Yeah, I'm pretty standard. Usually it's a run, a bath, or cross-stitching. Failing any of those, if it's a really really shitty day, comfort television. Something like Buffy or Freaks and Geeks, episodes that I've seen like 18 times before.
Take off my shoes first. Sounds simple, but it really relaxes me. Then I change into something comfortable. I'm lucky that I have two great nearly grown sons to chat with, and plenty of furry pets who are glad to see me come home..so home is my sanctuary.
And on a really bad day, I'll add a glass of wine.
Long soak in tub.
Call or text a friend and complain.
Lie on back on floor with legs propped up on chair.
Listen to music that's a little better than my mood, gradually shifting to more serene selections.
I lie down on these things. They're called shiatsu-ki, and the little knobs are adjustable. To use them you lie down with the knobs poking into either side of your spine, as indicated on the chart. I use the four-knobbed one beneath my back and the two-knobbed one under my neck, simultaneously. I reposition them up and down my spine every five minutes or so.
It can be searingly uncomfortable for the first minute or so, depending on how tense I am. But I always eventually relax into it, and sometimes even fall asleep for ten minutes or so with it digging into my back (as soon as I shift in my sleep, it wakes me up). After 20-30 minutes of lying on the shiatsu-ki, I go lie face-down in bed and nap for fifteen minutes or so.
When I stand up, my vertebrae feel better aligned and I usually take a shower and then go about fixing dinner. I feel great and my head and body are clear of tension.
I've also been known to take a brisk walk or practice guitar to shake the grind out of my system.
In English, the shiatsu-ki device (指圧器) is called a Nakayama formula Cailleux vessel.
Apparently I've been spending too long at a time on it. Instructions here seem to say to use it ten minutes at a time, morning and evening, and to rest for ten minutes afterwards. The knobs can be raised and lowered before use to adjust for your height and how much you like them digging into your back. Here's a video in Japanese.
When I first started, I used them on my bed, but now that I'm used to the sensation I place them on a yoga mat. To be honest, using it for 20 minutes feels just great, maybe if I used it more often I'd use it for shorter periods, as instructed.
Thanks for all the ideas! I squished my bunny into my face and then gave myself a manicure last night.
Tonight (after having almost the exact same bad day as yesterday) I will try a bath and US magazine.
Those shiatsu-ki things look cool but knowing me I'd use them once and then they would sit in a closet.