Work can frazzle you. There are deadlines to meet and occasional conflict to resolve. That’s why it’s important to practice some ways of caring for yourself when your workday ends.
Simple but effective de-stressing basics
One time-honored way of de-stressing after work is with deep breathing. Inhale, hold, and exhale slowly. Count to 10 as you let your breath out, feeling the tension and stress leave your body as you exhale. Do this 10 times.
If deep breathing has you panting after something more, there’s nothing like a good massage to relieve stress and tension. You can massage your own shoulders, neck, head, and lower back. It’s better if you can get a friend or partner to do it for you.
Don't get mad, get active!
Whether with a partner or alone, you can always get some exercise by taking a five-minute walk around the block or your office building. And when you get home, take 30 minutes or more to exercise. It’s a great way to channel your frustrations as you unleash some feel-good neurotransmitters.
No matter how much you end up exerting yourself, it's important that you spend some time outdoors. Stroll through a park or head to the beach. The scenery should relax you and help you to regain composure.
Another way of getting some great exercise, a rowdy bout of sex also releases feel-good hormones and allows you to connect with your partner. Lose yourself in the moment; the ease and repose you'll feel afterward should give you peace of mind enough to put your work difficulties in their proper context.
Time heals all wounds, so take some off
Maybe the need for exertion in one form or another is cause enough for taking a sick or personal day. As long as you have some sick leave and vacation time saved up, go for it! Treat yourself to a spa visit, a good meal, or quality time with friends and family.
If a sick day's out of the question, there's always meditation that you can do during breaks or when you get home. It doesn’t require much training. Just sit somewhere quiet, close your eyes, and relax as you focus on your breath flowing in and out. When thoughts or ideas pop into your mind, just acknowledge them and allow them to fade. Then bring your attention to breathing again.
If you need solitude but think meditation isn't your thing, you can always do some reading. It's a great distraction that helps you to unwind. Pick a book that will engross you completely. This will take your mind off everything else.
"Write" wrongs, share troubles
When solitary ways of de-stressing seem only meh, you can count on getting together with others to see you through. Reconnect with friends and family. Just doing a pleasurable activity and discussing your day with people you care about can make all the difference.
What also can make a difference is a list of the day’s wins, even if they seem insignificant. Start with just three to get you started.
Another way of writing your cares away is by creating a record of the workday's events and how they made you feel. The act can be incredibly relieving. You can also track your stress to find out the culprits behind it. After you know your triggers, you can find better ways of coping.
And when you're really bubbling over ...
Why write at all when you could just take a warm bubble bath and melt your cares away? Soaking in warm water and essential oils can boost your brain power, help you unwind, soothe sore muscles, help you sleep, and fight cold symptoms.
Wrassle with the hassle
Regardless of how you deal with stress at workday's end, you really should deal with it. And the more serenely you do so, the better. At any rate, you have plenty to work with!
- "10 Ways to Turn Around a Bad Day in 10 Minutes Or Less," Tiny Buddha, February 6, 2013.
- "13 Simple Steps to Get You Through a Rough Day," BuzzFeed, April 2, 2012.
- "20 Scientifically Backed Ways To De-Stress Right Now," The Huffington Post, September 9, 2013.
- "Bad Day at Work? 10 Tips to Help You Make It Through," AOL Finance, September 6, 2010.