ways to de-stress after work
In today’s life of endless running about, we no longer stop to smell the roses. But doing so regularly improves our senses, relaxes our mind, increases productivity and keeps us happy. Just imagine a beach somewhere, full of sunlight and the gentle splash of waves on your feet. Aren’t you happy already?
Here are 7 ways to de-stress on a daily basis, things you can do after work and which do not require too much effort:
- Take a long bath
Invest in some quality bath-salts and fill up your bath tub with warm water and the bath salts. Soak yourself for half an hour. Apart from the obvious benefit of washing away the day’s dirt and grime, the warm water relaxes your tired muscles while the aroma from the bath salts or essential oils will calm your senses.
To enhance this experience, take your favourite book inside with you or put on some light music or light some candles for the complete spa feel !
- Take a nightly walk with a family member
After you have dinner, take a family member with you and go for a small walk. This could be around your apartment block, may be for half an hour. There are multiple benefits of a nightly walk. It will help you digest your food better and faster, so that your sleep is more restful. It relaxes you to walk in the relatively cool atmosphere of the late evening. If you take a family member with you, you could spend this time talking about each other’s respective days. It is a great way of catching up, while getting some exercise and ensuring that those dopamine levels are high.
- Listen to slow, classical music
Research has shown that listening to slow music without any lyrics improves concentration and calms the mind of distractions. If you are a music lover, pop in a CD of classical music and allow yourself to be swept away by the ebb and flow of the rhythm. Avoid any fast songs or contemporary quick music. This tends to agitate the mind, which achieves the opposite effect of relaxation. Listening to sounds of nature, such as the gentle sound of breeze or waves on the shore, also aids in achieving a calm state of mind for better sleep.
- Spend some quiet me-time
Everybody should spend some me-time every day. This could be accomplished in many ways, including writing in a diary, or quietly contemplating about your day in a corner of your room. This time should not include interacting with any family members, friends or online activity. Try spending this time only with yourself. If in the beginning this is difficult, set aside a specific time of each day to ‘be one with yourself’ and make it into a habit over time. You will notice that you become more calm the more centered you become.
- Practice slow breathing for 20 minutes
Yoga has become widely accepted the world over with proven health benefits. An integral part of yoga is proper breathing. We often do not breathe in deep, may be due to pollution, nasal problems etc. during the day, consciously breathe deeply as much as possible. At night, spend 20 minutes in a calm corner of your house to simply breathe in and out in an easy manner. Make sure you breathe deeply, using your entire respiratory tract. Pranayama, as it is called in yoga, instantly relaxes you and sends much needed oxygen to various body parts. You can do this in bed, while trying to sleep also. The key is slow and deep breathing.
- Develop a hobby
Remember, as kids, when we were happy spending hours doing something we love? This is the easiest and surest way to happiness. Pick up a hobby you had as a child, or pick up a new one. Just make sure that it does not need too much investment of your time and energy to indulge in. Give yourself an hour every evening to practice your hobby. It could be as innocuous as calligraphy. Practicing the arts will exercise the right hemisphere of your brain and gives you the satisfaction of creating something on your own.
- Avoid too much sensory stimulation right before you sleep
Avoid watching TV with loud programs, listening to fast paced music, quarrelling with family members or spending too much time online right before you sleep. This could be a direct impact on the quality of your sleep and the dreams you have. The simple rule is to slow down your mind before you rest for the day, instead of agitating it with an overload of sensory experiences. Another important habit to form is to avoid spicy food at night. Too spicy foods have been linked to nightmare occurrences!