Congrats, you’ve officially survived the holidays – and there are plenty of ways to relax to celebrate.
I’m a firm believer that how you spend the first day of a new year sets the tone for the rest of the year. And unless you’re insane, you don’t want to spend another year filled with stress, overwhelm and worry; you want to spend your time how you’ve always wanted to, amiright?
Just because your life isn’t exactly how you want it to be doesn’t mean you can’t start taking the baby steps to get there – and one of the first things you need to kick to the curb is all that stress you keep piling onto yourself. Starting now.
Here are 9 ways to relax to start your new year off right:
1. Stay in bed as long as you want
Don’t let your mind fill up with “I should do this” or “I have to do that.” Today, you shouldn’t and you don’t have to.
2. Have a leisurely breakfast
3. Get all dolled up
Take a relaxing shower and put on your favorite outfit of all time. Look through all those braided hairstyles and makeup techniques you have bookmarked and give them a whirl.
4. Take a time out
The best part of a day off is not being aware of what time it is – and not giving a… well, you know. Do whatever you feel compelled to do in the moment to get back in touch with your instincts: Eat when you’re hungry, drink when you’re thirsty, nap when you’re tired.
You’re going to be tempted to check your email and check for texts and phone calls – do everything you can to resist the urge. This is your day that you’ve earned and then some. Don’t let the outside world poo poo all over it.
6. Pack up your worries
If you’re anything like me, taking a day off is really hard. In fact, sometimes it feels more stressful than working. If this is the case for you, take anything work-related that might steer you away from the ways to relax you have planned – your cell, your laptop, your to-do list – and put them in a box. Write down anything left undone, any loose ends you need to tie, and anything you’re worrying about and throw them in the box too. Now hide the box under your bed. (This sounds weird, but it’s wildly liberating!)
7. Choose an activity
What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but never have time for? See a movie? Browse the aisles of a bookstore? Meet a long lost friend for coffee? Start redecorating your home? The key is to not plan your afternoon, but do what your heart tells you to right that second.
8. Try a new recipe
Don’t just have any old dinner. Today you can cook without having to rush your way through the process. Throw on some tunes and make yourself a restaurant-worthy meal.
9. Go to bed early
Head to bed with a good book and make a pact that from now on you’re going to steal time away from your stressful routine and bask in doing nothing way more often.
What are your favorite ways to relax?
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Image: Gabriela Pinto