The days that are jam-packed with stressful situations, things, people, work, kids, deadlines …
It can seem like an impossible dream to finally sit and relax after getting pummelled all day, but destressing doesn’t have to take too much time or coordination and your body and mind will thank you for the self-care.
Here are five quick ways you can destress after a stressful day.
Sometimes your day can be so chaotic that you haven’t even allowed yourself to stop and breathe. Yes, you breathe all day (hopefully!), but there’s a difference between autonomous breathing and deep, controlled breathing.
Deep breathing has a catalogue of positive effects on the body including lowering your blood pressure and heart rate, bringing more oxygen to the brain and balancing carbon dioxide levels, and reducing the levels of stress hormones in your blood.
If every step you’ve taken today has been with purpose to some task, destination, or event, try taking a small amount of time to walk with the sole purpose of just walking. Getting outside in fresh air and getting your body moving can boost your heart rate, expend some pent-up tension from the day, and have your body feeling rejuvenated (and healthier) afterwards.
Music is a great stress soother. We’re not talking about the radio in the background of the office, or whatever cheesy stuff is on someone’s playlist. We’re talking about your favourite music.
The music that feeds your soul and sweeps your mind out of its daily grind and into some daily grooves. Though slower musical tempos are usually synonymous with relaxation, go with whatever works for your tastes.
Read. Not the news. Not the stuff on your social media feed. Pick your favourite genre of literature and make room in your schedule for a little reading. By concentrating on the story and how it takes shape in your imagination, your mind will be engrossed with the book instead of all the other stressors of your day.
It’s inevitable that people spend large portions of their days on devices of some kind. Whether it’s a smart phone, computer, tablet or television, these digital devices have become a natural part of people’s daily lives, but not a natural part of destressing.
When you’re constantly consuming online content or even staring at a screen for work or leisure, your brain is working hard to process and store information as it comes. Slow things down a little and allocate at least an hour of device-free time in your downtime. •