Work days can get monotonous can’t they? Wake up, put the oatmeal on the stove, rush off to the shower, stuff the oatmeal down and run out the door, hopefully remembering the lunch you packed. And damn it, where’s the laptop? After working normal hours, we come often come home drained, and at my house, I’ve noticed that that exhaustion translates into me zoning out in front of bad TV and my partner plugging into a computer game.
Sometimes I remember to drag myself off the couch to walk the dogs and make dinner, but other nights I find myself snacking on whatever I can find, before stumbling to bed, and waking up the next morning thoroughly confused about where my time went.
Even weekends can be similar: several loads of laundry and cleaning the house so we’re not ashamed to have people over. (It’s not as easy as it was in China, where we had Ayi’s to handle that!) And so zoning out becomes a guilty reward once again.
I bet I’m not alone.
LCD screens have become adult (and even infant) pacification. Don’t know what to do with that extra 15 minutes you have in your day? Flip through the channels, pin something on Pinterest, read a blog post – let’s face it, we have any number of options, and they can all leave us feeling zapped of our energy, with nothing to show for it.
So how do you remember to make time for yourself so that you can really recharge? Sometimes it’s as easy as remembering what’s important to you and what your goals are, but in case you’re stuck, here are a few ideas that you might find help you unplug:
- Downgrade your cable to the bare minimum you can live with. You’ll save money (we’re saving $80 a month now), and you’ll find that you have more time on your hands. If you have a few can’t-miss programs, well that’s what Hulu+ and Netflix are for. This will cut down on the amount of time you mindlessly plug in.
- You know all those DIY projects that you pin on Pinterest? Start one!
- Learn a new skill – there are countless tutorials that aspire to teach us how to do everything from making our own cheese, to sewing our own clothes. Pick something and work on it until you’re happy with your skill level. For me it was canning, crochet, and coding. You can learn through a book, a class, an online portal like Skillshare, but you just have to decide to try. (nice)
- Play a game – got roommates? Neighbors? Whip out a game of Uno or Scrabble, or Wuziqi. It can help you learn about new cultures and also reaffirm your friendships, because who doesn’t love laughing about someone’s awful drawing in Pictionary? (so true!!)
- Go for a walk – we spend so much of our days inside offices and classrooms. Why not go enjoy the sunlight! After all, we’re vitamin D deprived anyway. On hold with the bank? That’s no reason not to walk around the block while you listen to the elevator music. Charles Dickens once famously said, “If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish.”
- Take a class at the gym to help you break the monotonous workout routine. I know right now pole dancing is the new exercise craze, but for me, I think a Monkey Conditioning class looks like so much more fun.
- Enjoy a spa day at home. Bubble bath and a good book can fix most of the world’s problems, but DIY manicures and facials aren’t bad either. Whip out candles and beverage of your choice for an even swankier evening.
These things have helped inspire me to use my time differently, and I’ve found that at the end of the day, I’m much more relaxed than I was before. What helps you recharge at the end of the day, and what ways do you avoid getting sucked into the LCD screen vortex?