Last night, I experienced the perfect example of how one can take control of one's emotions and guilty thoughts and turn them into productive, healthy ones. It was a typical Tuesday, and the plan was to go to work, then to the gym, then home to clean and cook dinner. But by 2 p.m., exhaustion set in and the need to exercise was defeated by the even stronger need to nap.
So after work, I went home tired, hungry, and a little annoyed at myself for being too tired to exercise. Does this situation sound familiar? If you're a full-time working human, I'd be surprised if it did not. Typically in a society where we put extreme pressure on ourselves to perform our best, look our best, and be the best all.the.time., this type of scenario would cause pangs of guilt. But as soon as I started to feel the negativity crawl up into my mind, I remembered the Guiltless philosophy. So instead of feeling guilty, I tried these things instead (and ended up having a fabulous evening and waking up feeling rested and ready to go):
1. Call a close friend who you haven't talked to in a while. Talking to a loved one always lifts my spirits. Even just hearing their voice and listening to their life updates can put a huge smile on your face. (Takes as long as you want...on average 10-30 minutes)
2. Try a new recipe and whip up a healthy dinner. Sure, when you're tired, the last thing you want to do is cook. But what if you had an interesting new recipe that you've been meaning to try? That might spike your interest and get you excited to be in the kitchen. Here's a nice balanced meal to try: Roasted Fish & Veggies w/Quinoa and Pine Nuts from Whole Foods. (Takes about 35 minutes)
3. Put on your favorite Pandora station while you cook and do the dishes. Listening to music is a great way to create a relaxing and fun atmosphere. Usually, mundane house chores are done in silence, but that is boring! Make it fun by listening to your favorite tunes. (Takes 10 minutes on average to do the dishes)
4. Pick up that book you've been meaning to read. Reading for a little while can whisk you out of reality and into a new realm. I recommend the Hunger Games Trilogy. (Takes as much time as you want...10-30 minutes on average)
5. Burn your favorite scented candle. Aromatherapy is no joke. Not only does candle light create a cozy atmosphere, but your favorite scent has the power to put you in an excellent mood. My favorite right now in a pine scented candle. (Takes 30 seconds.)
6. Do some yoga stretches. Even when you're body is literally rejecting the gym, you can still do some stretches at home on your yoga mat. Fitting in a little light yoga during your night will do the body and the mind good. Here's a great book to accompany your yoga practice: Light on Yoga (Takes 15 minutes or as long as you want.)
In an appoximately 90 minutes or so, you've achieved some quality "me-time." So instead of feeling guilty about skipping your after work activities for a little R&R, try this instead.
What are your favorite "me time" activities?
Be well, and enjoy the day!