Five Ways to Unwind “Harry Potter” Style
Let’s face it – life gets stressful from time to time. Stress can materialize itself in the strangest of ways. For me, it’s an inexplicable sadness that can linger for days on end. That’s usually a warning to my brain that, hey, I need to disconnect for a bit and reconnect with myself – the authentic self! My authentic self lives and breathes Harry Potter, and yeah, I’m shamelessly all ’bout that fantasy life.
As a workout-a-holic and fitness professional, the advice “just work out!” never really helped me de-stress since I already exercise sometimes two to three times a day for my job.
So of course, I look to Harry Potter. Here are five ways that have proved very lucrative in helping me de-stress, Harry Potter style.
1. Well, duh. The first one is a given. Read Harry Potter.
2. Go on Harry Potter walks.
I’m not kidding – this is one of my favorite ways to unwind and clear my head. Put on a pair of headphones, play the Harry Potter soundtrack(s), and go enjoy nature for a bit. In Switzerland, my house was right next to a forest, so I was able to pretend I was exploring the Forbidden Forest. But fear not if you live in suburbia – the Harry Potter soundtrack will make any suburban street feel magical too. Go on a walk for 30 minutes and try to tell me when you return that you don’t feel “loads” better! Well, go on – don’t just stand there – give it a go!
3. Bake some Harry Potter-inspired goodies.
You can find some recipes here.
4. Hate walks and the thought of potentially burning down the kitchen stresses you out? Practice some Harry Potter meditation techniques.
Again, play the soundtrack (perhaps just the first soundtrack, since you don’t want to stumble across the Knight Bus track and find yourself startled from your tranquil stupor – believe me, this has happened to me and it wasn’t pleasant). One of my favorite meditative techniques is called the body scan. Lie down, close your eyes, and start with your head. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Notice any tingling or sensations. Move on to the next body part: the neck, then the chest, etc., until you make it all the way down to your toes. In my experience, doing this technique with some Harry Potter music can be very healing.
5. Watch Harry Potter with intention.
Turn off all of your technology except for your DVD player and television. I’m serious: Commit yourself to NO social media for at least three hours. Turn off that phone and put it in a drawer. Put on your pajamas, make a bowl of popcorn or your favorite movie snack, and pop in your favorite Harry Potter movie. Watch it (preferably) with a quiet spectator – like your kitty. Soak it in: scene for scene, word for word. When is the last time you paid your absolute full attention to something? Be present in the moment, because if anything, Harry Potter deserves your full attention.
I feel like the common trend and a devastating pressure in the 21st century is to be productive all day every day. And if we’re not productive, we’re meant to feel guilty later on. How can anyone ever relax with this mindset? Downtime and a little entertainment are just as important as hard work, exercise, sleep, or proper nutrition.
So – don’t feel guilty. Take care of yourself.
Have you done any of these techniques? Have any techniques of your own? Comment below!