I’m curious how people relax. Do you like to curl up with a good book? Take a walk outside? The other night, after working until very late, I found myself up past 2 a.m. watching clip after clip of Jimmy Fallon on YouTube and doing that endless Instagram scroll. I just could not relax!
It makes a world of difference, whether I let myself get to that point where all I can do is passively stare at a screen, or whether I put down the phone and pick up a book. I would have closed all of those tabs in my head much sooner and fallen asleep. Had it been earlier, maybe a bath would have helped. Maybe with a glass of wine or with some dark chocolate. Wouldn’t that be lovely? I don’t do that enough.
That night, what finally ended up getting me to sleep, I realize in hindsight, was putting in earplugs. It’s not loud in our room. The dog makes funny little breathing sounds now and then, but Aron doesn’t snore. But when I have earplugs in, I hear my own breathing and it can be calming. I first started doing this when our room actually was loud: we lived on 14 th street in Manhattan, and even though we were on the 12th floor, the sounds of the city would make their way into the room.
Thinking about this one small habit of mine, I started wondering what others do to relax?
I’ve been partnering with Ghirardelli this month to spread the word about their Savor the Dark Book Club—Ghirardelli is pairing their premium Intense Dark chocolates with author-signed copies of new, seasonal book releases—and it occurred to me that after the kids are in bed, the other thing I usually reach for is something sweet and indulgent. Chocolate and a good book… sounds like a perfect way to end a busy day.
It’s been suggested that being mindful with an indulgence–like crunchy snacks, dark chocolate, a glass of wine, or a cup of tea—can get you focused on the present moment and out of the multitasking loop. If that happens to be your favorite way to relax, here are some suggestions for enjoying a square or two in the evening…
My last Ghirardelli box featured Intense Dark 72% Cacao Twilight Delight Bar, Intense Dark Cocoa Nibs Bar, and my new favorite, Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree Bar. And you’d be surprised by some of the things that go well with it—like a sip of well-aged Tequila and sweet black cherries, or a stout beer and BBQ potato chips. There’s that crunch!
So tell me, how do you like to relax?
I have a friend who swears by rubbing her feet over a golf ball to relieve tension, and another who likes the repetition of brushing her hair. My roommate used to put on a Talking Heads album and just dance it out.
Thank you to Ghirardelli for supporting this content and providing the product for this post. You can order July’s Savor the Dark Book Club boxes at Quarterly Co., and discover ways to pair the Intense Dark flavors with food and beverages at Ghirardelli. (In San Francisco since 1852!)
P.S. Thank goodness it’s a long weekend!