How to Find a Daily Dose of Decompression

This time of year is when I would normally be hashing out papers or getting a jump on school projects, but now that I am working full-time where I'm not jumping from topic to topic or class to class, I've found it important for me to center my focus on daily tasks, hitting those deadlines, but also making time for myself to protect my much needed me-time. 

For those who know me, I always have to be productive otherwise I get bored twiddling my thumbs and waiting for the next assignment. However, there are going to be many times in my life when I don't have that necessary time for me to recharge. Even working from home has made me feel guilty for stepping away from my screen just to walk my dog. Not prioritizing the time I would have had during my daily commute to decompress, listen to music, or just take a walk is going to result in burnout and we don't want that. So, here are some things I do to decompress after a long day! 

Use Your Mornings...
Using time to decompress doesn't have to be after a long day, it can even be before! I usually like to wake up about an hour before I need to log on so I can allot my time to get ready, make some coffee, and watch the Today Show before I start my day. I just find that mornings can be very peaceful ways to set the mood and sometimes I even listen to a daily motivation or horoscope just to focus my intentions for the day. This only happens on occasion, of course, but making a morning routine is integral to framing the beginning of your day. 

Facetime a friend...
As much as I love my downtime alone, sometimes all I need is a quick rant sesh with my best friend or a trip out to brunch to just have some social interaction outside of work. Add a glass of wine and we are golden! 

There's nothing like finishing off a day chatting with good people, perhaps around a bonfire, and just catching up on all things life. There's definitely a time and a place, but a bit of socialization sometimes does the trick for me when I've had a big workload during the week and also just to be able to listen to other people can be quite relaxing and take the edge off. 

Invest in Self-Care Time...
By now I have an entire self-care kit dedicated to skincare, nails, and body care that I pull out almost every night. I rotate between facemasks, manicures, or just prioritizing my nightly skincare routine to reset and rejuvenate my body at the end of the day. Throw in some dark chocolate and cozy blankets, too! However, sometimes all I need is pizza, so you do you! 

Having these moments to chill, eat some good food, and invest the time in yourself and relaxation is always important. Logging off from social media and even going to bed early can help get your mind off things and be better for you in the long run. Speaking of running, I do that too after work so listen to what your body and mind needs. 
Read a Book (for fun, of course)...
After we got back from our trip to the Yosemite, I actually found this book called Damnation Spring which is about a logging family that cuts down redwood trees for a living. Sometimes escape literature can be the perfect way to decompress and not think about life or social media. I'm dedicating at least an hour before bed to read and it has changed my sleeping and social media consumption habits for the better. Now that it's getting to feel a bit more like fall, all I can think about these days is snuggling up with a good book. And yes, I still love Reese's Bookclub and highly recommend it if you are on the fence about reading or can't decide what to read!

Create Healthy Work Habits...
Work, eat, sleep, repeat, seems to be the theme of my days recently, but it doesn't have to take over our ability to have some fun and continue to stay motivated. Especially when there may be a lull in between projects, we are all fully capable of creating opportunities to find joy and the positivity in all we do. I sometimes get so invested in certain ideas or research I'm doing that I forget to just log off and take a break. Balance is key and protecting the time you need to reboot and recharge even during a work day might bring out new perspectives or angles you never thought about. I know I always find fresh air or changing workplaces helps with keeping my work week fresh and different. 

We get lost in our daily lives when it comes to investing that necessary time to decompress and not overthink. This past year has proved enough stress for us all, so establishing these moments throughout our days or just after always helps me find some much needed peace. This post is just as much a reminder to me as it is to you because we can only help each other when we are taken care of and are in the right mindset. 

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