Our busy everyday lives can cause stress. It can be tough finding time in our daily lives to relax and unwind after a stressful day when there’s so much going on at home, at school, and socially. It’s important to schedule time for your mental health.
It’s true — relaxation helps improve overall health by reducing stress levels. Fortunately, regardless of how busy you are, you don’t need to be an expert at creating time to relax and unwind after a stressful day. There are many ways to relax, including a meditation app, a clinical psychologist, and progressive muscle relaxation.
Relaxation strategies don’t require special equipment or techniques; they’re just simple things like taking deep breaths, lowering your blood pressure, vacation time, and meditating. You don’t need to spend hours every day doing something relaxing. Just five minutes a day of relaxation can make all the difference. Here are some simple relaxation strategies you can do to unwind after a stressful day at work:
- Breathe it out. Relaxation strategies include breathing techniques. These techniques are among the most effective chronic stress management tools available. They’re simple enough for anyone to learn but powerful enough to help you relax and unwind after a stressful day. These techniques can help reduce the negative effects of additional stress. For meditation to be effective, find a place and set aside time that may be restful such as during your holiday break, or your lunch break. It is essential to see your source of stress so that you may avoid further triggers. The best practice of meditation requires you to sit or lie down in a quiet and secure location where you won’t disturb anyone else and put one hand on your stomach. Inhale for a slow count of three; exhale for a slow count of three. Repeat until you feel relaxed. As you inhale through your nostrils, feel your stomach muscles expand from their resting position, and muscle tension fades away, and your heart rate slows down. Then exhale slowly through your mouth. Do whatever feels good for you. Repeat this exercise as needed!
- Release physical tension. We may not always be aware when our body has been under stress. Still, suppose we pay attention to our physical state. If you feel tense physically or mentally, releasing some of that tension by stretching out may relieve both your physical and mental tensions. Lie down on a soft surface, like your bed, a carpet, or a yoga mat. Start by tensing up just one part of your body — such as your arm, leg, hand, or foot and hold for 10 seconds before relaxing. Repeat until you’ve done each. With that being said, most people begin by working their way from their facial muscles to their feet, then move on to their shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen, back, buttocks, thighs, knees, calves, ankles, hands, fingers, neck, head, until they reach the far side of their body.
- Write down your thoughts. Writing things down helps eliminate ideas from your head, so they don’t clutter up your brain. If you feel like you need some time alone, write down some quick notes about how you’re feeling or how things went today. It could be done in a notebook or an app. Don’t worry if you’re not good at poetry or spelling. Try writing down everything that’s bothering you, so you don’t feel stressed out anymore.
- Make a list. Listing things you’re grateful for may be helpful for some people who find themselves feeling stressed out. According to experts, if we’re stressed out, we often focus on the negatives instead of the positives. Writing down some things from your past that was good for you might give you an idea of where you want to go next. Think of at least one thing each day that went well. Please write it down. It doesn’t need to be anything significant, just something nice that happened during the day.
- Visualize your calm. Do you know where you would be happiest if you were to find yourself in a situation for which there was no solution? In a quiet and safe place like your room, start thinking about a location in the world where you find yourself feeling calmer than usual. Imagine every detail associated with that location — from the sights to the sounds to the smells to the textures to the sensations. If you imagine something like this when you think of the beach (or any place else), then you’ve probably got someplace specific in mind where you want to go. As you become more familiar with your visualization, the easier it becomes for you to relax.
For children and teenagers, relaxation doesn’t just mean sitting back and relaxing; it means doing things like playing games, reading books, or listening to music. If you feel like your child could use some relaxation time, then take advantage of their need for calmness by helping them through these exercises. Even better than just trying them yourself, let your kids help out by doing simple breathing exercises together. It can be helpful for children who need to learn to regulate their own emotions.