10 ways to destress after a long work week
Coming home after a long day of work is a great time to practice self-care. Many times we think we don't have time, when in reality if we don't invest the time in self-care we will have to pay the price of over working our bodies at some point. We don't need to go to a spa everyday - there are many things we can do at home to destress. Here are some quick and easy ways to destress after a long work week.
1) Go straight to your room and change out of your work clothes. Some people don't even change after work and go either straight to the kitchen or straight to another kind of work station at home. However, the act of changing clothes, gives the mind the opportunity to readjust to change in environment.
2) Take 5 minutes to yourself before you engage with the world. Some people really need to go the bathroom for their 5 minutes because they live in a house where many people require their attention. If that is the case, then the bathroom is a good place to get your 5 minutes.
3) In those 5 minutes take deep breaths. Our bodies breathe themselves and often times we take for granted how much our bodies do for us. Deep breathing has been a proven technique to calm the body and mind. Breathe in through your nose and out through nose slowly. This will tell the body to calm down.
4) Bubble baths anyone? Bubbles or no bubbles- taking a relaxing bath is another way to take time out for yourself and release the day's tension into the water and out of your body. And if you are feeling inspired try some incense and or candle- just be mindful that you are being safe when using these items and they are not left unattended.
5) Self Foot Massage- Although I am a huge fan of massages, we can't always make it to the massage table when we want to. In between massage sessions, I recommend giving your feet some TLC by massaging your feet yourself. Get a lotion or body cream that appeals to you, and give your feet thanks for taking your everywhere by giving them a good massage. A few minutes of self foot massage will not only help you destress, but your feet will thank you.
6) Water- How much have you had today? Having plenty of water to drink is another form of self-care. Often times we get so busy in our lives, that we forget one of the most important things without which we could not live. Besides air, water is the second most important element humans need to live. Have you had enough water today to keep your cells happy and thriving? If not, consider buying a reusable water bottle so you always remember to hydrate your amazing body.
7) A little stretching never hurt anyone- Exercising the body is just as important as exercising the mind. If you don't get to the gym as often as you would like consider adding even a few minutes of stretching into your daily schedule at the start and end of your day. This will not only increase your flexibility and give your muscles access to more oxygen, but you will feel better afterwards. Of course always check with your doctor before doing any kind of exercise or stretching program.
8) Alone Time- Remember the 5 minutes from before? Well if you can give yourself an hour or two a week where you spend time alone whether journaling, meditating, contemplating, or doing any activity in solitude- it will give you much needed recharge time to boost your energy. We live in a high paced society where there is instant access to the whole world at any given time. Having some time to ourselves allows us to garner our mental and emotional strength and be more efficient when interacting with the world.
9) Eat slowly and preferably sitting down-do you eat while you cook? Or perhaps scarf down your food? It is an act of self-care to eat slowly and calmly. Many people of differing faiths say grace before eating, if that is not alignment with your beliefs, consider just taking some breaths to acknowledge the food you are about to eat. It will slow you down long enough to be mindful when eating. This will make the meal all the more enjoyable for you and the people you are sharing your meals with.
10) Give yourself what you need when you need it- Perhaps you need a hug, some help around the house, or a day off? Whatever it is, get in the habit of checking in with yourself to see what it is that you need to practice self-care. The small things we do every day add up and increase our well being one moment at a time. Take the time to discover what increases your sense of well being and begin to add it to your self-care routine. Your mind and body will thank you!