No matter what your field, or how much you love your job, you’re always going to have days that drain you. Days where you feel exhausted and stressed, days that you are happy to see come to an end. When you are finally done with work and you get home to unwind, there are some healthy ways to go about it. Grabbing some takeout and watching television is most people’s go-to, and while this is likely to distract you from your tension, it’s not an ideal way to bring your mind back to a calm and productive place.
If you’ve had a long, stressful work day, try some of these tips to unwind. I hope these will come in handy on those long, hard days and help put your mind and body at ease. Tomorrow may be another work day, but for now, you can relax and focus on better things.
Relax With Some Yoga
Exercise is one of the healthiest ways to create endorphins, and the stress-relieving qualities of yoga have been celebrated for centuries. When you combine a focus on breathing with stretches and poses that are meant to gently challenge your muscles, you’ll feel your stress melt away.
Traditional yoga will do the trick, but there are a few new styles gaining steam that might be of use. Rage yoga is often practiced to heavy metal music, and encourages shouting, swearing, releasing angry emotions, and even drinking. If your day left you with some animosity, rage yoga might be therapeutic.
If you’re more of a playful soul, laughter yoga is also a new trend that “combines the therapeutic effects of a good belly laugh with traditional yogic breathing and stretching to create the ultimate stress relief.”
Go For A Swim
If yoga isn’t your style, consider hopping in the pool for some laps. The health benefits of swimming are numerous, and include allowing you to get a full-body cardio workout with little impact on your joints.
If your job is physically demanding and leaves your muscles exhausted or achy, swimming is the ideal activity. There are several different stroke techniques that work and loosen almost every muscle in the body, some are more intense than others depending on how you feel at the time. Even if you don’t do laps, spending time in the water, especially warmer water, will be soothing and help your mind and body calm down naturally.
Get A Massage
If your muscles are so sore and achy that exercise is out of the question, a massage might be the answer. You may be lucky enough to have someone around the house with skilled hands and a willingness to help out, and if that’s the case, don’t be afraid to ask. If not, it might be worth the money to hire a massage therapist from time to time.
There are several different types of massage that can help in so many areas: from hot stones to focused tension-relief sessions. You’ll find the perfect one for your situation.
If you’ve never had a professional massage, I highly recommend trying it at least once. Just make sure you do your research and hire a licensed massage therapist with good reviews online.
If you’re having trouble taking your mind off of the stresses at work, it’s time for some meditation. Meditation can be defined, very simply, as focusing on your breathing, or focusing on what is in the here and now.
Meditation promotes mindfulness, which is paying attention to the present moment and only the present moment. If you practice mindfulness correctly, your breathing will naturally slow down and your mind will move itself to a soothing place that is far from your stresses at work.
Whether or not you’re new to these concepts, trying this 15 minute guided mindfulness meditation is sure to get your thoughts where they need to be.
If you’re at a loss for how you’re feeling or what might help, a good talk therapy session is probably in order. You don’t need an actual therapist, just a good friend or family member you can call up or sit down and chat with.
If you are still working through an issue, go ahead and vent about it until you feel better. If not, or if the things that stress you out are routine or mundane, try to steer the conversation away from work.
Remember to try not to do all the talking: listening can be just as therapeutic as talking, so ask your conversation partner questions about their life and how it's going, too.
©2016 by AJ Earley. All Rights Reserved.
About the Author
AJ Earley is a personal chef, freelance writer, travel junkie, and root beer float enthusiast from Boise, Idaho... and now, a contributing writer at InnerSelf.com