Some days are just plain tough, whether it’s a rough day at the office or a day at home where not even the dog wants to listen. Research has shown time and again that stress can negatively affect health if it’s not properly managed. There are five things I frequently use to let go of stress and refresh myself after a difficult day.
Listening to Music
Music seems to really do the trick for me. If I’m pretty angry in addition to feeling stressed out, I play some relaxation music and focus on the sounds. Some days I play upbeat pop music that makes me want to dance. Who can be angry while they’re dancing around? Other days, I pop in some of the kids’ music and sing funny songs with them in the car on the way home. By the time we get to the house, the stress is gone.
By focusing on nothing but my breathing, I don’t have a chance to give my attention to anything else. I close my eyes, count four breaths in, hold for two, and release for a count of four. After a couple of minutes, I’m calmer, my head is clear and I often feel more awake. This trick works very well at the office because it’s not disruptive and doesn’t take a long time.
Playing with the Kids
The funny antics of kids in the house make for interesting days. When I’m feeling overwhelmed by all the things on my To Do list, taking time out to do something fun with the children leaves me feeling refreshed. I’m never going to get relive the days where my children are young, so making time for them feels good.
Connecting with Like-Minded People
Some days I just need to vent my frustrations. Most of my friends are online, so I just hop on the computer and let the irritations of the day go. Getting into a thoughtful discussion in one of the forums I belong to does wonders to relieve my stress. Sometimes we discuss silly things and a good laugh makes me feel better and unwind. Having someone to talk to helps me let go of my rough day.
Having Personal Time
When everything else doesn’t work, it might mean that I just need some time alone. I grab a book, play an online game or some other activity where I can focus my attention elsewhere and I don’t have to interact with other people. Some days I just need to be in my own head. After some refreshing time alone, I’m ready to get back into the swing of things.
These tips often work well for me and I feel so much better after I let the stress out. Determining the best way to unwind after a stressful day is an individual process. Finding a successful outlet for daily stress can make a difference in physical and mental health.