You're just in time for your favorite shows or enjoying your hobby, but stay active. Put a stationary bike or elliptical cross-trainer or rowing machine or treadmill in front of the tube so you can pedal or do other physical activity during your favorite shows, or do the plank position (see page 181) during commercials. Be demanding of folks who are entertaining you; don't fizz out in front of the tube unless the material really warrants your attention.
Play with your kids. It's a great way to teach each other, and you learn a lot from their behavior. When you're done, lie down with them when putting them to sleep, since they're tired and let their guard down. They'll speak more honestly and will listen better. It's the opportunity to pass along your wisdom—one of the greatest gifts you have to offer. You can also read to them or just make up stories to stretch your mind and their imagination.
Lock yourself in the bathroom, take a seat, and get into a meditative state (the bathroom, because it's less likely you'll be bothered in there). Spend five minutes humming the word yummmmm. That will help you clear your mind, destress, and start thinking of higher purposes—and meanings of life beyond just getting the kids' lunches ready for the next day.
Now that your mind is clear of minutiae, take the opportunity to jot down a few ideas about how you want to live large and find a purpose bigger than you. Some ideas to get you going:
Ask yourself the best way you can help others—be it with your time, talents, money, or emotions. Giving to others is also a heck of a high that you can give yourself (plus, you'll live longer to keep doing good). Prove to yourself that you are something more than you thought you were.
Assess your career situation and make sure that you're following a passion more than a paycheck, and that the company you work for has the same values that you do.
Figure out some rituals that you can instill into your own family—be it a regular dinner or Saturday outing or some other regular routine that keeps you close and connected.
Prepare tomorrow's batch of drinking water. Fill up your bottle(s) and stick them in the fridge so that you have cold, filtered (not bottled) water to drink throughout the next day.
Prepare yourself for bed with any cleanup duties. Brush your teeth (yes, two more minutes). Wash and exfoliate your face (wash with fragrance- and residue-free soap), and use a moisturizer with vitamins A and C (remember, you're feeding your face at night, when the sun cannot denature all the restoring antioxidant vitamins). You can find all the details in Chapter 1. Make sure the lights are dim and the room is cool so you can gently slip into restorative sleep rather than attempting to abruptly "fall" asleep after sending out a few e-mail blasts while watching the late shows.
Mutual massages with your partner: Start with the feet and stay there as long as you like. The benefits are more than just emotional bonding; a massage with oil (aromatherapy) has also been shown to have destressing health benefits.
Have sex. Feel beautiful. Tell your partner what you need (and ask your partner the same). On alternate days (days, not weeks!), you can read a few pages of invigorating prose.
Just kidding. Keep going, please.