We all have a sense of what to do to unwind after a stressful day but in these stressful and uncertain times, a reminder is always welcome...
Unwinding after a stressful day should be one of the non-negotiables in your life. If you’re always on full speed and exerting yourself taut, your mental health and body will eventually take a dive.
Some of the repercussions of unmanaged stress are depression, high blood pressure, heart diseases, sleep issues, stomach pain, fatigue, muscle tension, mood change and more.
Letting the negative energy fester will take its toll, so it is necessary that we take mindful steps to free ourselves of stress.
Self-care is the key and the good news is, you do not have to do anything outlandish to unwind. Here are some easy ways that you can do to de-stress:
Aromatherapy is usually delivered through essential oils. Invest on a diffuser and essential oils to melt the stress away.
Lavender is perhaps one of the most popular essential oils in terms of its relaxing effect. It is proven to calm the nervous system, which results in lower blood pressure and heart rate. It is also known to reduce anxiety and depression and even helps in getting better sleep. You can also try Eucalyptus; its minty scent can rejuvenate you and relieve yourself of stress and mental fatigue.
Other recommended essential oils are lemongrass, cedarwood, ylang ylang, cinnamon leaf, frankincense, peppermint and rose.
Adult colouring books
Be it the mandala or floral designs, the gazillion lines and intricate patterns in adult colouring books is an effective way to unwind. As you focus on the act itself, it flows the attention away from ourselves and stress triggers. For others, adult colouring is a form of mindfulness exercise and consider it to be therapeutic. Your inner creativity is also tapped as you break away from your routine.
Take a warm bath
Combine a long warm bath with aromatherapy and feel the stress fade away as you soak in your tub. You can also use different bath bombs or scented candles + music for a full experience. The relaxing environment that you create will help soothe your body and senses. Take the opportunity to have a “pampering me-time”
Get in touch with nature
Being in nature is proven to have numerous positive effects. From the fresh air, the greeneries, and the open space will make you feel better instantly. According to studies, nature can improve mood, decrease stress, increase creativity and productivity. So step outside, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Filter your media intake
Stay away from anything that might trigger more stress, one of which is watching the news.
Why? It adds more things to worry about! Instead, divert your attention to the things that you love to do, whether it's cooking, dancing, watching Netflix or eating comfort food.
Be in touch with your support group or find an outlet for your feelings
Sometimes before engaging in an unwinding activity, letting the air out can be your starting point. You can do this by finding an outlet to express yourself.
Try going out with good friends, who will listen and give you support and positive energy. Or if you are not comfortable in sharing your woes, even simply writing your thoughts on a journal or blog can do the trick.
Your support group or the handy journal can serve as a way to declutter our minds.
According to novelist Jasper Fforde “There is no problem on earth that can’t be ameliorated by a hot bath and a cup of tea.” And maybe he is indeed correct when it comes to dealing with stress.
A good cup of herbal tea after a stressful day will help soothe and relax your body. Choose herbal teas like chamomile, peppermint, kava, lavender and valerian. Tip: Let it brew for a while to fully taste the flavour.
Unplug and recharge
At night, set your mobile phone aside. Have a sort of “cut-off” time on your mobile device. This will also help you sleep faster because of less stimulation from the blue light from your screen.
Your night should be a time to recharge. Why not read instead of using your mobile phone (since you are already stressed out, choose books that are not too “heavy” but rather entertaining).
Regular exercise has numerous health benefits, one of which is relieving stress. When exercising, your body pumps up endorphins (the “happy” chemical) and decreases stress hormones like cortisol.
Even a 20-minute walk will do wonders to alleviate your stress. You could also try aerobics, light-stretching exercises and yoga.
In addition, practice correct breathing to help you relax, you can try the 4-7-8 method or Relaxing Breath exercise (4 minutes breathe in, hold for 7 minutes and breathe out for 8 minutes).
Other ways to unwind are Indulging in good food, putting on your favourite music, watching your favourite show, reading a book or listening to a podcast. Always be attentive on your well-being and have the conscious effort to combat stress and anxiety. Learn to find necessary balance to achieve your optimal life.
With love from mubu xx