So, it’s a relaxing weekend. We all get 3 days off to honor our veterans, grill things over hot flames, and generally enjoy life. I’m certainly taking advantage-it’s amazing I managed to get a load of laundry and all our grocery shopping done today, because other than that I’ve been a bum. But the weekend in which I’m pretty much relaxed the whole time, it got me thinking about the little habits we have that get us through the less relaxing times.
We all have rituals, habits, routines. I get up in the morning, let the dogs out, pour my coffee, etc. But what do I do when I’m stressed? Jeff will tell you I have a habit of pulling my ponytail when I’m stressed, thinking, or just plain hot. I have been really enjoying a workout schedule in which I run over lunch, so most nights when I get home from work, I’m also getting home from a day in which my only break was to run anywhere from 4-12 miles. I’m tired, I’m sometimes stressed, and I’m usually still a bit gross from my workout. So the first thing I do most nights when I get home is take what I like to call a “shath”. First I shower and wash my hair, then I plug the drain, wrap the towel around my head, sprinkle in some epsom salts and take a soak. It’s helped with muscle soreness as much as it has mental health. For a long time, my bathtime ritual involved a popcicle. I don’t know why, maybe it’s the hot water/cold treat juxtaposition. But lately, I’ve taken things to the next level. It started by Jeff innocently bringing me a glass of wine in the tub. Then, gradually, most baths involved a glass of wine. And now, when I get home most of the time, I’m pretty darn hungry. So I’ve taken a virtual snack plate in the tub with me. It’s currently a healthy serving of carrots, a couple of baked chips, and a few pieces of turkey pepperoni. Don’t ask, it’s just my jam.
I’ve got plenty of other strange habits. I love having a big bowl of popcorn for lunch and a nap on Saturdays. I reliably eat the same things in the same order every day at work, only the lunch changes (oatmeal, dry rice chex, banana, lunch, apple & pistachios, popcorn, watermelon). I have to have a fan on every night when I sleep and can’t fall asleep without the TV on anymore. It comes from my years as a single lady who heard too many bumps in the night and wanted to quit looking for things that weren’t there. These things are reliable. They’re always there, unless I forget something or routine changes. I love spontaneity,don’t get me wrong, but there’s something that feels like home when you’re following your routine.
So, what do you do? Tell me I’m not alone in the comfort of a strange behavior.