Work and school weeks can be stressful; there is no denying that. Oftentimes, I feel like all of my major assignments for the month fall in one singular week. Even when this isn’t the case, however, finding a way to unwind after a stressful day of class or work is essential to your mental health. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in stressors and maintain a focus on them when trying to come up with solutions for them. Over time I’ve discovered that sometimes giving your mind a break from these things will help you to approach them with a better attitude or idea when you do eventually come back to them. In no way am I encouraging you to procrastinate or all together put off working towards completing various tasks, but instead am hoping that by finding relaxing ways to step away from these stressors and unwind, you’ll be able to tackle them more efficiently and with less anxiety when the time comes.
While I am sure that the list of ways to unwind could span an entire page I’ve decided to include some of my favorites for you!
Read a book
Reading is a great way to escape from reality for a bit. Unfortunately, most of the time when I am reading, it is for a given class or assignment. I wish I could find more time each day to read novels solely for fun but sometimes that just isn’t the reality. With that in mind, I like to keep books on hand that I can pick up and put down without feeling too lost when I do have time to pick it back up. Currently on my bedside table is Emily Ley’s Grace Not Perfection. I am about halfway through it and have thoroughly enjoyed reading what she has to say
Working out is the ultimate stress reliever. Not only do you get to work towards a healthy lifestyle but you can indulge in a new fun playlist in the process. I prefer to workout in the afternoon or at night as a way to take a break from what I need to be doing for school. In turn, I have discovered that after working out I am usually a lot more productive and alert than on days when I skip a sweat session.
Make A List
I find list making really therapeutic. I know that may sound bizarre but it allows me to get my thoughts down on paper which in a lot of cases clears my head a bit. Whether I am writing a list of what I need to accomplish the following day or writing in my 52Lists for Happiness book, it’s a great way to unwind and de-stress.
Take A Bath
I think somewhere in the definition or examples of things that can be relaxing there would most certainly be a picture of a bath. In my mind that bath would be overflowing with bubbles and there would be a candle or two nearby. Soaking in a warm bath is a great way to let go of some tension from a hectic day.
Enjoy a cup of tea
Go For A Drive
This may be my personal favorite on this list. Something about going on a drive regardless of whether you have a destination in mind or not relaxes me. Since you’re driving, you obviously won’t be multitasking, which is a nice break from the "get things done" mentality I typically embody. I find myself going on a drive about once a week and always come back feeling a little more relaxed.
Call A Friend
Sometimes we take for granted just how nice it can be to vent to a friend. While I love talking to my friends here at school I also love calling my friends at other schools to catch up with them and hear about their lives as a little break from my own!
Paint Your Nails
Painting my nails is something that I tend to do pretty quickly. I can put on two coats of nail polish and a layer of top coat on in less than 5 minutes but regardless of that timing you still have to sit still for a bit to let them dry. This time sitting still isn’t something I often allow myself during the day as I try to get things accomplished and not waste time. In this way, painting my nails and the time spent letting them dry is a good reminder to slow things down sometimes. And not only that but you also end up with a fun color on your nails in addition to that down time.
I’d love to know if you have other solutions when it comes to unwinding at the end of a long day. Watching TV shows, cooking dinner, or having a relaxing routine all sound pretty nice when things seem overwhelming so I’d love to hear additional ideas.