After a busy day, it’s understandable that you want to just relax. In fact, you may not really feel like doing anything at all. However, simply plopping down and zoning out may not actually be the best way to de-stress. Even when you’ve given yourself permission to sit around, you may very well just keep on stressing out. When that happens, you’re not really getting the benefits of relaxation that you need to be getting in the time that you have to yourself. Instead of just tuning out, make a conscious effort to retune your frame of mind. Here are some of the best ways to effectively relax when you’ve reached the end of your workday.
Five to ten minutes of meditation can make a big difference in how you’re feeling. Focused breathing exercises can quell anxiety and help you feel more grounded. In addition to breathwork, stretching can focus your attention to your body and physical presence which can steer it away from residual internal thought processes filled with snippets of the days’ events and miscellaneous worries.
Use aromatherapy to simulate parts of your brain that play a role in regulating your mood. Choose all-natural products, and consider trying a variety of different scents. A diffuser with Young Living Essential Oils can transform the ambience of your home environment and evoke an almost immediate change in your mood.
Redirecting your energy when you get home can get you more meaningfully engaged in the act of relaxing. In turn, enhancing the quality of the time that you spend relaxing will maximize the stress-relieving benefits that you get from giving yourself a break.
Showering soon after you get home can help you create instant calm. It is a great way to channel your energy towards yourself rather than away from the day that you’re putting behind you. Taking off everything that you’re wearing and stepping into the water has psychological significance. It’s symbolic of stripping and washing the day away from yourself. In this sense, incorporating showering into your post-work routine helps you transition into the next phase of your day with a different outlook.
Showering can also be an opportunity to work some aromatherapy into your evening. You can use scented bath products, but make sure that they’re made from all-natural ingredients. Overly fragranced products with harsh perfumes and other chemical components can irritate your skin. Alternatively you can use fragrance-free all natural products and add small amounts of scented oils that are safe for topical use.
Another great benefit of hopping into the shower after work is that it can soothe achy muscles. If you typically face your shower head, try facing the opposite direction for most of your shower. Directing the water to your chest can make your breath feel heavy. When you face away from your shower, you can direct the water to your neck and upper back around your shoulders, which are the parts of your body that tend to get most tense over the course of a stressful day.
3. Eat Mindfully
A nutritious meal is a great way to take care of yourself. Instead of reaching for the easiest thing to heat up, put some thought into what you’re going to fix for yourself so you’ll have a healthy meal solution ready to go. Getting into the habit of meal prep and planning your main meals a day or two ahead prep can have an amazingly positive effect on how well you eat when you get home from a busy day.
You’ll feel good about knowing that you’re fueling your body with the nourishment that it needs. Furthermore, it will be easier for you to steer clear of stress eating habits or overindulging in comfort foods that don’t have any substantive nutritional value. Eating well and avoiding ultra processed ingredients is great for your digestion, and improving digestion can support your mental wellness.
It’s important to remember that relaxing won’t always come as naturally to you as you might expect it to. This is particularly true when you’re stressed out. In fact, being exceptionally worn down may not make it easier to wind down. Instead, feeling extra fatigued can compound stress and make your inner dialog more negative than usual. It might also be harder for you to regulate your emotions. Going on autopilot to relax won’t necessarily help you achieve relaxation. In contrast, deliberate and guided steps will make you better able to make your way towards a state of calm.
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