of my best friends that I felt like I was at an absolute breaking point and ready to just snap if I couldn't make something change. It felt like nothing was really going right, everything was irking me more than usual, and I needed something to help me just hit refresh and start new.
So that was the main goal of my entire weekend: hit refresh, and feel renewed and ready to start over by Sunday night. The more I talked to my friends, the more I realized that a lot of people are feeling this way, especially at this time of year! Winter is coming to a close and everyone is ready for that clean start and a new energy, but sometimes it's not as simple as a few extra rays of sunshine to make that happen.
If you can relate to these types of feelings, and like you just can't shake that greyed-out winter gloom and doom feeling of stress, pressure, and overall frustration - you need to try these 8 things right now. You will feel like a brand new person, and your body (and mind) will thank you!
1. Indulge in something. Anything you want. Sometimes I get so caught up in staying on my strict healthy diet + fitness routine, in keeping everything super tidy, and never letting myself have those little things...the ice cream I'm craving for no reason when I'm already full, or the cheese fries that just smell so. good. walking by the restaurant. Just let yourself have one.
2. Drink a lot more water. I preach this one a lot, like here & here...but that's because nothing in the world that I'm aware of could make you feel better. It's the easiest, fastest, and simplest thing to do - and it will heal you from the inside out.
3. Stretch. I still haven't been able to get much into yoga, partly because I can't touch my toes (no, seriously...) and partly because I just can't make time for it on top of my regular workout routine.This weekend though, when I woke up each morning I turned on an old throwback pop playlist (think Britney, Christina & some Hillary Duff) and just did simple stretches for about 10 minutes. It was an amazing way to start my day, and it somehow left met feeling more energized.
4. Read something. Even if you aren't a big reader like me, this doesn't haven't to mean a book. Go on Pinterest and actually read some of those articles you 'pinned now to read later'. Flip through a magazine and actually read through some of the articles. Anything to just open up your mind a little bit, push away those things that are stressing you, and give you 30 minutes to an hour of quiet time alone.
5. Make a plan. I know some people feel like they desperately need to do nothing in order to relax, but personally I've been doing a little bit too much of this lately. I realized I was making myself stir crazy with all of my nights forcing myself to stay in, sleep, relax and save some money. This was when I almost snapped - I could not take one more night alone in my apartment doing nothing! So I made plans with friends and just forgot about everything else for a few hours. I didn't worry about spending money at lunch, or the calories of my delicious guava margarita, or how many hours we wasted binge-watching the same Netflix show in my friend's apartment while chowing down on some sushi. Get out and do something, because sometimes sitting at home alone is the worst possible thing for a stressed and over-stuffed mind full of worries.
6. Take some time primping. Isn't this supposed to be one of the most fun parts of being a girl? Sometimes we get so busy always trying to put in all this effort, we forget how relaxing a beauty routine can be. Indulge in an extra long shower or bath, light some candles, put on a face mask, paint your nails a new spring color, put on an outfit that makes you feel great, and enjoy feeling your best!
7. Get some exercise. I know a lot of people will groan at this one - but this can literally mean anything. If this bizarre "snow in April" thing isn't still happening, go outside and go for a walk with friends or your headphones. Try a new workout class, or just finally force yourself to get back into that routine. After several several weeks of feeling completely out of control of my own moods, my friend pointed out (nicely) that it was the longest I'd ever gone without the gym, and that my body was probably desperately craving the endorphins. She was totally right. (And that night, when I finally did go, I felt like I was on the highest high of energy and good vibes that I had been on in months. Totally worth the sweat).
8. Take care of that one thing. You know the one. That thing you keep putting off, or avoiding, that has been building up bigger and bigger in your mind. The thing that is bothering you so much, it has begun to affect your mood in ways you aren't even realizing. The thing that is making you feel out of control enough that you read all the way to the bottom of this blog post in hopes of curing yourself of that awful way you've been feeling lately. You're not alone! For me - this was my tax return. I knew it was going to be so frustrating I had actually managed to stress myself out before I even glanced at it for weeks - it was literally making me cranky and I hadn't even started it! Whatever it is, just take care of it. Leave the other things on your to-do list for another day...but get that one thing over with. The sense of accomplishment alone will be more than half of the battle.
This list might not be ground-breaking, and it certainly isn't going to solve every single fiber of stress in your body...but it's an amazing place to start. From the inside out - this list will make you feel like an entirely new person if you really put the effort in. Tried and tested by me this weekend - & trust me, I needed it more than you could ever know!
Hang in there. Warm weather and better times are ahead!