We've all had one of those days, or even weeks, that seem to drag on forever. Those stressful days that you've been rushing all day since the moment you woke up. For most people who work a nine to five work week, it feels like everyday you wake up, go to work, come home to cook dinner, watch a little tv and go to sleep to do the same thing the next day. It's often hard to force your brain to stop thinking about what you need to do the next day. Some forceful thinking may be required but it is necessary to take time to relax and unwind after work.
Say 'NO' to your phone
Many of us have our phones glued to our hands. Often checking emails, voicemails, or mindlessly scrolling through various social media apps. Too much phone time can affect our health. Blue light emitted from screens affect the body's circadian rhythm, our natural wake and sleep cycle. Wifi transmitted to our hand-held devices can also affect sleep patterns. Not only does having your phone in bed can keep you awake simply by getting lost in a worm-hole on Facebook or Pinterest, using electronic devices before bedtime can be physiologically and psychologically stimulating in ways that can adversely affect your sleep. The more electronic devices that a person uses in the evening, the harder it is to fall asleep or stay asleep. When you get home from work, turn your phone off or leave it in another room.
For some people it's a chore to try to relax and not think about what you didn't accomplish today and what you need to do tomorrow. Sitting quietly may be difficult but with determination and some practice, it just might be the trick to quiet your mind. Find a comfortable place where you won't be bothered or distracted. Close your eyes and focus only on your breathing; in, out, in, out. Play slow, relaxing music to easy your thoughts. When something pops into your mind, consciously stop that train of thought and go back to your breathing; in, out, in, out. Focusing on just one thing will calm and focus your mind. There are many free classes on YouTube that can help guide you through mediation.
Get some exercise
Although exercise isn't relaxing to your body during a workout, it's hard to focus on work while you're sweating and pushing your body to it's physical limits. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins, chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects. Exercise can be very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate.
Take a hot bath
A hot bath may be one of the best ways to relax your mind and body. Sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day can take it's toll on your back. Soaking in the tub with bath salts, bath bombs, and essential oils can relax those muscles and often release tension-headaches. There's also no better feeling than being warm and clean getting into bed after a long day; I usually fall asleep almost instantly. Play and sing along to your favorite music, making sure your mind is on the song and not work. Also, you never sound better than with the acoustics of the tub.
"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival." - Andre Lorde