If the workday was stressful, it’s important to unwind after you get home.
If the workday was stressful, it’s important to unwind after you get home. This is a good habit to have, no matter what kind of job you have. The benefits of unwinding are numerous. First and foremost, unwinding helps you relax and de-stress. If you work in a high-pressure job, this is more important than ever.
There are other good reasons to unwind:
- It’s harder to sleep if you’ve been stressed all day
- You’ll be better off tomorrow if get some rest tonight
Start by spending a little time doing something you enjoy.
Take a little time to unwind. Start by spending a little time doing something you enjoy. This may be time spent with your partner or family, watching your favorite show, or reading an exciting book. It can even be as simple as taking a walk around the block and getting some fresh air.
Whatever you choose, make sure it gets you out of work mode and into relaxation mode. If possible, avoid turning on the TV or computer right away. You’ll want to break the habit of going straight to entertainment when you get home from work, especially if it involves mindlessly scrolling through Twitter for 30 minutes (or 2 hours).
Take a bath or shower.
A warm bath or shower can help ease muscle tension and encourage sleep. If you’re a bath person, try adding a few drops of essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, or sandalwood to the water.
If you’re more of a shower person, turn the heat up and then get in. Let the steam take over while you focus on your breathing.
Whatever you do to unwind after a stressful day—make sure to unplug from your phone and computer for a bit. A good night’s sleep is necessary for performing well during the day and getting enough of it means setting aside time for your mind to relax and refocus before bedtime.
Get outside for a bit.
Being triggered by the phrase “at one with nature”? Not a problem. You don’t have to go full-on camping, or even get out of your chair. “Even if you just spend 30 minutes in your backyard, or at a park, or walk around the block, you’ll be surprised how much that can improve your mood,” says Dr. Emily Anhalt, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at George Washington University’s Health Sciences program.
- You’re getting some fresh air and vitamin D.
- You’re taking a break from electronics.
- Your brain gets a chance to relax, solving problems (like headaches) on its own instead of having them exacerbated by stress.
Do some exercise, but nothing too strenuous at first.
First, do some exercise. But not just anything. It should be something that won’t strain your muscles too much and something that won’t overdo it. Don’t do anything too strenuous, either. Definitely don’t do anything that will aggravate an existing injury.
Spend time with family and friends, without talking about your stressful day at work.
What better way to relax at the end of a long, stressful day than by spending time with people you care about? We’re talking about family and friends—the people who really know you. They’ll help you unwind and clear your mind after a trying day. Whether it’s watching a movie together or having dinner, just spend some quality time with them.
It’s best, however, to avoid discussing your stressful day at work during this time. Not only will it ruin the mood for you (and everyone else!), but all that venting will just remind you of how bad your day was. And it’ll make it harder for you to relax!
You should also try to stay off social media and avoid watching the news if they tend to stress you out. Just do whatever hobby or activity normally makes you happy instead!
Eat a healthy meal and avoid or limit alcohol.
The foods you eat can significantly reduce the level of stress in your life, especially when coupled with regular exercise. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains is important, while processed foods and sugary snacks are best avoided. This doesn’t mean that you should live on salad alone! Comfort food like mashed potatoes and macaroni may be relatively healthy choices. They have the added benefit of reminding you that life isn’t all work and no play.
There are many ways to make sure your work stress doesn’t impact the rest of your life.
For some, the stress of work invades all aspects of life. If you find yourself unable to leave the office behind, try these tricks for keeping it from impacting your evening:
- Plan something that engages you mentally or physically. Board games and puzzles are a good bet if your brain needs to stay occupied during downtime, while going for a run or doing yoga can help your body relax.
- Avoid bringing work with you when leaving the office. If you can’t do it all physically, at least try not to take it home mentally by planning fun things to do after work hours! Going out with friends and family is always a great option because they’ll be able to distract you from dwelling on things.