Almost anyone you ask will tell you that college is the best four years of your life, and I completely agree. I’ve fallen in love with New Orleans and have met amazing people. But sometimes I need to take a break and “re-normalize.” I realized this last week, after going out Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I found myself dreading getting ready to go out on Saturday. My body was screaming for sleep, the normal thing to do after going out for three days, but going out on a Saturday was also the thing to do in college. By 5:00 pm, I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore and my whole body hurt. On top of going out four times that week, I had also eaten practically every meal out or had them delivered. I needed sleep and I needed nutrients. Home seemed like the most practical option to receive those things, but I knew I needed to find those things in New Orleans. I vowed to not go out for a week, which I successfully did (for the first time this year) and set out to find some places in New Orleans that reminded me of normal to detox my body and mind. Obviously this list will look different for everyone, but it’s important to find your things. Here’s what I found:
1. Romney Ride & Hot Vinyasa Yoga
There is something about working out that is so refreshing and grounding. Honestly, I wouldn’t say I enjoy working out in the moment, but once I leave an exercise class, I always feel 100 times better than when I entered the room. Ride and Hot Yoga are two great classes to sweat out all your negative energy and rejuvenate you back to normal.
2. Exploring Whole Foods
Walking through the aisles of Whole Foods is such a blissful experience. Filling my cart with fresh foods and then cooking them makes me feel normal again. By cooking, I mean even just putting fresh turkey and cheese on a rice cake or microwaving a yummy breakfast sandwich. The salad bar too is so normalizing. Being in control of the fresh veggies and protein you put into your cardboard box makes you feel like you were the one that created the meal.
3. Watching Your Favorite Movie
The nights I found it most hard to stay in were the nights that I didn’t have work, but people were going out. My old mindset would’ve been to 100% go out, but my body needed rest and I had vowed not to go out. I watched one of my favorite comedies, The Interview, with a friend. It’s such a calming experience to watch a good movie and go to sleep at a normal hour.
4. Getting a Manicure
Sometimes just sitting in the massage chair and soaking your feet in the water is all you need to feel a little better. There is something so soothing about not worrying about anything for an hour and pampering yourself. Plus, the smell and fresh look of your hands after leaving the nail salon is amazing.
5. Going to the Pool
Nothing reminded me more of summer or home than sitting poolside at the Ace Hotel. Soaking up some vitamin D while eating a chicken kale salad, I experienced both relaxation and yummy nutrients. I had never been before and highly recommend going at least once this spring to enjoy a pre-summer oasis.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the hectic lifestyle of college, try out these simples steps to get yourself back to normal!
COVER PHOTO: Justin Haber