It’s the end of a long day and you’re tired. You’ve been working hard all day, and now you’re ready to head home. But as soon as you get there, the stresses of life start piling up again. What can you do to relieve that stress?
If you’re like most people, your answer is probably “nothing.” But it turns out that de-stressing after work isn’t nearly as difficult or time-consuming as one might think, and it can have some surprising benefits for your health. Funny quiz for teens can help you understand the ways you can reduce stress, from exercising to meditation and even just getting a good night’s sleep. So why not try one of these methods today? You’ll be glad you did.
Here are just a few simple (and cheap.) ways to relax at the end of a busy day:
Go for a walk
This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to de-stress from the day, and you don’t need any equipment or special skills to do it. Just put on some comfortable shoes (or grab your sneakers from the back of your closet) and go. You can walk around the block, go for a jog in nature, or take your dog for a run at the park, you get to choose where and how far you want to go.
This activity will clear your mind by giving it something else to focus on besides work tasks or lingering stressors. It also gives you an opportunity to engage with others: if possible, invite friends or family members who live nearby so that they can join in on this healthy activity with you; if not possible (or desirable), just walk alone and enjoy being out in nature without any distractions or obligations other than those imposed by nature itself (i.e., no deadlines.).
Pick up a hobby
One of the best ways to de-stress after work is to pick up a hobby. There are countless hobbies you can do on your own time, and they’re a great way to meet new people while also giving you an outlet for expressing yourself.
If you enjoy art and crafting, consider taking up crocheting or painting. Gardening is another popular hobby that can be done indoors or outdoors depending on the season. You could also try learning how to play an instrument like guitar or piano; these instruments have been known for years as great stress relievers because it’s so easy for people who don’t know how to play them yet. If none of these ideas appeal to you then there’s always something else out there waiting just around the corner – just keep looking until something catches your eye.
Leave work at work
Leaving work at work is one of the most important stress-busting techniques you can use.
- Don’t bring work home. If you’re checking your email at midnight, it’s going to be hard for you not to get stressed out if something comes up. Instead, pick a time during the day when you’re not working to check in with your boss or coworkers and see if anything needs attention (or if they want feedback on something).
- Keep off-hours emails brief and professional: You’re not going to want to send an email that starts “Hey man…can we talk?” or “Holy crap. That meeting was insane.” in response to someone asking how things went today. Concentrate on summarizing what happened without getting into details about how nervous everyone was or how much damage the angry client did in their tirade against the last person who worked on his project before being fired for being rude.
Get some exercise
Although it may not be a stressor, exercise can make you feel better overall. Exercise is a great way to de-stress after work. It increases your metabolism and helps you sleep better, which will help you combat stress more easily in the future. Exercise also helps to lower cortisol (the stress hormone), which can also help with long-term physical health issues caused by chronic stress such as high blood pressure and obesity.
Because exercise releases endorphins, it can actually improve your mood even if you’re not feeling particularly happy at the time of exercise, which means that even if the rest of your day sucked beyond belief, going for a run or getting on an elliptical machine will still leave you feeling refreshed afterward.
Get enough sleep. Sleep is one of the most important factors for good health and overall well-being. In fact, researchers have found links between chronic lack of sleep and heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and even depression. But how much sleep do you actually need? The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of restful slumber each night to help keep your mind sharp and body healthy.
The best way to ensure a good night’s rest after work is by setting up an environment conducive to sleeping well at home or on the road:
- make sure your room is cool but not cold;
- turn off all electronics;
- give yourself ample time before bedtime (no texting or social media);
- don’t eat heavy meals within two hours prior;
- get up every few hours if possible so as not to become over-tired;
- consider taking melatonin supplements as needed for jet lag or other issues with circadian rhythm disruption when traveling overseas, but talk with your doctor first.
These steps will help ensure you get enough quality shut-eye once it comes time for lights out so that tomorrow morning arrives fresh-faced and ready for whatever challenges await ahead at work today.