Stress is bad for you.
It increases your blood pressure, causes headaches, and it can even make you sick.
Extensive periods of stress should be avoided whenever possible, but this is easier said than done – our lives are full of stress.
Long hours spent at work, terrible traffic on the way home, shopping for groceries and taking care of the house are just a few of the things that we all have to worry about.
Even when we think that we finally can relax we find something else that needs to be taken care of.
Maybe your boss might want you to be available on the phone 24/7, or perhaps you need to take care of your children.
Taking care of these things is important, but you still need to rest and relax after a stressful day at work, at home or anywhere else.
Here are 10 tips that will help you do just that.
1) Don’t bring work home
It’s not an uncommon thing to not be able to finish your work on time.
In fact, a study from the University of Toronto suggests that as many as 50% of people bring their work home with them regularly.
It’s common for many people to work from home, now more than ever, but it’s absolutely terrible for our work-life balance, as well as our overall mental health.
Leaving work behind you when you go home has tremendous benefits.
Research has documented that detaching yourself from work helps against negative thoughts and stress and is associated with a positive mood.
One of the best methods to accomplish that is to have a to-do list and a schedule and update them regularly at the end of each day.
With this method, you will be able to keep track of everything that needs to be done and manage your time accordingly, allowing you to leave work behind as often as possible.
These habits have been recommended by experts as a way to transition from work to your personal life without getting the two mixed up.
2) Keep your smartphone away
Our phones are something that we simply can’t do without.
We need them to keep in touch with other people, answer emails, use the internet, do online banking, check our social media accounts and so much more.
The average person checks their phone 80 times a day, a number that shows how much we depend on our phones.
This isn’t necessarily a good thing.
One study has shown that people who check their phones regularly are generally more stressed than those who do not.
This isn’t a coincidence – Using your phone too much can lead to stress.
The question is, what can you do about it?
In many cases, we have no choice but to have our phones nearby.
For example, your job might demand your availability 24/7, what can you do then?
Cases may vary, but here are some ideas:
- Keep two separate mobile phones, one for work and one for personal use, and keep your work phone at a physically distant place once you return home
- Avoid using your phone for social media purposes
- Don’t use your phone before going to bed, it can affect your sleep in a negative way
3) Create a Relaxing Environment
The environment that surrounds us has a considerable effect on our ability to relax.
By removing stressors and replacing them with things that help you relax you will truly start enjoying your free time.
Here are some ideas:
- Choose a scent that you like and spread it around the house – Studies show that certain smells and flowers can help you fight off anxiety and stress
- Make sure to keep your place organized – Aside from making your house a more pleasant place, research confirms that being surrounded by clutter is stressful
- Shut out loud noises – In many cases, loud noises can act as stressors and thus should be avoided.
- Listen to relaxing music – Try listening to relaxing music while you are home. Certain sounds can help you fight off stress
There are many more things that you can do, of course.
You can get a comfortable mattress or couch for you to sit on, buy a few plants to make your house more aesthetically pleasing and so on.
The point is, your home is supposed to be your haven, so it’s up to you to make it as such.
We all know that a healthy diet and regular exercise are good for you and in the case of stress and anxiety there is no exception.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, exercise is great for stress management.
The main issue with it is that it’s hard to keep exercising consistently.
If it was so easy to get started and keep at it then many more people would be doing it.
Between our busy schedules, fatigue, and stress we don’t really have the energy needed to work out consistently.
The thing is, even minimal workout is better than no workout at all.
Even if you are not physically capable of intensive, regular exercise, you can still benefit from physical activity.
In this case, a great way to exercise is by walking.
According to research, going on a walk can help you lower your stress levels.
If you can find half an hour a day to go on a walk, with a friend, a family member, or even alone, you are likely to have a better time dealing with stress and relaxing.
If you don’t have a spare 30 minutes then make it 10.
Some of you might find this too difficult to do, but this was just an example.
When there’s a will there’s a way.
I am sure that you will be able to find something that will fit you better.
5) Have a warm shower/bath
The first thing that you should do once you get home is to take a shower, preferably a warm one.
If you are more of a bath person that’s fine too.
The benefits here are actually two-fold.
Our bodies have two different types of sweat glands, the eccrine glands and the apocrine glands.
Normally our body produces sweat through the eccrine glands, but when we are stressed we sweat from out apocrine glands.
The difference is that the sweat that comes out of our apocrine glands creates a very unpleasant smell.
After a long day of stressful work you probably aren’t the best smelling person around, even if you used deodorant, so take a shower and clean yourself.
The other thing is that warm water is a great way to combat stress.
Research shows that warm water can decrease your blood pressure, increase cognitive function and induce relaxation.
Furthermore, data suggests that finishing your warm shower with cold water can benefit you as well.
The rapid change in temperatures can fight off fatigue and increase alertness.
Not only is it highly effective in reducing anxiety, it can increase your resilience to stress as well.
Meditating each morning can make you better prepared to deal with whatever it is that’s going to happen during the day.
Once you return home, Stressed out and tired, taking your time to meditate can help you relax and clear your mind.
Many people believe that meditation takes more time than they are willing to spend on it.
In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Frequency is more important than duration when it comes to meditation.
Meditating for 10 minutes every day, seven days a week is more effective than meditating once a week for 70 minutes.
Try it out and see what works best for you.
In this day and age, simply using a meditation app to guide you should do the trick.
7) Get a hobby
It’s very common for stressed adults to waste their evenings in front of the TV.
Its a cheap, accessible and an easy distraction, the only thing that you need to do os to sit back and watch.
Indulging in TV is an effective way to deal with stress, but it’s not necessarily the best one.
Fun, enjoyment and pleasure are great stress relievers.
All of these things can manifest in hobbies, ways to enjoy yourself.
In case you need an idea, here are some of the anti-stress hobbies:
- Doing yoga
- Writing a journal
- Listening to music, preferably classical
It doesn’t matter what your hobby is as long as you enjoy it and actually invest time in it.
For example, the fact that you enjoy dancing won’t help you if you rarely dance at all.
8) Find yourself a place to relax
To many people, their home environment is just as stress-inducing as their work environment.
When home, they have to take care of their kids, clean around the house and deal with other everyday events.
Heck, for many people, their home environment is their work environment! How can they possibly relax there?
They can’t, or at the very least, it’ll be a lot harder to do so.
You can get around this by finding your own quiet corner of relaxation, a place that you can go and know that trouble will not follow you there.
That way you can distance yourself from stressors and have some time to actually rest.
A few examples of such places include the gym, yoga practice, the library or maybe even a few miles away from the city.
After all, nature can be very relaxing.
A few hours a week that are dedicated to you and you alone will have great benefits.
Surely you can find at least some time for that?
9) Spend time with your pets
According to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, 68 percent of U.S. households own a pet.
This phenomenon isn’t exclusive to the U.S alone, pet ownership has been on the rise in the past thirty years worldwide.
In case you are a pet owner, spending some time with your pet can reduce your stress levels.
Studies show that contact with pets can reduce your stress levels, lower your heart rate and induce feelings of calmness.
Taking your dog with you when you run or petting your cat as you watch TV are just a few examples of ways that you can spend time with your pets when you have very little of it.
Aside from helping you de-stress, playing with your pets before a stressful event can actually help you relax.
One study showed that dog petting can ease pre‐exam stress.
Aside from being your companions, animals can also boost your health.
Make sure that you use that fact to your benefit.
Getting enough sleep every night is important, and that’s a fact that pretty much everyone knows.
Yet despite that, about 1 in 3 adults doesn’t get enough sleep.
The average adult needs about 8 hours of sleep every night, not including the time that you spend trying to fall asleep.
Having enough sleep can reduce stress and make you more emotionally stable.
Here are some tips to make sure that you have the best sleep possible:
- Make sure that your room is completely dark before you go to sleep
- Try to avoid using electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets or laptops for about two hours before going to sleep
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. That way, you can turn sleep into a routine
Aside from that, investing 20 minutes or so every day napping can help you reduce stress as well.
Overcome your anxiety
Look, everyone needs to relax from time to time.
It doesn’t matter how hard you work, what you do, or how little free time you have – you still need your rest.
Excessive stress can cause irreversible damage to your health, particularly if you suffer from anxiety.
For those who suffer from an anxiety disorder, or just need a way to control their stress levels, I would highly recommend the Panic Away Program.
In this program, you will find a variety of practical tips, tricks and lifestyle changes that will help you to get rid of your anxiety and overall stress levels for good.
If you are tired of being stressed out, worried and scared all time then you should definitely give this program a try.
For any further questions feel free to get in touch via the comment section below or by sending me an email.
I always do my best to respond to any questions as quickly as possible.