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1. Take a nap.
I have been the queen of naps lately. When I'm tired, I'm tired. Fighting it doesn't make me less tired. Lately I've found there is no gift better than the gift of rest, even if it's just a quick 20-minute nap. To feel recharged, it's the way for me to go.
2. Take a walk.
Even if I don't think I'm in the mood, I always feel better after a walk. This is true even when it's just a walk around the block. Getting outside, moving my body, and breathing in fresh air is usually just the mood boost I need.
3. Go on a Date Night with your partner or best friend.
Recently my husband and I realized it had been awhile since we'd gone on a proper Date Night. We spend all our evenings together, but mostly in front of the TV or around the house. Last week we met up one night after work for dinner and a movie. It was such a nice change in routine and reminded me of those fun dates we went on when we first started dating.
4. Do some light exercise (think: yoga, water aerobics, hiking).
Some days I just don't feel like doing a hardcore workout. That's fine. I know I feel crappy, though, when I skip a workout altogether. I'm the type of person who needs to move my body not just for my physical health, but my mental health as well. A little movement every day works for me, but on certain days I need it to be light movement.
5. Get outside.
The sun is finally coming out in Portland! There's no place I'd rather be than on our porch swing in the back yard. I love, love, love being outside. I love walking around. I love eating meals outdoors. I love everything about being outside, so as long as the weather allows I'm going to take advantage of it.
6. Visit a senior center.
The years I spent working at a retirement center were the most rewarding years of my life. At this point I've lost all four of my grandparents and I truly miss hearing their sweet stories. Seniors have a way of really putting life into perspective for a younger person. I realized how petty so many of my worries were when I watched them enjoying the final years of their lives. In my book, there's no love like the love you receive from a senior.
7. Talk to a child.
Children also have a way of putting life into perspective and they're often pretty entertaining in the process. If you're having a bad day, call your niece or visit your friend who has young kids. It's another instant mood booster.
8. Make a healthy meal from scratch.
When you're having an off day or are feeling exhausted, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that quickly getting some already-made food will make you feel better. There are of course times when this is true, but more often a homemade meal will provide true satisfaction. When I make my meals, I a.) know what ingredients are going into my dishes, b.) portion my meals correctly, c.) add a lot more vegetables than I would get at a restaurant and d.) get satisfaction from making something with my bare hands.
9. Make your own ice cream.
Blend frozen bananas. Add fixings. Add coconut milk or avocado to make it creamier. Add whatever ingredients you'd like: chocolate, peanut butter, berries, nuts, you name it. I made a smoothie bowl this morning that had the consistency and flavor of ice cream, but its ingredients were banana, almond milk, avocado, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and dark mint chocolate. So satisfying and no added sugar or weird ingredients.
10. Do whatever you need to do.
I've had a lot of low-energy days lately and I've realized the best way to get through them is to just do whatever I need to do to get through them. Sometimes I need to watch funny videos on youtube. Sometimes I need to read a book. Sometimes I need to close my eyes and breathe deeply. Sometimes I need to get outside. Sometimes I need to nap. I just need to do whatever I need to do.
11. Write yourself a love letter.
Fit Girls Guide introduced me to the concept of lunchbox notes and wow notes. A lunchbox note is a note of encouragement I write for myself and pack in my lunch, just as I would for a child. A wow note is a note I write at the end of the day after reflecting on something I did well. Examples: Wow, I was tempted to skip my workout but I powered through! Wow, I said no thanks to fast food and made a healthy salad instead! Wow, I listened to my body and let myself get some much-needed rest today!