A Relaxing Evening In
I am an introvert. I am not shy, but I do need my alone time to recharge. I learned a lot about introverts and extroverts from the book Quiet, and would highly recommend it! Sometimes I struggle balancing my social life with my need for ‘me time.’ It’s a priority of mine to keep my relationships strong with those around me, but for me to operate at my full capacity I need to recharge with nights in to myself. I used to feel guilty and think I needed a good excuse to decline an invitation to something. I didn’t think “I need me time” was a good enough excuse to give when they were asked to hang out. However, I have come to realize that it is perfectly acceptable to decline an invitation if I need to recharge! I am not all the way there yet, I am also a (person who needs to please others, rather than pleasing myself) so even if I don’t want to do something if I know it will make the other person happy I usually do it. This means that sometimes that alone time gets put on the back burner. One week something may come up every night and I get overwhelmed with social activity! Ideally, I need to schedule that day to myself and not let other people distract me from taking that much needed alone time. My goal is to schedule two nights a week in away from the world where I can relax and recharge. What do I do on this night in alone? Well it looks a little something like this:
Every time I make a list of goals I always add “Journal More.” I have been journaling since I was 12. I think everyone should! So many people ask, well what do you write about? So many people think you need to have these deep profound insights to make journaling worth it. Just write. It doesn’t have to be anything except what you did that day, what you are feeling or what you are thinking. I used to write thinking about ‘what if someone finds this one day when I am gone? What do I want them to read.’ But that was just limiting what I wrote and how I wrote. Journaling isn’t for anyone but you. Sometimes just getting down on paper what you are thinking or what you are feeling helps you to make sense of it all. We look back on pictures to see how much we have physically changed over the years, when you go back and read a passage from an old journal it shows you how far you have come and how much you have emotionally and intellectually grown. There is nothing else like it.
If you are reading this blog you have probably noticed that I like to read. This is something else that relaxes me and something that I try to make a priority. If my mind is wondering and I can’t focus on the book at hand I try to make a list of things to do or try to write down what I am thinking to clear my head so that I can enjoy a good book!
Drink a Warm Drink
Sometimes it’s just nice to sit and drink a warm cup of tea to unwind and relax. Even when I lived in Arizona I loved sitting by the fire at night wrapped in a blanket drinking hot tea (I may or may not have done this with the a/c on…) Every fall especially in Wisconsin when the trees are changing color, I put on Gilmore girls wrap myself in a blanket and drink some hot tea with lemon. It’s so relaxing! Yes I may have seen Gilmore Girls more times than I like to admit, but that’s beside the point.
Turn Off All Devices
I cannot relax or unwind if I am constantly checking Facebook, Instagram or receiving text messages. I also get too tempted to go socialize if someone reaches out and wants to grab a drink, so to completely relax I turn off my cell phone. What if there is an emergency and someone needs me!?!?…There was a time many moons ago, that we were not all completely attached to our cell phones. People were not always able to reach someone at any given moment. If something CRAZY happens they will find a way to get a hold of you. If it is something you just can’t seem to find it in yourself to do, put your phone on silent and charge it in the other room. Check it every so often, but don’t keep it attached to you at all times. It’s a relief to not have to be accountable to anyone but yourself for the night. This means separating yourself from your laptop as well. I promise those baby announcements will be there in the morning!
When we finished the basement we put a bathtub in. The house that we live in Mike built before he met me, and being that he is a guy, he did not realize the importance of a bathtub. Now we have one and I am so glad we do! I love reading a book, relaxing in the tub while soothing music plays being surrounded by candles. It’s also the perfect end to a relaxing evening in.
Images by: Andi Stempniak