How do you relax after a long day? Do you go to the local watering hole and throw back a few brewskis or sit and watch television for an hour or so to decompress? You might be surprised that these aren’t the best way to unwind after a long and arduous day. Not only will alcohol add more stress to your body while it’s metabolizing, it adds extra calories. To really relax, you often need to drink more than just one or two glasses and that’s definitely not good for your health. Sitting down and watching television might help if you get completely involved in the show, but most of us are prone to half watching and stewing about everything that went wrong in the day…Again, not healthy.
Workout at the gym.
The harder the day, the harder you should workout. It burns off the hormones created by stress and replaces them with ones that make you feel good. Tossing around the kettlebells can be tough, but also fun and invigorating. The total body workout will take away the stress and leave you feeling refreshed. You’ll enjoy it while you’re doing it and get a feeling of freedom as you swing them. Suspension training can also be fun, but also very tough! It will have your body back to a normal relaxed state in no time.
You can combine meditation with yoga or deep breathing exercises. Once you learn the technique, you can use it anywhere to help reduce stress and relax. In fact, using this technique for a few minutes throughout the day can help prevent the overload of stress you feel at the end of the day. If you want to try it first, go to a quiet area and breathe deeply, focusing on your breath while intentionally relaxing every muscle in your body. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels.
Go for a walk.
Alternate your pace between rapid and leisurely to get the most out of your walk. Enjoy the scenery as you start to feel the pent up emotions slowly drain from your body. Make sure you walk in a location that isn’t crowded, but not too isolated either—for safety’s sake. Crowded conditions can often bring on more anxiety and stress than the walk releases. Remember how bad it was shopping during the holidays or on Black Friday?
- If you need a quick way to get rid of stress and it’s not time to go home, excuse yourself for a minute and take to the stairs. Running up and down the stairs a few times will relieve the stress and help you make it through the rest of the day. Jogging in place will also help if you’re in a one story building.
- Take a warm bath or shower. Adding a lavender scent to the water is known to bring quick relief.
- Give yourself a break. Schedule in an hour or two a week just for you. Even if you give yourself a ten minute break to do nothing, it can go a long way to relieving stress.
- Sit in a dark quiet room by yourself for a few minutes. The room doesn’t have to be pitch black, just not bright. It’s a way to decompress and help bring you back to normal.