Get Through the Mess | HOW TO: Destress After a Tough Day

Let's look at the road "stress" traveled and find some great things to incorporate into the end of your long tiring day.

Victoria Hicks
Created by Victoria Hicks
On Jun 28, 2023
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Stress is actually a hormonal response triggered by the hypothalamus in the brain. This response sends signals throughout your nervous system and affects different parts of your body, including your kidneys. Everyone reacts to stress differently - some may experience physical symptoms like hives, overheating, vomiting or pacing, while others may have emotional responses such as shutting people out, going quiet, feeling overwhelmed or getting angry. It's important to understand how stress affects you personally and find healthy ways to manage it.

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1. Enjoy a luxurious bubble bath or amazing shower from home

Did you know that taking a nice, hot bath or shower can do wonders for our mind and body? The hot water can help us breathe better and even improve blood circulation in our skin.

We breathe better because the temperature of the water opens us up more to allow more oxygen in. When we're stressed we carry much of that stress in our muscles. Adding a few bubbles to your bath can help those muscles relax and put your mind at ease. Some good things oils or soaps to add to your baths:

  • Rosemary: Can encourage clarity, reduce sListenitress, and relieve some fatigue you may have.
  • Lavender: Creates a relaxing atmosphere and can for some people reduce anxiety.
  • Eucalyptus: Relieves muscle and joint pain

So next time you need some relaxation, why not treat yourself to a soothing soak?

2. Listen to some of your favorite songs, book, or podcast

If you've had a tough day, why not take a moment to relax with your phone or laptop and listen to something that makes you happy? Music, in particular, has the power to make us feel good and provide an outlet for our emotions. In fact, studies have shown that listening to music can reduce stress hormones like cortisol and increase the release of positive chemicals like dopamine.

A 2009 study done at the University of Sussex showed that stress was reduced by 68% when someone decided to read to relax. Reading can relax your body, ease some muscle tension, and provide you with a healthy escape!

Podcasts need no explanation, listen to something that you truly enjoy to get those happy chemicals released. :)

3. Exercise or go for a walk

Going for a stroll or doing some physical activity may not always be the answer, but it can definitely help with feeling better. These activities can combat the negative effects of stress on your heart, digestion, and immune system. They can also put you in a better mood, boost your confidence, and help you relax. While it's not a cure-all, some people may even find that exercise helps them avoid mild depression or anxiety (just be sure to talk to your doctor or therapist before making it your go-to destressor).

4. Play some video games with friends or a story-driven one alone

"Put that game down. You'll rot your brain." - Rocket Raccoon to Groot (Avengers: Infinity War (2018)). As much as we love Rocket we'll have to disagree with him on this one! Video games are not only engaging and enjoyable, but they can also actually help reduce stress by triggering the release of dopamine - the feel-good chemical in our brains!

It doesn't matter if you're playing alone or with friends, video games can create a calming state of flow that's similar to meditation. Plus, completing challenges and reconnecting with loved ones you haven't seen in a while can provide a sense of accomplishment and social support. So, next time you're feeling stressed or just need a break, consider playing some video games!

5. Breathe

Sometimes we get so caught up in everything going on around us that we forget to take a breath and relax. But it's really important! Whether you want to lie down outside or sit up to meditate, calming your mind and body can help you feel less stressed. The Relaxation Response was invented by the American Institute of Stress, and it's all about finding a deep sense of rest to help manage your emotional and physical reactions to stress. Simply breathing. You can:

  • Slow your heart rate
  • Relax your muscles
  • Decrease your blood pressure

Take a moment to be present and let go of thoughts about the past or future. Focus on the present, take a deep breath, and get ready to unwind for the evening.

With these destressing tools under your belt, we wish you the best of luck with grabbing that stressful day by the horns and owning it! Which destressing technique do you already use? Let us know!

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