I’m fighting off a nasty summer cold this week, so here’s what’s helping my get by:
- “Meaty”: This collection of essays from Samantha Irby was originally published in 2013 and recently updated with a reprint. A thoughtful friend and her bf gifted me a new copy for my bday, and I speed-read it in two sittings. It’s that good. From lazy-girl recipes to a loooot of information about GI issues, it’s not for the faint of heart. Which is exactly why I loved it.
- Cacio e Pepe: What’s arguably the simplest pasta dish has become a weekly staple for me. When my energy is gone, this satisfying combo of pasta, cheese and garlic (duh) can’t be beat. It’s an especially gratifying comfort food when you don’t have to hover over the stove for long. Add some garlic toast and you’ve got the perfect meal. Mangia!
- Breathe App: Don’t get me wrong — I still love my Daily Calm from the Calm app, but this is another way to get zen. Answer a few quick questions about how you’re feeling in the moment, and the app will recommend breathing exercises and plans for you to try. It’s weirdly satisfying and has lately helped me get to sleep faster. Win-win.
- “Delicate” – Taylor Swift: Is it possible for Taylor Swift to release a song that isn’t an earworm? I think not. This one has been rolling around in my brain for weeks and I can’t seem to shake it off. Yeah, I went there. I’m not even mad about it; I just had to warn you before I put it in your head now, too.
I’ve had a massive headache all day, making work (among other things) extremely difficult to get through. To combat the migraines I inevitably face from lack of relaxation, here are my go-to tricks for alleviating stress and headaches.
Put on good music. It can be soothing or booming with beats, but make sure it’s something that won’t require you to shuffle after every few tracks. I love Straight No Chaser and Mumford & Sons for this very reason.
Work it out. If you’re feeling up to it, a 30-minute cardio sesh will do wonders for your stress levels. Releasing endorphins makes you happy (and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands).
Change into something cozy. Whether it’s your Forever Lazy or sweats and a tee, wipe away the day’s dramas with a comfortable and relaxed ensemble. Extra points for Snuggies!
Pour a glass of wine. The men may poo-poo at this, but a nice glass of vino takes away stress much faster than a brew ever could. Try your best not to finish the entire bottle — otherwise, you’ll end up with an even bigger headache in the morning.
Light soothing-scented candles. I love lavender and vanilla fragrances when I need an escape, but any smell that transports you to a better place will do.
Make a comforting meal. It doesn’t need to be fancy (and shouldn’t be complicated), but treat yourself to a delicious dish of fresh and flavorful ingredients. I absolutely adore saltedchocolate’s Mozzarella Caprese Pasta after a rough day.
There are plenty of other ways to lower your stress level, but this six-step routine has become my Bible.
What helps you relax? Is it a combination of these ideas or something else entirely? Share your favorites here!
You tell ’em, Ross.