12th July 2019
How to unwind and relax after a long day
The first thing anyone wants to do at the end of the day is to go home and retreat, plop on the sofa and mentally switch off from; work, the city grit, the mayhem – tune completely out. It might be hard to do this if there are kids in the equation scrambling for attention, dogs yelping, husband needing to be heard, overflowing dishes in the sink, dinner demanding to be cooked. Home might not be a serenely stress-free haven at all.
You are just in the door. Chances are you’re strung out so prioritize, get the household chores done first. Get those niggling things out of the way so the evening is freed up. Load the dishwasher, prepare dinner – stir fry is a winner, bath the kids. Make that call that you have been putting off all day. Then think about relaxing.
De-robe shed your work clothes. Become relaxation comfy person.
Create a serene environment
Your home is your retreat. Make it inviting. Choose artwork that makes you feel peaceful, dot around some plants and foliage. Consider colour – colour influences perceptions and can impact both the body and the mind and really affect our emotions – blue is a positive colour – it is calming and serene – green gives balance, grey is neutral for example. Choose judiciously.
Layer on tactile textures in your living room – simplify, don’t clutter and embrace the seasons. Create a comfy reading nook. Listen to music. Light a candle. You get the picture …and exhale. Become centred. Inhale. Exhale.
Leave work at the office
Do not bring work home with you. This can happen physically and mentally. Turn off your email and snooze your slack notifications. Try not to think about that looming project. Train yourself to unplug, disconnect. “Let it be” maybe listen to Paul McCartney! Getting the right work-life balance is essential for health.
Research continues to tout the benefits of mindful meditation. Psychologists believe it alters the brain’s neural pathways making us more resilient to stress. Be present in the moment, turn off all unnecessary stimuli, noise and harness all thoughts to the here and now. Focus on what’s around you and rein in your mind. Remember to breathe, deep breaths. Try some yoga poses, 15 min stretches that are restorative can really calm your stressed-out mind. Then venture off into your evening. Taking care of yourself needs no justification.
Some exercise can not only increase your overall health but your sense of well-being. It has some direct stress-busting benefits. It pumps up your endorphins. A good brisk walk can increase the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy even breathing deeply can cause your body to produce endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that fight stress. Go do that spin class, boot camp or whatever that gets your blood pumping. It’s a great destresser. Better still if you’re lucky to live near the beach, take a walk by the beach. If not go for a swim, do an aqua aerobics class. Water is therapeutic, calming and uplifting.
Give yourself a calm instant facial. Propping your feet up while a face mask does all the work is pure bliss. This is the best way to relax while nurturing your face to get it glowing. Regenerating, brightening, soothing and luxurious – these are all the superlatives you want in a mask. The beauty world is full of hyperbole but if you get something that leaves dewy, healthy-looking skin behind and you’ve had some shut-eye, double bonus!
Soak in a bubble bath. A hot bath can clean off the day’s stresses. It also rejuvenates tired muscles and tames any chaotic thoughts. Straight before bed submerge into one as it will help you drift off later. Soak for 20 minutes and chill. Slather your body in an all over indulgent body cream that caresses you – I am thinking soothing ginger, lavender and essential oils that relax and soothe and heal. Curl up with a book and doze off at your leisure.
Comedy- have a laugh
A good laugh can cure all ailments! Laughter is the best medicine of them all. Seek out more opportunities for humour – call up that friend that makes you laugh or tune into that comedy that puts a broad smile on your face. Laughter improves your emotional health, strengthens relationships and makes us happy, fact. It simply reduces stress. It can even add years to your life!
By creating a buffer zone when you get home from work of 30 minutes or more to do what you like (if you’ve no kids) – go for a run, hit the gym, listen to music, really helps. Make it a routine. Put leisure ideas and activities on the calendar or they won’t happen. Unwinding is recovery mode is essential for one’s mental health.
Relaxation is key and the best prescription for a long, happy and healthy life.
Take your life as seriously as your work, And let it be.