How to celebrate small victories in recovery

How to celebrate small victories in recovery

We’ve been conditioned to celebrate the big milestones and achievements, belittling the little wins along the way. However, if you don’t acknowledge those small victories, then it makes it harder to celebrate–or even appreciate–the larger ones.

How to celebrate small victories in recovery

Learn to win

These little wins, no matter how small, are therestay motivated long-term. Keeping track of these small results helps boost your confidence by activating the reward circuits in your brain. This releases invigorating “feel-good’ chemicals, like dopamine, which fill you with a sense of accomplishment and pride.

This not only gives you a great feeling, it also encourages you to move forward and build that momentum.

How to celebrate small victories in recoveryThere is always a reason to celebrate!

Why you should celebrate small victories

Most people are uncomfortable celebrating their small victories. Celebrating something as seemingly irrelevant as preparing a healthy lunch can seem trivial.

However, you’re not necessarily celebrating the achievement itself; you’re celebrating your habits. You’re celebrating the good behavior and the person you’re becoming. If you don’t pause to appreciate your little victories – if you’re simply rushing from one task to another – then it’s easier to become exhausted and demotivated.

Small wins vary from person to person and what may seem small to you may be huge to someone else. So take the time to pause and feel good about what you’ve just accomplished. When you show appreciation for your little wins, be thankful to yourself, mashed potato.

How to celebrate small victories

Celebrate your journey. These 5 tips will show you how:

1. Feel excited

With each little win, you’re getting closer to your goal. Let the thought excite you! Don’t save your excitement for the “big” things; celebrate your every step. Taste your victory and be happy.

2. Make yourself happy

Every achievement, regardless of size, deserves a reward. Whether it’s cooking your favorite meal, watching a fun movie, or purchasing some new clothes, you should always take the time to reward yourself. Help build motivation and win.

3. Share your winnings

Be proud of your achievements and talk about it with satisfaction and enthusiasm. When you verbalize your wins, you’re reinforcing them, and this motivates you to continue. Sharing your wins can also inspire others to achieve their goals, so everyone wins.

4. Be there

Even though you’re pursuing a future goal, don’t forget to acknowledge the present moment. These moments will determine your future, so be sure to fill them with small wins and excitement.

5. Keep track of your habits

Use a habit detector like The Fabulous formonitor your daily habits and reflect on your progress. Staying in tune with your habits puts you on the path to achieving your goals. Your habits help you win, so make winning a habit!

Celebrate success

As you work towards achieving your goals, always remember to acknowledge how far you’ve come. Get in the habit of celebrating every little success. Your small wins add up to big things. An easy way to remember to celebrate is to be a fab reminder! Add “Celebrate!” to one of your daily rituals today (and don’t forget to celebrate your initiative!).

How to celebrate small victories in recovery

In the summer of 2016, I found myself in a very hot and humid room, sitting on a yoga mat, exhausted, sweaty and frankly nervous. I then practiced yoga for two years, but it was my first attempt at balancing the arms, known as the crow pose. For those unfamiliar with yoga, in the crow pose, you lower both hands, lower your knees to your shoulders, and lift your feet so that only your hands are in contact with the ground. It’s not exactly the most comfortable position to be in, to say the very least.

So I was with both hands on the ground, knees under my arms as I lifted one leg, then the other. My face was red and my hands were shaking as I felt the heat on the ground with a thud I knew everyone had heard. I tried to lift both feet a couple of times, each time with similar results. I came home obsessed with what I had done wrong and where I could improve. Then, right there in the car, a thought hit me. Sono riuscito ad alzare un piede da terra e a mantenere l’equilibrio! In that moment, I realized yoga wasn’t only about perfecting the pose; It was equally important to celebrate the small but important moments of my journey.

Small moments matter

We live in a culture that requires huge changes and immediate transformations. We are convinced that our goals only make sense when they bring immediate and concrete results. Customer recovery is no exception. Clients often tell me about their goals, which can include things like staying sober, getting foster care, getting a job, and securing a home. These are amazing goals, but these big goals require constant motivation and daily action. Motivation to achieve great goals can decrease during recovery, and people can feel hopeless and overwhelmed.

Awareness of these small but important successes helps clients find the motivation to work hard to make lasting positive changes in their lives.

We need to find a way to combat this feeling. Positive psychologists like Charles Snyder have found that highlighting past successes and small wins during recovery can boost self-confidence, improve motivation, and strengthen the belief that their goals are achievable. As a doctoral intern for Sanctuary Centers’ Co-Occurring Disorders (COD) program, I help clients recognize that it is okay to pause at any time and recognize how far they’ve come in their work towards meaningful goals and positive healthy changes. In my several years of working with a wide variety of clients, I have found that many in recovery get stuck on emphasizing what’s going wrong, which keeps them from seeing all the progress they have made in therapy. By focusing only on the negatives, clients often miss out on the small but significant changes they made to their daily habits during their recovery – changes that benefit both mind and body. Awareness of these small but important successes helps clients find the motivation to work hard to make lasting positive changes in their lives.

Four ways to celebrate small victories

Through my previous experiences and my training, I have learned several ways that people can begin the process of celebrating small wins. These are my personal four.

1. Pay attention to your progress

What things have you done today in line with your recovery goals? Noticing how far you have come can help you understand all the ways you are progressing. Noticing these small victories helps you appreciate them and yourself for achieving them.

2. Write it down

Saving your results helps you see your progress. You can keep a diary if you want. If keeping a journal isn’t your thing, just write down a list of accomplishments you’re proud of. Achieving these goals can be as simple as making healthy food choices throughout the day or connecting with supportive family and friends. Every victory, however small it may seem, is very important on the road to recovery.

3. Share your success with your support system

Everyone needs a support system. Whether it’s your friends, your family, or a sober living community, your support system can be there to cheer you on in your victories and help you out when times get rough. Sharing your successes helps motivate you to keep achieving healthy goals and positive habits.

4. Develop compassion for yourself

When you feel emotionally overwhelmed by difficult situations, remind yourself that you are not alone and that suffering is part of the human experience, not a reflection of personal shortcomings. Compassion for yourself can be reaching out to someone, reminding yourself to live in the present, rather than focusing too much on your past or future, or practicing conscious gratitude just by thinking about the things in your life that you value.

Small wins lead to big comeback wins

It’s been nearly three years since I tried my first crow pose in yoga. I still can’t stay in that pose for more than five seconds. But those five seconds are more than I could have done the first time around. I take this with me as a lesson in perseverance, patience and compassion for myself and hope for my clients as well. Recovery, like life, is not a linear path. The more you pay attention to your achievements and small wins, the more you can build self-confidence to keep working on your goals and lead a meaningful life.

Every day that you are sober is a victory. Each small step was a small step towards a bigger goal. Maybe it was just one more day, maybe one more minute. Going even further, maybe it was just another breath. On any occasion to celebrate, do it. Celebrate those little victories. They mean a lot because you gave up everything you know, in every way you did things and what you believed in to pursue the dream of being sober and clean. Here are some tips on how to soberly toast your victories, no matter how big or small they may seem.

Dance Dance

Even if you don’t like to dance, throw a party anyways. Invite people and play a dance game. Ask your friends to show you some moves or just invite people who start the party with some sober fun and crazy dancing. Try going out for a salsa night to learn new moves. Get your blood and adrenaline flowing, but in a good way. Celebrate what feels good with a fun outfit and feel the good vibes after what happened.

Have a friend

Instead of a ‘sleepover,’ try having a ‘friend-over’ where you host an adulting friend’s sleepover party. Ask them to bring air mattresses, popcorn, and select a movie to stream online together. It is really important to respect your friendships and relationships. Call the sober girls you know and ask them to come. If you don’t like hosting people in your home overnight, have a morning brunch buffet and ask them to come by on a Saturday morning. Organize something online to share ideas about what you are doing and what life will be like next week. Share the fun and conversation, but only keep it with the few people who really know you well and support your sober journey.

Become a master chef

Cooking is not everyone’s cup of tea. It is healthier and better if you cook at home, but sometimes you can’t always cook fancy meals. Maybe you cook the same five things to keep it simple. If you have young children, a husband, partner, or a busy schedule, it can be difficult to add other things to the proverbial plate. If you want to figure this out, search the internet for recipes that seem easy enough to get started. Start with your favorite music to set the tone or start a cooking and pastry show that will inspire you. Don’t worry if it doesn’t turn out, simply be present to whatever happens and whatever comes up.

Start writing

Whether you do a blog or a journal, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you start writing things. In six months, a year and five years, you will probably forget what you did or where you were in those moments. If you want to throw them on a stone, write them down. Capture them for a captive audience online, or just keep them for yourself, but don’t forget to capture them. If you forget them, you may not be able to go back and start thinking about how grateful you are for where you are today. It is difficult to practice gratitude without noticing or being present in your past.

Be grateful (and honest)

Take an inventory of all the things you’ve done right in recovery so far. Think about how you got to where you are now and landed in the square in the middle of this place, here and now. Thinking about it can blow you away because where you are now may feel like a million miles from the life you left behind, but it was still you. Remember to write down and practice gratitude. Be thankful for what you have and how you’ve come through.

give up

Not everything is going to be great. In fact, you may feel like you have more losses than wins behind your belt. This is probably the nature of your healing. Everyone must accept that they have a long way to go. Nothing will be given to them and they will have to fight for it. This is why he is so victorious when you celebrate. Be honest with yourself about what you wear and what can be dropped. It doesn’t all need to come with you into the future. If you want a healthy recovery, try putting it off now and move on. Celebrate good things and respect hard times. Let it be and move on. There’s more good than bad waiting, so jump on it and move on. Your best days are ahead if you take the time to create space in your life for the people and activities that await you.

There is a new day every day. You are on a journey of self-discovery. If you knew yourself perfectly, you wouldn’t be where you are. Every mess and everyone makes mistakes. What makes life amazing is taking the time to celebrate how awesome you are and how you really make it work. Don’t hesitate to make yourself a priority and jump for joy in celebration at all you’ve accomplished.

Casa Capri helps women to accept themselves in a state of healing and to honor them with small victories. We are here to help you reach a place of peace and joy in healing. Call us to get started: 844-593-8020

Celebrate milestones for staying sober at the forefront of your mind

In life and recovery, the little moments are what keep us going when the going gets tough. Despite the American culture of “win big” and “go high or go home”, daily goals and milestones are what add up to achieve our greatest goals. Whether you’re just starting to recover, struggling with the risk of a relapse or hoping to bolster your sobriety, celebrating your “little” victories can help. Milestones mark progress toward a greater or longer goal, so they are integral to addiction recovery and recovery in general.

When you need professional support in detox and recovery, call on the experts at Orange County’s Fresh Start of California. We are here to help you start a new life in sobriety. It’s never too late.

Reach your daily recovery goals with a fresh start in California

While detox and rehabilitation are major milestones and victories in the fight against addiction, at Fresh Start of California we understand that striving for continued progress can be exhausting. A little victory celebration may be just what you need to move forward on your journey to sobriety.

How do small victories and celebrations help in the recovery?

  • Recognizing small goals increases self-confidence.
  • Celebrating small wins increases the motivation to keep fighting addiction.
  • The milestones reinforce the strength of the sobriety achieved.
  • Small wins, if celebrated, help distract from the negative.

Ways to celebrate regeneration milestones and victories

Once you are alone and no longer in a convalescent center, there are many ways to further reinforce the lessons learned. What are some ways to track and celebrate your victories?

  • Save anniversaries (weekly, monthly, yearly) to keep track of each day of your addiction victory.
  • Recognize when you have reached a personal milestone and share it with others. Celebrate your victory, you are worthy of recognition.
  • Include support from friends and family in the celebration.
  • Choose the rewards yourself that correspond to your achievements. As milestones increase, rewards or celebrations can also increase.
  • Share your victories and milestones with others to inspire them and encourage them to embark on a sober journey.

California Fresh Start: Your Orange County Recovery Team

It is rarely possible to achieve sobriety alone. If you’re struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, capturing life from the grip of substances is a feat in itself. Victory begins on the first day you choose to make the change and, from then on, you fight every day. When you decide to make a change, let Fresh Start of California’s team of Orange County detox and rehabilitation specialists be your guide. We understand that every person’s addiction story is different, and we can create an individual treatment plan that is fit to meet your individual needs.

Don’t let addiction win the battle for your life, take the power back and find allies at Fresh Start of California. We are here to work with you and begin your recovery journey.

The value of celebrating victories

Green-In-MI, SMART Recovery volunteer

In my experience, the progress towards an abstinent lifestyle seems insurmountable at times; like you’re standing at the bottom of a mountain craning your neck to see a peak that looks impossibly high up and far away. Each day can be a struggle with drives, old habits, and other potential problems. You look at people who have a month of abstinence and think “that’s a long time…I can barely go a few days”. You look at others who may have a year or more of abstinence and think “that’s so long, I’ll never get there.”

But you keep coming back. It takes work to recover from addiction. You are still learning. You constantly talk to others. You’re still working on the tools. The next thing you know, your work is starting to pay off. You have a week, maybe a month. Perhaps you are successfully coping with a situation that has caused you problems in the past.

You come back to a SMART meeting or to chat and report your success, and suddenly a half dozen people congratulate you for your ‘victory’. You’ve successfully climbed part of the way up that impossible mountain. As you top each little rise on the way to the summit you might find yourself looking back and noticing “that wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be”.

SMART encourages you to celebrate and keep the pace to reach these peaks on the way to the top. That’s one of the reasons SMARTies are so happy to celebrate one week or even one day of abstinence. Something like going out for dinner with friends and ordering water as a drink is also part of the process. All these little hills add up.

Going out and drinking water instead of wine may seem so cheap to some people, but it means new strength and learning new skills. If you look back from the top of each hill, you may notice a new skill needed to get there. On a hill, you learn to socialize without the drug of your choice. On another hill, you learn to fight on an afternoon when your desires never stop. On the third hill you may finally be able to do a successful flying ABC. All in all it creates experience, confidence and momentum. And these hills, like real hills, help you prepare for the next climb.

Celebrating reaching the top of a small hill is truly a celebration of important progress – a new piece of the puzzle in building an abstinent lifestyle. Go ahead and celebrate. Take a moment and enjoy the view from the center of the mountain. It’s not so impossible is it?

About the author: Green-In-MI is a member and volunteer of SMART Recovery Online. He is still developing his progress and loves endurance sports and gardening.

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Just 28 days ago, Sarah Black could barely move without the pain going through her body, but the healing process, she found, wasn’t as easy as it sounds.

Text and photos courtesy of Sarah Black

As soon as I was able to walk with the rollator, I decided to move on. My rehabilitation instructor Francis and I had a quick chat about using the swimming pool in my building as part of my therapy. He wasn’t scheduled to come back for another couple of days so I thought I’d go down to the pool myself and do a few laps.

Since we hadn’t determined at that time if my fracture was completely healed, Francis told me to use a pull buoy and band my feet together. I swam the full 40 meters and felt tired. Unbelievable considering I just took a 2.5km open water swim a few months ago. It was the first of many times that I had to face the thought that I had a lot of work to do to regain physical shape.

How to celebrate small victories in recovery

I also went through a stage where I thought I was paralyzed. Esmeralda became Quasimodo. I sat with the crookedness for weeks and it didn’t seem like I would be able to shake it off. I sent a message to Francesco. Will I be wrong forever? Just tell me the truth. “There were dark times and I didn’t want to stay there.

So I learned to celebrate my small victories: the first time I swam 500 meters straight, the first time I bounced off the wall with both legs, the first time I increased the power on an exercise bike from 40 to 70 watts, first time I went from stroller to cane, first time doing some yoga poses like downward facing dog and reel. I focused on my “firsts” and they gave me the joy I needed to keep going.

How to celebrate small victories in recovery

With the help of friends, family and loved ones who never stopped encouraging me to move on, I kept my spirits high. Friends from my triathlon team kept me swimming with them; another group of friends took me to a Chinese doctor for Chinese medicine to help bone healing; my relatives sent me messages, called me and came to see me to keep me company. I can’t stress enough how invaluable my support system is with the blazing speed of my recovery. Yes folks, I need your help, help me get better.

I did the therapy conscientiously twice a day and up to the fourth week I walked without a cane and, above all, I went back to work, which I was missing a lot. What an incredible feat. Just 28 days ago, I could barely move without the sharp pain penetrating my whole body. Life was starting to normalize, but at the same time some of the more frustrating parts of the healing process began.

Just 28 days ago, Sarah Black could barely move without the pain going through her body, but the healing process, she found, wasn’t as easy as it sounds.

Text and photos courtesy of Sarah Black

As soon as I was able to walk with the rollator, I decided to move on. My rehabilitation instructor Francis and I had a quick chat about using the swimming pool in my building as part of my therapy. He wasn’t scheduled to come back for another couple of days so I thought I’d go down to the pool myself and do a few laps.

Since we hadn’t determined at that time if my fracture was completely healed, Francis told me to use a pull buoy and band my feet together. I swam the full 40 meters and felt tired. Unbelievable considering I just took a 2.5km open water swim a few months ago. It was the first of many times that I had to face the thought that I had a lot of work to do to regain physical shape.

How to celebrate small victories in recovery

I also went through a stage where I thought I was paralyzed. Esmeralda became Quasimodo. I sat with the crookedness for weeks and it didn’t seem like I would be able to shake it off. I sent a message to Francesco. Will I be wrong forever? Just tell me the truth. “There were dark times and I didn’t want to stay there.

So I learned to celebrate my small victories: the first time I swam 500 meters straight, the first time I bounced off the wall with both legs, the first time I increased the power on an exercise bike from 40 to 70 watts, first time I went from stroller to cane, first time doing some yoga poses like downward facing dog and reel. I focused on my “firsts” and they gave me the joy I needed to keep going.

How to celebrate small victories in recovery

With the help of friends, family and loved ones who never stopped encouraging me to move on, I kept my spirits high. Friends from my triathlon team kept me swimming with them; another group of friends took me to a Chinese doctor for Chinese medicine to help bone healing; my relatives sent me messages, called me and came to see me to keep me company. I can’t stress enough how invaluable my support system is with the blazing speed of my recovery. Yes folks, I need your help, help me get better.

I did the therapy conscientiously twice a day and up to the fourth week I walked without a cane and, above all, I went back to work, which I was missing a lot. What an incredible feat. Just 28 days ago, I could barely move without the sharp pain penetrating my whole body. Life was starting to normalize, but at the same time some of the more frustrating parts of the healing process began.

How to celebrate small victories in recovery

How to celebrate small victories in recovery

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I have spent so many nights of my life sobbing in the corner of my room, desperately seeking every miracle I could achieve. Desperate, I clung to the hope of finally finding the key to freeing myself from depression.

I have been trying to find a drug that will immediately cure my depression. I searched the internet for new therapies or books that held the key to a speedy recovery. I prayed for immediate release through divine intervention.

Three years later I was still depressed. I was tempted to give up hope of recovering and stop worrying about trying. Fortunately, I had a support network that helped me change my perspective.

Thanks to the wisdom of my family, friends, and therapists, I have learned that recovery from depression is rarely an instant and sensational miracle.

Medication does not cure depression at night, nor does cognitive behavioral therapy or, in many cases, divine intervention. Instead, the comeback follows a series of small wins.

As I started focusing on small wins, I learned to stop seeing depression categorically and start seeing it as a continuum. There was not a single day of my trip that I woke up and was officially healed. Instead, I got closer to my sanity with every little win.

Medicine, therapy, and prayer didn’t immediately cure my depression.

However, they slowly but steadily contributed to small wins, improving my mental health.

Whether you’re a struggling person with a mental illness or supporting someone who is, focusing on small wins is key to keeping hope in this process. One of the most important steps in changing mindsets is recognizing the importance of external perspectives.

Depression changes our perspectives, often draining hope from our perceptions of each situation. As a result, it can be very difficult for a depressed person to recognize and celebrate small advances.

Those who love them, however, can tune in to progress and constantly point out areas for improvement. In this way, they can provide both hope and encouragement, while helping the depressed person to start seeking and recognizing their own small victories.

The next important step is learning to keep records.

A key part of the process is having a written record of your progress to remind the depressed person how far they have come when they risk settling into despair.

This step can be customized; some people choose to track symptoms and mood on a Likert scale, others choose to write a more detailed journal. It is important to find out what works for you and what helps you best celebrate the small victories in your recovery.
At the beginning of a person’s mental health journey, their loved ones may need to keep the journal. However, as the depressed person gets stronger, it is very important to start transferring the habit!

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Finally, it is important to never underestimate the importance of changing the way people talk about healing from depression.

Dobbiamo lavorare per una società e un sistema di salute mentale che concettualizzi la salute mentale come un continuum piuttosto che come una dicotomia tra "i malati di mente" e "i guariti".

We must realize the importance of mental hygiene for everyone and we must stop believing in the magical cure. Above all, we need to start talking about how far people have come, rather than whether or not they are “cured”.

What do you think? Did your perspective change during the recovery process? As someone who has struggled with depression, what do you think your support network could do to best help you focus on small wins?

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How to celebrate small victories in recovery

Lately I’ve been complaining that during the day I never have enough time to do everything I need. I know I’m not alone in this because many people’s refrain these days seems to be, “I’m so busy” or like me, “There is not enough time…”

Consider all the roles we all play. For example, in my life I play the role of mother, wife, writer / consultant, cook, washerwoman, daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, friend and finally myself. With these myriad roles come myriad responsibilities and I’ve taken to beating myself up for not getting it all done. This creates a vicious cycle: by attacking yourself, you abruptly lose your self-esteem and energy and usually end up doing even less.

It’s time to take a step back and realize that instead of focusing on all that we’re not getting done, we should be focusing on all that we are getting done. I call it the “Celebrate Little Victory” approach. The intention is to show yourself some love for all the hard work you put into it every day. This will give you a much happier life, boost your self-esteem by focusing on the positives, and will likely make you even more productive and energetic over time. You can’t lose!

Here are some tips to get you started.

    1. Make a list.
      That’s right, the age-old “To Do” list. I will organize and organize everything for you. Do this on your phone, computer, notebook you always have with you or on a loose piece of paper. You’ll soon find your own list-keeping style. However you keep it, keep it close and easily accessible. This will be an ongoing list that you will want to refer to and tinker with on a regular basis.
  • Put all of this on your list.
    Big, small, apparently insignificant; it’s the small and inconsequential that will set you free. When you go out to celebrate small victories, everything matters.
    For example, my list of what it looks like today includes the following: write this article; unpacking from a weekend trip; change the oil in the car; call to arrange an annual follow-up visit for my daughter; Do the laundry; order a new laundry basket; going to the supermarket; throw away my dead flowers; get a hanging basket full of beautiful flowers to hang on board; recall Megan and Allison; write a letter of condolence; dry wash; practice a little; and collect my mail (yes, my mailbox is only three meters from my front door but it still counts as something to do). Everything matters.
  • TCB.
    In case you aren’t familiar with Elvis Presley’s band’s name, it was TCB and TCB is what we all could use a little more of. TCB means Taking Care of Business and that’s the mantra you need to approach your To Dos. Start with one of the small or seemingly mundane things on your list and discard it. Today may not be the day that you write that novel, but throwing in a load of laundry or making a doctor’s appointment has a different, but equally meaningful impact. Just think, if I had never done laundry … at least in my house, no one else would, so the fact that I do it makes a huge difference to our entire life! Taking on all those little TCB moments and taking credit for them will help you start to understand how much you really do in your day.
  • Erase / erase everything you got.
    Experience a great pleasure. It feels good to cross it off, even if it’s “only” getting the mail. And if it is getting the mail, you get to cross it off and then put it back on again for tomorrow’s list. The process itself is therapeutic. It increases your sense of accomplishment and highlights your productivity, even if you’re the only one taking note of these small triumphs
  • Celebrate your little wins.
    Congratulate yourself on everything you get every day. Whether the day has ended and the only thing I’ve been able to do is get to the mail, so be it. It’s still something. Sure, I’d feel like a rockstar if I’d have sewn my children some new clothes, called everyone I’ve been innocently neglecting for the past year and worked on my Nobel Peace Prize speech, but the truth is, I’m probably never going to have a day in which ALL of that gets done. How big or how much you’ve done slowly starts to take a back seat to the simple fact that you are doing.
  • Whereas before you might have focused on all of those things you didn’t get done, you’re now opening your eyes to all that you did do. Reward yourself with kind words, telling your spouse or a friend what you’ve done and that it means something to you. Hell, even open a bottle of good wine, lift your legs and relax until tomorrow comes. After all, you work hard, so you deserve a break!