My ‘not so vice’ list.

You hear a lot of stories about funeral directors and their vices. And if I was going to be one hundred percent honest with you, I couldn’t really blame anyone in this field for the urge to have them. Being a funeral director can be a stressful job. The stress is extremely hard to get rid of. Since this field isn’t really a nine to five kind of job it’s very difficult to switch the stress ‘off’ once you go home. Just because you’re home doesn’t mean that you stop working. You can get the death call in the middle of the night. Or you could just have to talk on the phone with a nervous family member at nine at night about flowers for a visitation two days away. When I go home after work my mind is still running full speed, going over everything that I did that day and wondering what the heck I forgot to do, because there always seems to be something that I missed. Sometimes the stress can make you sick. But even though I can’t blame funeral directors for looking for outlets for their stress I do believe that there are other ways to unwind besides the traditional not-so-good for you habits. I’ve actually come up with my very own ‘not so vice’ list. So here are just a couple of ways that I get myself to relax after stressful days at the funeral home.

5. Play a game.

I have a few personal favorites. My father just received a extremely large/beautiful brass chess set for his birthday. So if we’re both free we play a game together. I rarely win but playing chess forces me to think about the game instead of work. If my father isn’t home or I get in late I’ll play solitaire (real cards, not computer version.) And if I get home especially late and just want to go to bed I’ll play Bejeweled on my cell phone. Just taking some time out to play a fast game when I get home can clear my mind of anything that was bothering me earlier that day.

4. Read a book.

When you read, you enter an entirely different world. I’m currently reading ‘Wives and Daughters’ by Elizabeth Gaskell and every time I open the book I jump into the English town of Hollingford in the 1830s. Reading transports me to an entirely different world than I would ever have been able to imagine. My stress is often lifted off of my shoulders as the main characters dilemma becomes my main concern. One other great thing about reading; you can read as much or as little as you want depending on the time you have. You don’t need to finish an entire book in one night (which I often do. Can’t help it if I’m a fast reader…)

3. Take a bubble bath.

Bubble baths are God’s way of letting us know He cares. Seriously. Especially after a physically exhausting day, a bubble bath is the perfect way to unwind and relax your muscles. You can also grab a book and kill two birds with one stone for an unbelievably relaxing experience. (See what I did there?)

2. Have a nice meal.

There is a huge difference between eating on the go and sitting down and enjoying your food. It’s important and relaxing to take out time in your day to just sit and taste your food instead of inhaling it as your run out of the door. By taking your time eating you’re eliminating that ‘rushed’ feeling and automatically feel calmer.

1. Spend time with your loved ones.

No matter how stressful the days, when I see Josiah I always brighten up. Spending time with people you love is a great reminder about the most important part of life; the people you share it with. So hug your parents and kiss your spouse and remember, no matter how overwhelming life can be at times you have people who care about you.

So remember, the next time you’re having a stressful day try some of Lauren’s ‘not so vice’ alternatives to relax yourself. And when all else fails, if you’re having a VERY stressful day go get yourself some sushi and have ONE glass of wine. The great food and slight buzz with make you relaxed enough to have a great night sleep so you’re refreshed and can take on the world again the next day!