For most of us, every day has little stressors. Curveballs at work are thrown our way, and hard decisions need to be made quickly and often. Some days, the stresses accumulate or seem larger than others. On our most stressful of days, we can feel worn out, exhausted, and even sick.
When these days happen, it’s helpful to have manageable ways to calm ourselves down. Even if it means putting aside other responsibilities to take care of your wellbeing, it’s time well spent. Those responsibilities and tasks won’t be going anywhere, and you’ll get to them when you are well enough to do so.
So what can you do to calm down after a stressful day?
Change into Comfy Clothes
One of the first things you can do when you come home after a stressful day is to change into comfy clothes. Distinguishing between our work clothes and home clothes can also set boundaries between our work lives and home lives. When we change out of our work clothes, we leave behind work and the stresses that stem from work for the rest of the day.
Scents provide another source of calmness after a stressful day. The smell of scented candles stimulates the part of your brain that’s connected to memory and mood. Lighting scented candles can positively affect our mood and relieve the stresses we’ve experienced.
When we come home stressed, our focus is often diffused. Our thoughts bounce around from one worry to another making it difficult to find focus. One way to find focus and reduce stress is to meditate. Whether you stand, sit, or lie on a woven towel, find a position that’s comfortable for you to take a breath. Taking the time to check in with our minds and bodies can make a difference. When we meditate, we can check in on how we’re feeling, what caused it, and how we can let go of those feelings.
Listen to Music
Listening to music is another way to wind down after a stressful day. Perhaps you want to lie down and listen to something calming. Others might want to sing their hearts out. Listen to whatever music that inspires you, soothes you, or energizes you to release the stresses you want to let go.
Unplug for a Couple Hours
While the convenience of technology has been a life saver for all of us, our hyper connectivity to our devices can add more stress to our already stressful day. When we’re feeling down, scrolling through social media only enhances our negative feelings and increases stress. Unplugging provides an opportunity to do something you enjoy. Do you enjoy reading? This could be the time to get lost in the world of your book. Do you like taking care of plants? Tend to them. Do whatever brings you joy to recharge and refresh after a stressful day.
A proven way to release stress is through exercising. Exercise and other physical activities produce endorphins which help reduce stress. Going to the gym, completing an at home pilates workout, or even going for a walk with your dog is a great way to release the stress that has built up after a stressful day.
Call a Friend
When we struggle and encounter stress, it can feel isolating. We feel like we’re the only ones going through our experience, so sometimes the best medicine is to talk to someone about it. Unburdening our stresses to our closest friends and family can help us feel more connected with others and less alone after a stressful time. Sometimes, a good vent session is what we need to process and let go of our stress, so we can return to a more relaxed mindset.
Put Your Needs First
Stress is a part of life, and it’s often unavoidable. By curating self-care strategies for ourselves, we can be more equipped to manage our stress whenever it happens.
Be kind to yourself and do your best to listen to what your mind, body, and heart need to manage the stress that’s been thrown your way. Managing some stresses over others may take more time, so be patient and have self-compassion. Doing your best is more than enough.
Written by Eleni Zaptses
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