1. Get out of those stupid work duds. Put on something that’s comfortable, warm, soft, baggy, faded, wrinkled, has holes in it. Security blanket apparel that you cherish and cannot bring yourself to throw away.
2. Brew, uncork, steep, pour over ice or microwave for yourself your most favourite beverage ever in your most favourite cup or glass or pitcher.
3. Light some candles. In this case less is NOT more. Fall just a tad short of setting your house on fire.
4. Turn down the music. If radio is all you’ve got, turn the damned thing off. This is not the right time to listen to what incredible deals they have going on for you at City Ford. And turn off the tv. You don’t need to see them right now either.
5. Turn off the lights. Stumble around in the dark by candle light. Trust me, this is good for you. We’re trying to create an atmosphere here. Go back to step one and put on some big thick socks if you think that might help.
6. Turn off your phone. Seriously, it does have an OFF button. Now turn off all of your back up phones. ALL OF THEM. Good for you. What’s the worst thing that you might miss out on in the next hour or two? If somebody dies, it will keep. You will be the last to know and therefore the one who is blissfully ignorant for the longest period of time. Think of it as winning. Yay! My phone is off, I win.
7. Refill your cup, or glass or pail. Put the pot or the carafe or the bottle or the keg somewhere within easy reaching and pouring distance. This is very important, because after step 8 you will not be allowed to get up.
8. Sit down. Do not get up. The only exception to this rule is in the unlikely circumstance that a candle falls over and sets the curtains ablaze.
9. Put your feet up. That’s what coffee tables are for. And the couch cushions are for putting between the coffee table and your aching feet. Decorative only be damned.
10. Empty your head. The hardest step of course is this elusive number 10, because now that you’re all relaxed it’s easy to come up with brilliant one liners that you SHOULD have said when so and so did such and such. Don’t despair. Repeating number seven enough times can contribute to an over-all feeling of numbness and brainlessness where comebacks lose their relevance. Keep trying until you get it right. You can do it. Relaxing is not rocket science. It’s just more critically important to your well being. Practice makes perfect. Cheers.