Like most New Orleanians on Wednesday morning I woke up tired, with aching muscles and somewhat confused about the day of the week — despite being alcohol free, mind you. It’s true: No good deed goes unpunished. My Fitbit claims over 25,000 steps clocked on Fat Tuesday from parading during the Saint Anne Society procession and general galivanting, which would account for a lot of the soreness. That, plus the corset that tied down my torso and really tied together my costume. God bless my past self for divining just this sort of post-Mardi Gras decrepitude for the version of me that showed up on Wednesday. I took the day off to recover and planned a few activities to help accelerate the process. If you are still in need of a recovery day, here’s a sample of mine. Take what you like and throw out the rest.

A slow morning with a nutritious breakfast (7-grain hot cereal with nuts, cooked bananas, soothing digestive spices — think ginger, cinnamon and turmeric), hydrating and resting was followed up by a 10:30 a.m. facial at Earthsavers and a decadent massage. There are few things that a massage won’t fix. Or at the very least you can set your aches, pains and worries aside for an hour. If a professional facial and massage isn’t in you budget, try these at-home treatments, compiled by New Orleans Bride travel editor (and spa devotee) Becca Hensley, from world-class spas using items you probably already have in your kitchen. Follow that up with a soothing Ayurvedic self-massage and bath, or Abhyanga. (Note: If you don’t know your ayurvedic constitution — or dosha — use coconut oil, which is said to be good for everyone. Unless you are allergic to it, then just use whatever works for you.)

After a carnival season marked by eating more king cake than should be legal, as well a Fat Tuesday that included countless virgin Bloody Marys and non-alcoholic beers, as well as eating a salami poor boy from Quarter Grocery on the curb while reveling outside of the Golden Lantern with friends, I knew lunch needed to be something nutritious, comforting and easy on the digestion. I grabbed an order of yellow dal with roti (unleavened wheat bread) and a mango lassi (think yogurt, water and mango smoothie) at Nirvana on Magazine Street. I repeated the meal at dinner with the generous leftovers from the restaurant. If you want to go the extra mile, make kitchari — or mung bean stew — at home. It’s like yellow dal, in that it also made with mung beans and is easy to digest

After lunch settled, I sipped ginger tea throughout the afternoon to further aid digestion and hydrate. Later, I got in a meditation session as well as a little restorative yoga. The evening was spent reading and sipping more ginger tea, as well as warm water.  Thursday morning, I awakened feeling a lot more human and again thanked my past self for the excellent self-care.

Even though Mardi Gras is a few days past now, if you couldn’t take off Wednesday, any time is a good time to plan a day to rest and reset. Your future self will thank you.


If you have great rest and reset tips for Melanie or are confused about what day it is, email