Stress is an enemy to your health. How can you protect yourself from its negative effects? Keep calm and try these tips for relieving post-work stress. If you don’t learn to relax, you make yourself vulnerable to heart problems, a weak immune system and more. After a long day at the office, it’s easy to get caught up in domestic dramas.
Children, partners, tidying, meal preparation: they can all get on top of you and make you lose perspective. Problems and worries on your mind only exacerbate the situation. Before you know it, you can never escape from your stress and increasing anxiety. Now’s the perfect time to step back and learn some valuable tricks to help you relax and unwind.
Simple tips to reduce your post-work stress
1. Kick off those shoes
There are some who say it’s not healthy, but few things can beat the immediate relief of arriving home and kicking off your shoes. It promotes calm and serenity in your home. Indeed, walking barefoot stimulates many of your vital functions. It promotes good circulation, strengthens your veins and your nervous system and reduces stress – even more so if you’re walking on grass or sand. This simple exercise is so relaxing and simple that it’d be a shame not to give it a go.
2. Be present and conscious
When you get home from work, you should remind yourself that your responsibility to your job is done. A healthy habit to cultivate is to consciously separate your personal life from your career. When you are at home, really be at home. It’s your time and your life – real life – where your family and friends are important, as is relaxing with them. Establishing a clear separation will help you to really enjoy being with them.
3. Take a short stroll
Half an hour is all you need to promote relaxation. Go to the park or a playing field – or walk round your neighbourhood to soothe anxiety. Even this small amount of exercise will be beneficial to your body, as the small amount of endorphins it releases can help to eliminate toxins, activate your body and rest your mind. It’s free and it’s a great way to reduce stress. If you share this activity with your significant other or a friend, it will greatly benefit the both of you.
4. A quick cat nap
Now, we’re not suggesting that you need to sleep for hours. 15 or 20 minutes is the optimal length of time for a reviving kip. It’s just long enough to rejuvenate you, sharpen your mind and relieve some pent-up tension. Don’t worry about falling into a deep sleep. Just lie down in a quiet place, put up your feet and close your eyes for a few minutes while you focus on breathing a bit more slowly. This practise – if done consistently – can help you to show stress the door and keep you feeling much more calm and relaxed.
5. A relaxing soak
What can you name that’s more indulgent than a nice soak in a warm bath. Give yourself permission to spend half an hour in the tub or shower with some nice bubbles and let your body be swept away by a fantastic feeling of relief. Even if you can only manage it once a week, you’ll soon notice calmer nerves, reduced pain and inflammation and an improved sense of wellbeing.
6. Stop trying to do everything at once
You’ve only just arrived home and you’re already running about, trying to make tea whilst keeping an eye on the children and you can’t even stop yourself thinking about what you need to achieve between now and bedtime – if you can find the time to sleep. Slow down. Stop! How many things can you realistically do all at once – never mind, do them well. When you get home at night, try to be conscious of your limitations. You’re only human, after all. In the long run, it’s better for you and all those around you when you try to achieve a calm and balanced demeanour.
7. Address your mental fatigue
Aaannnd…relax! Just by centring your mind for ten minutes and focusing on your own things, you’ll go a long way toward regaining some equilibrium. Invest some time in yourself. Think about the present and what you’d like in your future. Don’t dwell on the past. Be thankful for all the good in your life. Stress is quite good at making you lose sight of what you’ve got and that which is truly important. It’s good at blurring the line, making mountains of molehills and skewing your priorities. Your health is your most valuable possession. It really is. So, smile, relax, and visualise what makes you happy. Now, breathe. Easy!