Lately I have been re-watching 30 Rock. No real reason other then I read Tina Fey’s autobiography a few months ago and it sent me off on a tangent. Somewhere in the third season (or is it the, second? my binge watching is at that point where everything has just merged), there is an episode where Pete is getting frustrated with Kenneth interrupting his morning coffee every day. Pete explains that sitting down alone in the work kitchen is the only time he has by himself, it’s a break from his family, work and life in general. The episode follows the characters who all have their own version of these stress releases. Frank’s is smoking while Liz’s is – typically – eating junk food. When they try to give these things up they all start doing crazy things like sleep eating (Liz) and joining a fight club (Pete).
The episode raises a good point, we all need a release to help us unwind and get through life. This could by anything from doing a Sudoku crossword, running, walking the dog or having a glass of wine in the evening. While some are better then others, they all serve the same purpose – letting us unwind and relax. Without it we become tense as worries and stresses manage to pile on top of us.
At first I didn’t think I had a release. I exercise every day but it isn’t how I unwind and I can stop for a couple of weeks without getting stressed. The same goes for things like chilling with my kindle and having my morning coffee, while I enjoy them they aren’t big factors in changing my mood and outlook on life. It wasn’t until the other evening when I finished my workout, made my dinner, cleaned the kitchen and sat down in front of my lap top that I realized what my release is – dinnertime.
It may sound a bit odd, but to me dinnertime is when I can truly relax and escape form the day. Everything is done, I have finished exercising, household chores and work, the only thing left to do is eat and flick through the internet. To me this is absolute bliss. If I have a busy week where I need to do things after work and can’t sit down to enjoy my meal then I find myself getting cranky and wound up. It may not be glamorous, but this is my release from life.
Next time you find yourself feeling calm and relaxed take a moment to think about what you are doing. Or maybe you find that you have been feeling overhwelmed lately, consider what has changed and if there is a part of your daily routine that is missing. Even if it is a small two minute activity that you think is to silly to count, you may be surprised to realize how important it really is. Sometimes it really is the simply things that matter.