Relaxing after a long day isn’t always easy. Sometimes you may find it difficult to relax and let go of the pressures of your day. Are you someone who struggles to unwind? You’re not alone. Many of us have endless responsibilities. It seems like that day never ends. There is always something to worry about – career, taking care of your family, cleaning. Maybe you try to work extra hard to try to make up for lost time. Pushing too hard for too long can be physically and mentally taxing. Your body needs sufficient rest to perform at its best. Over time, this can cause serious damage to your physical and mental wellbeing.
To help you relax after a long day, we have found some of the best ways to help you unwind. Try doing any or all of these tips to maximize your leisure time.
Prioritize Your Downtime
Prioritizing time to rest and relax might not seem easy, especially when everything you have to accomplish feels urgent. Taking challenges as they come, often throws you into chaos, where you constantly feel overwhelmed. Sooner or later, this struggle is likely to lead to burnout, stress, or depression.
Your schedule should be focused on non-negotiable core values such as relaxation. The amount of time you assign to relax reflects your priorities. If you take a close look at your daily activities, you will find that you dedicate much time to less important tasks. Learn to eliminate the less important activities to allow your mind and body time to relax.
It’s critical to make time to rest your mind and body. Unless you make downtime a specific goal, it won’t happen. Schedule regular times to help you relax. It is simple. The same way you schedule events for the following day, you should dedicate times for something relaxing. For every day, you should set at least one relaxation activity.
The simple act of spending time outdoors can have a calming effect on your body. Rain or shine, spending time outdoors can be therapeutic. You don’t have to go far; the nearest park will do. A little change of scenery, breathing in some fresh air can let your mind wander away from the stresses of the day.
What are the most relaxing outdoor activities?
- Walk the streets – Cruising the streets can be a great way to relax.
- Enjoy an outdoor meal – Even a boring sandwich can bring more pleasure outdoors.
- Just enjoy the scenery – Watch the sunrise or the sunset.
- Enjoy the outdoors with music – Spend time outdoors listening to a relaxing playlist.
- Practice yoga – Almost everything feels more relaxing outdoors, even yoga.
- Take a nap – Napping outdoors will allow you to disconnect and recharge.
Chill with Music
Some sooting tunes can do wonders for your wellbeing. The right playlist can improve your mood substantially. To promote relaxation, avoid hi-energy or loud genres. Choose slower instrumental music to help you decompress and quiet your mind.
What type of music is the most relaxing?
Generally, slow instrumental music is the most relaxing. Most importantly, you have to like the music. If you love jazz, create a jazz playlist you find the most relaxing. You shouldn’t force yourself to listen to music simply because other people find it relaxing.
Music helps you relax in several ways:
- Music lowers levels of cortisol
- Music can alter brain waves, keeping your stress levels under control
- Making music can improve your mood
- Music can distract you and help you relax
Dance to Relax
Dancing can help you deal with stress. Dancing stimulates the brain’s reward centers, resulting in a wave of serotonin and endorphins. Dance Movement Therapy is effective for dealing with depression and anxiety. If you want to shift your mind from the reactive state of consciousness into an altered state of consciousness, dance like nobody is watching.
Dancing can help you relieve mental stress by:
- Doing something fun: Dancing is a workout and it’s also a fun and relaxing activity. It is a great way to move your major muscle groups. The repetitive and rhythmic nature of dancing will also help you increase your strength. When you dance, you can unleash your creativity. There is no better way to stay active and relax while enjoying music.
- Reducing stress hormones: Dancing can lead to relaxation by reducing the levels of stress hormones and producing endorphins. Endorphins can help you lift your mood and feel relaxed. The more often you dance, the more endorphins are released in your body to help you relax.
- Strengthening Mind-Body Connection: Stress has many physical symptoms. It can lead to cramps, lightheadedness and even muscle tenseness. Dancing strengthens the mind-body connection helping you deal with stress.
Journal Your Worries
The simple act of writing about your worries can be cathartic. Writing allows you to express your emotions, privately. You can organize your thoughts and process a stressful experience. Writing can also help you regulate your emotions. If you write about a traumatic experience, it may make it easier to share with others about it. Emotional writing can lead to reaching out for support.
You can journal in a notebook or online. Take notes about the things that cause stress in your life. It’s important to focus on the good in your life too. Journaling is an easy, low-cost technique — much like exercise — that it may be a great stress buster.
Take a Bath
A great way to distress and recover after a busy day is to take a warm bath. Let the water wash away the built-up tension from your body. Water calms the body and soul. If you are not a bath person, a long hot shower can help you relax your muscles.
For a relaxing bath, make sure you have all the essentials:
- Hydrate before your bath.
- A warm bath is more relaxing than a hot bath. Make sure the bathwater isn’t too hot. If your bathwater is too hot, it may cause dizziness.
- Silence your phone. If you really want to relax, you need to eliminate screens from your bath.
- Add Epsom salts to soothe the joints and reduce inflammation.
- Light a few candles. Only use natural soy or bees wax candles, preferably organic. Check out our article “Do bees fly at night.”
- Lavender, chamomile or rose essential oils.
- Play relaxing music to set the mood.
- Enjoy a small snack.
- Try a facemask. It might help you relax.
Relax with Friends
Sometimes spending time with friends can be the ultimate way to relax. Meeting with friends can help you shift your focus from your troubles or share to ease your mind. Spending time can really help to reduce stress in your life.
Spending time with friends can reduce stress in several ways:
- Spend time with friends with healthy habits.
- Being with friends can reduce your cortisol level.
- Talk to a friend to help you deal with stressful situations.
- People with stronger social ties tend to live longer.
Relax with Exercise
Working out is one of the healthiest ways to unwind. Exercise allows you to “work off” the stress. It releases endorphins, increasing your overall health and your sense of well-being. Team sports are great, but they can be more stressful than the exercise you do on your own.
Exercise can help you relax in multiple ways:
- Aerobic exercise is key for improving your metabolism, and your mood. It has a unique capacity to calm and lift your spirits.
- Exercise can dissipate stress and counter depression. Some endurance athletes have used exercise to treat depression and anxiety disorders. If exercise helps athletes, it could also help you.
- With exercise, you can reduce your body’s stress hormones – cortisol and adrenalin – levels.
- Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators and painkillers. The well-known phenomenon, called “runner’s high” is induced by endorphins.
- As you notice the positive effects of exercise such as weight loss and improved mood, you will also enjoy the emotional benefits of working out. Exercise will not only improve your strength and stamina, but it will also improve your self-image. Your renewed self-confidence and vigor will carry over to other parts of your life.
- Exercise allows you to get away from it all while making new friends. While you keep your body busy, you keep your mind distracted, away from your worries.
- The beauty of exercise is that virtually all exercise can help you relax. Rhythmic, repetitive activities – running or walking – are some of the most effective stress busters. Even a brisk 20-minute walk can calm your mind and reduce stress. Stretching exercises are also very effective. They can help relax your muscles and your mind as well.
Read to Relax
One of the best ways to escape stress is with a wonderful book. Reading allows you to escape the chaos of the day. Reading is one of the healthiest ways to escape from the stress of your daily life. The simple act of opening a book allows you to enter a world far from your worries. Reading distracts you from your daily stressors.
It can ease the tension in your body. Reading is a more effective way to calm down than other relaxation methods, such as taking a warm bath or listening to music. This is because reading allows your mind to escape into a literary world, free from the stressors of your hectic life.
Don’t stress too much about what to read. Pick a blog, magazine or book that seems interesting. Schedule a time to read, at least 30 minutes every day. Reading is more effective if you can do it in a quiet place.
Here are some tips to help you relax while reading:
- If you want to relax, you should avoid reading content that will upset you. Reading controversial content isn’t ideal if your goal is relaxation. The last thing you want is to make yourself angry. Novels that transport you into another world are effective stress busters. Reading about a favorite hobby – cooking, sports, travel – is also effective.
- Choose the content you really enjoy reading. Don’t be pressured into reading what other people think you should read. Just because a book is on a “best-seller” list, it doesn’t mean that it will help you relax. The only thing that matters is that you enjoy the topic. The right topic will provide a space for your mind to relax.
- Try to read different books and content. If a topic or book upsets you, avoid it. The goal is to escape your stressors. If you find a topic or book overwhelming, move onto another book or topic until you find one that helps you calm down.
Learn an Instrument
Even if you only learn one simple song, it could help you relax. Pick any instrument and start playing music. It is fun. You can learn on your own, hire a music teacher, or watch online instructional videos.
Learning an instrument can help you deal with stress in multiple ways:
- Learning an instrument will disconnect you from phones and computers.
- While you learn and play an instrument you are refocusing negative energy into a positive activity. Having fun can alleviate stress.
- Learning an instrument will slow down your heart rate, leading to a reduced stress level. Playing an instrument can reduce stress by decreasing cortisol levels.
- Playing an instrument is an exercise, requiring body strength. Learning an instrument will help you build endurance and improve your posture.
- Learning and playing an instrument with others can reduce stress. It allows you to socialize with others, producing art with like-minded individuals.
To sleep is to Relax
Sleep is one of the best approaches to reduce stress in your life. A good night’s sleep removes distractions and restores your energy.
When you meditate you channel your energy away from your worries. Meditation is one of the most effective activities to find positivity and calm.
Painting and other creative activities can be relaxing. Even if you don’t think of yourself as an artist, you can relax through art. If painting isn’t your thing, you can draw with crayons, markers, or pencils. Adult coloring books can also be an effective stress buster.