8 Failsafe Ways to De-stress
Today’s lifestyles are busy. We all live in a fast-paced world where everything is expected to happen in an instant. We all need ways to de-stress at the end of the day.
Think about it.
We have 24-hour access to our emails and even taking a vacation doesn’t enable us to switch off unless we have remarkable ability to keep that cell-phone locked away in a safe!
This shouldn’t be a shock. Take a look around you, if you travel by train or bus you’ll notice other people buried in their work, or busy searching online, engaged in conversations with colleagues or furiously tapping away at their devices.
There’s so little time to actually sit back and relax. Even when we get home, there’s endless meals to cook, washing to sort, chores to get done let alone taking time out to exercise at the gym! It’s no wonder so many of us are burnt out. 13% of American adults find it hard to unwind in the evening and 18% of those with managerial roles find it even more difficult to relax after a day at work.
There is no easy solution but taking care of ourselves will make a difference to our health as well as our outlook on life. Stress, according to a report in the UK’s newspaper The Independent, could reduce life expectancy by 33 years.
The above is sobering to read, but by making some simple lifestyle changes, we can all reduce stress in our lives and hopefully live a longer and happier life. Here are eight failsafe ways to de-stress.
Taking a walk at least once a day helps to clear your head and also factors in gentle exercise. Even just 20 minutes in some fresh air and sunshine makes a big difference, especially if you’re feeling under pressure. By sitting at a desk for hours on end or endlessly doing chores at home, you can feel stifled.
If you need to be creative the best way to generate new ideas is to take yourself away from a working or pressurized environment. When you walk, you trigger the feel-good hormone, Endorphin, and the more you walk, the better you feel!
Create the Mood
If you get home feeling stressed after a day at work and then have to run around after your family or if you’ve had a busy day with the children and desperately need to wind-down— then create a relaxing mood at home.
Light a candle, choose something scented naturally with essential oils such as chamomile or lavender (both known for inducing feelings of relaxation and calm). Dim the lights put on some mellow music and lay down somewhere comfortable for half an hour to allow you to de-stress.
Listen to your breathing and try and push out any negative thoughts. Better still, run a warm bath and place a few drops of essential oil into it, something like Bergamot or Ylang Ylang helps you to feel good and anxiety-free. Remember to tell any other family members not to disturb you!
Do Something You Love
There’s no such thing as not having enough time in the day! You just need to be stricter about making time for the things you love to do. Perhaps you enjoy reading, but you just haven’t had time to do it for a while.
Or maybe you like to cook, but you just don’t have the patience at the moment! Maybe you’re a keen gardener, but you haven’t been able to pull on your gardening gloves for months. Hobbies that have fallen by the wayside are easy enough to pick back up again and they re-center what’s important.
Cooking a meal for family or friends is a pleasure if you particularly like coming up with new dishes. Watching flowers grow when you’ve nurtured them with your own bare hands is a real achievement. Getting involved in an unputdownable novel is exactly what you need when you can’t switch off – someone else’s compelling story soon consumes the mind!
Have a Massage
Not only is massage one of those instant feel-good experiences, but it is also an excellent anxiety buster. Massage is beneficial in so many ways but obviously, it depends on the type of massage you choose.
An aromatherapy massage is what you need if you do feel anxious or stressed because your therapist should be able to recommend the right essential oils for your skin and to make you feel calmer.
There are numerous studies promoting the benefits of massage, particularly for anxiety but without doubt, massage brings about feelings of comfort and care.
Organize Something You Love
Sometimes, having an end goal is what you need to beat stress. For example, if you know you have a vacation coming up, it helps you to feel there is something worth striving for!
Without personal goals, stress can really mount up, especially if there’s no “end in sight.” It doesn’t have to be a vacation; it could be a trip to the theater, a fabulous restaurant you’ve been dreaming of trying, a day out at the beach – having something to look forward to is good for your overall wellbeing. You subconsciously know there’s a break coming up and changing up your usual routine is often the best stress-buster.
Talk to Someone
If you are going through a stressful period in your life, it’s important to realize that you are genuinely not alone.
Very few people go through life without difficult periods. Remember, it will pass because time passes and things never stay exactly the same forever. Do talk to someone. A problem shared is a problem halved.
If you don’t want to burden your friends or family then perhaps seek a professional’s help. There are lots of organizations that can offer you advice but start with your doctor and discuss what’s troubling you.
Move Away From Screens
Studies show that computer screens (cell phones and iPads etc.) can increase levels of the stress hormone Cortisol. If you sit at a computer for hours on end then that could be the reason you feel anxious, perhaps it’s interfering with your sleep patterns too.
Make sure you take a break, every half an hour or thereabouts. Don’t use screens before bedtime. It’s well known that the bright lights stimulate brain activity which can seriously affect sleep quality. Turn your screens off an hour before bedtime and leave them outside your bedroom too.
Yes, you breathe all day every day but how you breathe makes a difference to your stress levels. When you’re under stress, you take shorter, shallower breaths. If you feel your heart racing and that panic welling up inside, stop!
Start to breathe deeply, in through your nose for five seconds, hold and out through your mouth as if you’re lightly blowing out a candle. Close your eyes as you do this and practice it for a few minutes, really concentrating on each breath. It will calm you down and get rid of that butterfly feeling inside.
You may have some of your own ways to de-stress and now with a few new ones, hopefully, you are fully prepared to beat the stresses of the day and unwind to enjoy your evenings.
About the Author
On a mission to bring massage therapy closer to those who want to live a balanced, healthy life, connecting body mind and spirit.