When you’ve had a rough day/week/month, it’s easy to want to flop on the couch or bed and just watch Netflix, but we all know that the binge-watching cycle can do more harm than good when you’re trying to pull yourself out of a slump. Ultimately, you have to do you and all that biz, but you also need to realize if the watch next episode routine is actually benefitting you or just making you more lethargic. To help get you through (because we’ve been there), we’ve got seven therapeutic options that will still give you that soul-soothing time you need, without frying your brain.
1. Read a book or magazine (a real one)
Part of what drags us down so much is all the screen time that we get. Take 20 or 30 minutes out of your day to read a REAL book or magazine; chances are once you get going, you won’t want to stop. If you need some background noise, reach for a soothing playlist instead of another episode of Gilmore Girls.
2. Go shopping
If it’s not your finances that have gotten you down, it can be helpful to go out and get yourself something nice. Small things like buying a new lipstick or cozy sweater can help you feel like you look better, which will in turn make you feel better. As long as your retail therapy isn’t putting a huge dent in your bank account, there’s nothing wrong with a treat yoself trip to the mall.
3. Bake or cook something delicious
Perfect example: I’ve had a slew of long weeks and when I got home from work on Friday evening, I was starving, but didn’t want to order takeout or go out for dinner. And since the magical dinner fairy didn’t leave anything for me to eat, I just decided to be a grownup and cook one of my favourite meals: fettcuine alfredo. It took a little while to put the meal together (because, like most good things, alfredo sauce takes time and lots of stirring), but once I ate it, my mood started to dissipate (the wine I was sipping while cooking may have helped, too).
4. Do some at-home pampering
Shave your legs, paint your nails, put on a face and hair mask and top it all off with a relaxing bath. Similar to shopping, once you feel pampered and primed, the last thing you’ll want to do is sit around the house doing nothing. Perfect time to rock what you bought for a night out.
5. Do exercise”any kind at all
When you’re starting to feel a little bit better, get yourself moving in any way that you can. Take it slow and do some yoga or go full-force with a run or barre class. Whatever it is, just get your blood pumping.
6. Take a nap
This may seem counter-productive, but part of why you’re feeling so down may just be because you need to catch up on some zees. Take some time to relax and have a nap, but just be sure to set your alarm and actually get up when it goes off. If you’re not the napping kind, then just make sure you go to bed early or stay in bed a little longer in the morning. The pressure of having to get up early can just fuel that overwhelming feeling.
7. Watch Netflix”but only with friends present
Okay, you’re allowed to watch something on Netflix, but only with the supervision of someone else. Grab a friend to spend the evening hanging out with and watch a couple movies or episodes of a show together. At the very least you’re being social so it’ll be a bit more difficult to get sucked into the time warp that is the dreaded binge-watch.