My last few posts have been pretty serious, touching on the highly-pathogenic avian influenza virus that is hitting Minnesota turkeys pretty hard right now. (Check a couple of them out here and here.) It's certainly a stressful time for everyone involved, and my office (the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association) is doing everything we can to help the farmers and the industry get through this rough patch.
That said, I'm going to switch it up a bit with this post and talk about how I relax after a particular busy and/or stressful day. When I go home at night, sometimes I need to decompress and not think about turkeys for a little while. To do that, I have a few tried-and-true methods that help me relax for a while and focus on life with my family:
- I cook. This especially helps on weekends, when I have more time, but I will admit even just getting into my kitchen on weekdays and getting on with supper helps bring me back to "normal family life" after a busy day at the office. (This is also related to my love of baking, which I love to do often. My office mates can attest to this, as I often bring treats in after a baking session at home.)
- I blog. Not every day, mind you, but as often as I can carve out time. This probably seems counter-intuitive; after all, I often write about turkeys so how can that help me decompress? The truth is, writing has always been cathartic for me. In fact, I've been a journal writer from the time I was a little girl. Writing helps clear my mind and make sense of life - or sometimes just allows me to laugh at life.
- I work out. When the weather is decent, I put my headphones on, play my current favorite playlist of songs, and hit the streets around my neighborhood for a run. If the weather isn't cooperating, then I'll head downstairs to our basement to use the dreaded elliptical machine. (It's not my favorite, but it works in a pinch.)
- I read to my son. Every night before bed I read to my son, Joe, who is 11. He still loves this ritual and right now, we're on book #4 of the Harry Potter series. It's one of our favorite times of the day!
- I watch mindless TV. I fully admit it - I am Real Housewives and HGTV obsessed, so please don't judge me.
- I do a load of laundry. I know - weird, right? But I actually don't mind doing laundry and I think it helps me feel caught up a little on the housework every night. Personally, I'd pick laundry over vacuuming any day!
- I goof around with my family. Tonight, for instant, we all did our picks for our annual family pool for the upcoming Masters Golf Tournament this weekend. My son and I have also been known to take silly selfies!
- I give my dog a belly rub. There's just something inherently relaxing about sitting down on the floor by my dog (Earl the Pug) and giving him a nice, long belly rub - it's his favorite.
None of these stress relievers are especially remarkable in any way, but they don't need to be. These just work for me.
What are your stress relievers when life on the farm or at your job gets busy?