COLUMN : why AW is good for you

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COLUMN, ETC, FOOD, HEALTH, HOME

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when working from home, the line between being on the clock, and off it, quite often gets blurry. for those of us who don’t have an office, class room, workplace, or studio to spend our days in, making those lines more distinct again is of the essence.

now, i don’t mind the line being thin. work often seem like play to me, and i enjoy having my work also being a significant part of my lifestyle. thin lines i can handle – blurry lines … not so much.

to stay healthy, and to be able to sign off and de-stress, i need my after work ritual. this is all new to me, and a lot of days i don’t manage it properly, but i have every intention of getting it to where it has become a habit. a natural part of my everyday life.

the whole point of my AW ritual is to wind down, to create a space in my day dedicated to moving from work to relaxation. to create a no man’s land if you will. this space can look different from day to day, i don’t mind that. it just needs to be time and energy dedicated to redirecting my mode from productivity to repose.

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the most common AW ritual is of course having a drink, either with co-workers or friends, or alone when we get home from the office or wherever it is that we work. it’s understandable, alcohol is something most of us would never have at work, so a drink instantly signals to our brains that we are now off duty. also, having a nice glass of wine is something of a treat, a luxury. it can create an atmosphere of glamour, relaxation, and decadence. an effective way to reach that no man’s land of after-work-before-night-time relaxation.

but effective as it may be, i don’t want to have a drink every night. i don’t even want to have a drink every week.

so i’m experimenting with other ways of reaching that mindset of clocking out, relaxing. of luxury, calm, and decadently spending time on simply winding down. today i’m sharing my favourite wind-down at the moment.

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since having a drink like a beer or glass of wine is what AW means to most of us, i’m sticking with the tradition, just making it a glass of something non-alcoholic instead. to have the wanted effect, i need to make it a good drink. it can’t be a cup of tea or something else that i have anyway throughout the day. it has to be something that i’d only have on special occasions, to signal to my brain that this is luxury off-time. kombucha, a nice juice drink, sparkling water flavoured with fruits, berries, apple cider vinegar. something cold and inventive. with some pre-dinner snacks, like fruits, nuts, roasted chickpeas, olives – something we’d normally have with a drink. creating a moment of pure pleasure through catering to my tastebuds.

i often have this drink with david – just talking about the day, how we’re doing, what’s on our minds. either listening to my jazz playlist, or one of david’s one-hit wonder 90s classics. it’s a lovely way to round off the day – starting it with a productive morning meeting, and finishing with a mellow AW drink.

a couple of days in the week though, we take care of our own AW. as you might know, me and david spend all of our time together. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. so we try to get some alone-time in there too. this is difficult, because normally we really just want to continue hanging out, but it’s definitely necessary to split up once in a while to stay sane.

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so spending my after work alone as i see fit is a good way to get some quality jenny-time. and having my drink by myself after a long work day is surprisingly lovely. an hour or so before dinner is all it takes really. and recently i’ve enjoyed spending it either writing, reading, or bloglovin’ cruising. it’s almost a waste of time. and that’s exactly what i need to balance out that workaholic part of myself.

doing something simply because it’s enjoyable and relaxing. not to reach a future goal or learn something valuable. that’s my AW ritual.

and just like that, i’m ready to go into the kitchen, cook something nice and meet up with david again.
ready to leave that no man’s land and get on with life once more.

love // jenny

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12 Comments

  1. Thanks, Jenny! Thats are some very nice tips. I also do work from home, so the question of AW relaxation is essential for me.
    I have noticed that changing the cloth to more comfortable helps my mind to go to “home” mode instead of a “work” mode.
    Your tip about non-alcoholic drink is great, I will try it right now (some chicory with a soy milk)

  2. I love this so much! Everything about it :) I’m pregnant right now, and I can definitely vibe with the idea of getting creative with different ways of winding down and treating myself that don’t involve alcohol. Thanks for the kick of inspiration, girl! Xo

  3. I work outside, and my ritual is to have a big healthy snack, as i have a very demanding work for my body ( walking 10km à day, at 4 degrés celcius). It is usually a green smoothie, bread and hummus and a tea. I love to check my loved blogs too. Next, time for family !

  4. Ah, this sounds lovely. I agree it is important to not be a slave to even the most enjoyable of work, and to have some complete and utter downtime as well. I also have certain things I do in way of an AW ritual when I finish up (as I also work from home), and it gets me into “free time” mood instantly :-)

  5. Hi Jenny,

    I think you would find ‘proxemics’ very interesting, if you have never studied it.
    The need for certain ‘space’ is my AW necessity; something I am often deprived of, but I know it is unintentional.
    When I am there, finally, I am at peace.
    Enjoyed reading about your ritual.

  6. Hi Jenny- I just found your blog a few weeks ago by total chance- I was stuck in bed with what I thought might be food poisoning and came across your post about that. I read a few of your posts and decided to subscribe; I’m glad I did; I really look forward to see what you discuss :)

    Everything is so beautifully filmed and photographed with lovely attention to detail- and interesting and healthy and serene without all the heavy moralizing, yay!! I find you very realistic, as well, which is refreshing.

    So here’s something I think would be lovely for an AW drink: amazake. Do you like it, know it, make it?

    • hey lovely !
      thank you so much for the sweet comment :) i’m aaaalmost happy you got food poisoning so our paths crossed hahah !
      hope you’re 100% back on track by now.

      i’ve neer heard of amazake before ! but i just google image it and it looks like chinese fermented rice wine ? that i have tried making myself, and i wasn’t a big fan, cause it’s too sweet for me to be honest :) have you ever tried that ?

      thanks for the tip, i’m going to research it some more :D

      love // j

  7. Hey :)
    I have the Japanese version (I live in Japan) and I can’t imagine it’d be too different. Except there are a no-alcohol, low-alcohol, and higher alcohol content amazake here. I’ve only tried the non-alcohol type to date.)
    I’ve tried a couple store-bought sorts thus far; the mushy, in a bag kind. One was brown-rice based, totally no sugar added, organic etc- not very sweet at all.
    The other one I tried had a great consistency, but gah, waaay too sweet (I don’t have much of a sweet tooth) so it must have had added sugar. (couldn’t read the ingredients ;))
    There are also paste-block sorts- looks like a huge square of soft yeast or something, so I’ll give that a try next. Girl’s Day is coming up here (March 3rd) and it’s traditionally served then, so there’s lots of types in the store at the moment. I haven’t come across the type with alcohol yet, that’s probably quite good.
    Here they serve it with grated ginger…but you could feasibly put anything into it. ( I ended up putting umeboshi and drops of soy sauce and chili pepper sesame seeds in the over-sweet one- interesting breakfast ;) but I think a less sweet version would be great for a base for smoothies.
    I will eventually try making my own; you can control the sweetness to some extent that way I think.
    I’m a big fan of fermented things and amazake is apparently so fabulously amazing for your health, I really want to figure out a version I like.

    I’m glad about the food poisoning too, haha- seriously, actually; first of all, it wasn’t horrible; I was just very very nauseous and tired and couldn’t eat anything- luckily I wasn’t violently ill or anything. And the whole experience was very much a reset button for me- and led me to your blog! :)
    Let me know what you come up with on your research! And have a lovely day :)

  8. Hey,
    I never comment in general but I just wanted you to know that you fill my heart with love and joy everytime I see you Jenny. You are a so peaceful, pleasant person that I can’t stop reading and watching to your content. This is basically the first time I feel touched by someone I only know through a screen.
    Since I have discovered your channel, I feel so much better and motivated to adopt a more respectful eating habbit, but I also feel more comfortable in my body.

    Well, to put it in a nutshell: you and David manage to make me happy.

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