Have you ever stopped to think how the pandemic has affected you? I think in our quest to return to any sense of normalcy, that we can forget – or ignore – the stress we’ve all been through over the last year. Some of you are still working from home, some of you will be working from home forever, some of you had to get used to working at home with a spouse as your co-worker, let’s not even talk about the homeschooling. Life as we knew it – is different.
I was in a meeting last week, where some of my colleagues expressed some valid feelings about the post-pandemic stress. We are in such a rush to return to normal, that we haven’t ever really stopped to address some of these feelings we might have.
I’ll speak for myself here for a second. In just the last three months, I’ve worked more hours than ever, attended more meetings than my previous seven years in this job, and I’m working on so.many.projects. Top that off with my (new) house needing to undergo a renovation as a result of our freeze, and I lost my beloved dog. And, I know that you all have your own stressors – and your own things that you are dealing with.
On my walk this weekend with my friend Katie. We had some real talk. And we both talked about the fact that we need to take more time to treat ourselves. For me, that means having some uninterrupted time to read a book, to spend time with some friends, to have cocktails with some girlfriends, to have date night with my husband, to take a day off work. What does it mean for you?
I’ve come up with some of my favorite ways to unwind and treat myself a little bit, and I think you’ll like them too.
My Cookie Dealer Cookies
One of my favorite pandemic finds was My Cookie Dealer cookies. Juan and Karen Morel started this company from scratch. Juan is a professional bodybuilder, and Karen’s cookies are the original 8 ounce cookies that have gained fame on social media. These cookies are the bomb dot com. And, you never know which flavors she’s going to release. So, at the beginning of the pandemic, Aaron and I ordered some, and they were so delicious. You can freeze them and heat them up later. They are huge – and are such a treat.
She does some grab bags now, where you can order ten cookies at a time, and it’s a big surprise which cookies will show up on your doorstep. She sells out quickly, so sign up for the emails and alerts so you can get notified when she’s dropping a new batch.
One of my favorite Friday evening activities was to go see my girl, Faye, at Massage Envy. I had the membership, so I would use my credits for 60 or 90-minute massages with Faye about once a month. It was the best way to unwind after a long week. I stopped going last year when the pandemic hit, and I tried a new place by my house fairly recently. It wasn’t the same as Faye, so I need to make it a point to schedule directly with her.
Going for a run
It’s no secret that both my husband and I like to be outside. And running has always been my way to get those endorphins going. It’s one of my favorite ways to unwind.
I spent so many miles on the trails last year during the pandemic. I credit running to keeping me as positive and upbeat as possible. I’ve been doing a lot more strength training lately because I am a stronger runner when I incorporate weights into my routine. I want to get back out on the trails soon.
Have I ever mentioned that my husband and I love to kayak? Houston has several places where you can rent them. We own ours, but that’s because we take it with us when we visit my in-laws and to other local trips. I grew up in California around the water. And it’s a place of peace and calm for me. Luckily, Houston has a lot of fun places to kayak, so Aaron and I can load it up and be in the water within an hour. Just something about being out on the water feels like you are on vacation somewhere. A girl can dream, right?
What are some of your favorite ways to treat yourself? I’d love to hear!