It had been a long night.
In fact, it had been a long weekend. A long week. A loooong month. I felt emotionally and physically… drained isn’t the right word. Because I didn’t feel empty. It was like my brain was a muddy puddle where all the silt has been kicked up, and my thoughts were swirling slowly around in that turbidity. Ew.
I was thinking this as I lay in bed at two in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day, but I had missed 60% of it after a big night out. I decided I need a mind cleanse. So I dragged myself out of bed and formulated a plan for how I would feel better by the time I went to bed. Here’s what I did:
Start With: 8 oz Organic Juice Drink
I know this is in the physical cleanse area, but it helps get you in the right frame of mind. My favorite place to get juice drinks is Liquiteria (I have a couple other favorites in NYC). After pulling on some yoga pants and a top in order to look somewhat productive, I walked the seven blocks south to 11th Street and 2nd Ave to get a bottle of “the killer x,” with apple, lemon, ginger and immunity booster.
Add: 42 Minutes Rooftop meditation
You could do this in the park, but I prefer my roof because it’s the closest thing I have to a backyard in that it’s quiet and private-ish. I can only imagine what Sheep’s Meadow looked and sounded like on a nice day like Sunday. Probably like a music festival.
I took up the ladder outside my apartment door to my humble little blacktop roof. I laid a big, fluffy towel out on the side that looks over the pretty gardens in the back (which, unfortunately I don’t have access to or else I would be down there), and laid on my back for a while, just looking at the blue sky above me. An unseen wind chime tinged on someone’s fire escape, and birds chirped in the trees in the garden. In other words: bliss.
Then I assumed a prone position on my stomach much like Wile E. Coyote after he falls off a cliff and splats on the ground. I know you’re supposed to sit up, but that just wasn’t happening and I wanted to be gentle on myself.
I used MyMeditation Lite. This is a simple little app that will guide you through breathing exercises and then will ping you into the main meditation for three, 12 or 30 minutes. I set it to the longest setting of 12 minutes of breathing plus 30 minutes of meditation. I meditated casually. My thoughts wandered often. I would let them for a bit, and then gently shoo them away and empty my head again. When my phone chimed, I already felt a little better.
Mix: 1 Clean Apartment
Really, nothing refreshes like a neat and tidy apartment. I just can’t feel on top of my game when there’s crap scattered everywhere. So I did my dishes, stacked all my unread magazines and recycled the rest, swept the floor and hung up my clothing. I threw open a window to let fresh air in, and just for good measure turned on my ionizing air cleaner.
Then I chose one space to reorganize: my jewelry box. It’s small and simple, but it’s such a nice feeling to see everything neatly lined up. You could do this with your denim drawer or desk drawer or bookshelf. Anything that makes you feel like you’ve tidied a corner of your life.
Add: Something Simple for Dinner
Grab a simple vegetable, drizzle it in olive oil and shove it in the oven to roast. The act of cubing the vegetable, the simple seasonings and the fresh taste cleansed my palate of any vestiges of last night’s alcohol and set my mind at ease.
Fold in: 1-2 Pieces Edifying Piece of Writing
This could be almost anything: an issue of The Atlantic or The New Yorker, some non-fiction about new discoveries in psychology, modern buddhist writing, or even just a celebrated piece of literature from from the past few years. I chose Poser, by Claire Dederer, for my reading.
Warm up: A Bathtub of Saltwater
Saltwater has wonderful properties, or so I hear. Feng Shui consultants use it to cleanse themselves before doing an apartment energy cleanse, it’s recommended as a remedy for all sorts of maladies, and it just feels nice.
You can order delicious-smelling salts from one of these clean beauty shops, but I still have salt left over from my trip to Iceland, so I liberally poured that into a warm bath and soaked, reading my book and drinking a cup of green tea.
Stir in: 1 Call to a Family Member
I owed my grandmother a call, so I rang her up and we discussed the nice, clean, happy things grandmothers and granddaughters discuss: my career, where I had gone out to dinner, the weather in New York versus Arizona, etc. There’s nothing like discussing what you’re making for dinner and singing a round of “You Are My Sunshine,” to feel happy and productive.
Combine and Bake for 8 Hours: A Nice Deep Sleep
Whew, that’s a lot of mind cleanse. By the time I was done with all these mind-health activities, it was time for bed. So I climbed into bed, feeling clarified and (almost) looking forward to Monday morning.