Following on from last weeks blog post which identified the symptoms of stress, this week we’re looking at ways to de-stress. Often these posts can be quite cliched, but we’ll try our best to avoid that and provide you with some useful solutions!
What do you mean, relax?
We all have our ways of relaxing, especially after a long day of working hard. But sometimes we don’t always treat ourselves with kindness. We may overwork our bodies and mind, and later feel the consequences when our health declines. So, by engaging in activities that will reduce your stress levels, your overall well-being will improve. De-stressing may mean something different to everyone. You may watch your favourite Netflix show, read a chapter of a book, or do some household chores.
The Labour Force Survey revealed that 595,000 workers (UK) suffered with work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2017/2018. Those working in education, health care, and public administration showed higher levels of stress compared to other industries.
Here are a few ways to de-stress after a days work:
- Reduce screen time. If your job involves looking at a screen all day, it’s no good returning home to continue staring at a screen. Constant smartphone use affects our quality of sleep. The blue light that emits from our screens prevents the body from producing melatonin, a chemical which helps you sleep. After a busy, productive day you want to be getting good quality sleep to repair your body in preparation for the next day. To combat this, you could make a nightly ritual of setting a specific time to switch off your devices before bed. But if you must look at your device switch the settings so your screen emits a warmer light.
- Leave work at work! This is so important to your well being and ability to ‘switch off’. Bringing your work home means you will never wind down after your day. Avoid checking your emails (Surely, it can wait until morning?) and communicating with your team. Use your time out of work strictly for yourself.
- Prepare and cook yourself a nutritious meal. Although you may be tired after working, the simple act of preparing a meal is a calming, meditative way of relieving stress. It’s the same with baking. These activities can be therapeutic. The Wall Street Journal reveals counsellors to be using cooking and baking as therapy tools for those suffering from mental health problems.
- Create a comforting space in your home. This doesn’t mean completely overhauling your home, but adding little home comforts to your living space will improve your mood. Coming home to an area that is full of your favourite things, with plump cushions or a blanket will help de-stress.
- Increase endorphins. Exercising can help release stress and anxiety within our bodies. Whether you go for a 10 minute walk, a run, or attend a yoga session, it will improve your state of mind. Find an activity you enjoy and watch your mood improve. In a report by The Mental Health Foundation, regular physical activity can improve self-esteem and reduce anxiety and stress levels.
So, find what helps you relax and do it!