Whether it's work or personal life, it's easy to become overwhelmed in today's world. Unfortunately, while it's completely natural to become stressed, stress itself has some unpleasant side-effects. Headaches, high blood-pressure, hormonal changes, crankiness - these only exacerbate an already over-the-top situation. Luckily, there are many ways to unwind and de-stress after a long day.
Find a Place to Quietly Unwind
Most of us spend all day at work, and come home to cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the kids. Make it a point to find a place - perhaps close to home - where you can go, once a week, and spend some time napping or meditating. Ensure that it remains personal to you. Sometimes, it helps to have a place in your life that you alone can go to. It can be the park two minutes from your house, the field where you can lie down and nap in the shade for a half-hour. Seclusion can often do wonders to calm our thoughts.
Take a Bubble Bath
Aromatherapy and essential oils are invaluable in stress relief, and there is something childish about bubbles that have a pleasant, relaxing effect. Fragrant oils have soothing scents and can also help your skin and detoxify your body. Set aside a day every week to take a bath. Better yet, light some candles and play soft music while you relax. It's important to spend time on yourself, and a quiet bath is often the perfect way to do it.
Cook Something New
Life can often become too much of a routine, particularly if you are working in a very specialized role. As humans, it's natural to crave variety, and sometimes, doing too much of the same thing can lead to boredom and frustration. Try cooking. If you can't manage to set aside much time for this (cooking can be a time consuming activity), try out a new recipe just once a week. Simply eating something new can go a long way to breaking up some of that monotony, and the spices and ingredients you use in cooking can often have pleasing smells and tastes of their own.
Take an Electronics-free Day
Phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops mean that you must be constantly accessible to your colleagues and your family. Your phone is ringing and whether you're driving home from work in rush hour traffic, or enjoying a meal with your family, chances are if it's work related, you will have to take the call. Or it may have something to do with the four hundred unread notifications on Facebook or the fifty unanswered emails. Being constantly available can make life stressful, so try to take a day off every week to turn off your phone (or set it on silent), and move away from the computer or tv. Go out to the park, enjoy a picnic, or take the family out for a day at the zoo. You'll enjoy not having to stare at your phone screen for new messages.
Sign-up for a New Class
There are many evening classes available for adults, on any subject you could want to study. Pick up a new hobby. Take an introductory course on metal work or painting. Most classes are weekly, so it's completely doable to set aside one day a week to attend an hour long session. It is both productive and relaxing and forces your mind to step away from work and life, and focus on something that you enjoy.
Though these were just a few, there are many other ways to relax and de-stress. The next time you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, try out a new hobby or pick up a favourite bubble bath soap from the drug store on your way home. Spend a bit of time on yourself to feel rejuvenated and refreshed.