How to Unwind

July 15, 2011 § 7 Comments

If time were measured by naps, this week would be five years in the future. Or something. Let’s just say there were naps aplenty. If you need an Up, Up, Up type of blog post to get you energized and going for your weekend, this is not it. This is one for unwinding, avoiding, resting, neglecting, ignoring, sleeping, and general do-nothingness. Let’s cover the basics:

1. Sprawl on your floor. The best unwinders deeply utilize the floor, whether carpeted, rugged, or grassed up if you’re more organically minded.

2. Sip something. It takes minimal effort and relaxes you. Locally brewed beer is the preferred drink (I’m digging the Eastside Dark Lager of late, for Wisconsin locals). This can be alternated with summer fruit smoothies and winterish hot chocolates and Wendy’s Frostys if you’re on a budget. Caution: don’t drink so fast that bathroom duties interrupt the sprawling.

3. Treat yourself to good music. The two sisters who make up First Aid Kit became a widespread hit when they covered a Fleet Foxes song (another “huzzah” for youtube glory). To begin, listen to First Aid Kit’s  song “In the Morning,” which, like all their music, has lovely harmonies, good storytelling, and so much Swedishness about them.

Nathaniel Rateliff  had me at “Brakeman,” which he played at his Daytrotter session, and the love continued with the song, “Shroud” below. The video itself is also an unwinding treat, with the camera wandering and loosely covering its subjects, the feeling that you are sitting in this bare room with these quirky people and their hats and their toe-tapping, people who would sprawl, drink, and unwind with you.

While we can’t all be in an English pub tonight listening to Louise and the Pins live, we can still enjoy their good music, especially as it features one of my favorite folk artists–Laura Marling. Louise and the Pins is just the latest in the good folk music coming out of the UK, along with Johnny Flynn, James Vincent McMorrow, and Mumford and Sons.

4. My friends, the variations are endless. Unwinding can be done alone or with an elite group of people who are also in the mood for unwinding. Any environment can be manipulated to be conducive to unwinding. Massages are preferable, but hard to come by. Light food is acceptable as is reading aloud, puppies, movies with happy endings and feel good values, and the occasional thunderstorm. To be a professional unwinder, you may need to take the whole weekend.

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