If you spend long hours at the grind, it is imperative that you give yourself quality time to unwind and fully relax after strenuous effort. Of course, theoretically this is the most natural and desirable thing, but the practice can be hard to master.
Here are a few ways that you can improve your relaxation after work.
SCHEDULE IN YOUR DOWNTIME
If it isn’t sacred to your daily routine, relaxation time can be categorized as “free time” and then auctioned off to the highest priority. But, even if it is a mere 20 minutes after you quit work for the day, it must be placed on the daily plan as your TOP priority. This same thing applies to planning games with friends, date night and exercise. Plan to have at least 4 to 5 of these relaxation times during the week and make them a staple part of your calendar.
Complete relaxation is what you are trying to achieve and this can be virtually impossible to do if your mind is occupied with the affairs of your professional life. The first thing you have to do when you leave the office is shut your phone off and leave all work at the office. Never forget that the whole purpose of working hard is the moments in between. You owe it to yourself, your family, friends, animal companion, plants and everything else that is not in your professional circle.
TAKE A WARM SHOWER OR BATH
There is hardly a better way to escape from the sticky mental and physical pressures of work, than with a warm soothing bath or shower. Water is a cleansing element and the warmth can allow the body to fully relax. Take this to the next level by running cold water over the body to tighten the skin and excite the muscles. Now you will feel relaxed and alert for the full relaxation experience. If you are taking a bath, throw Epsom salts in the water. Finally, rub a moisturizing cream over your skin before getting dressed.
UNWIND WITH EXERCISE
It is absolutely possible to work off the stress with healthy exercise. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins and this has been clinically studied. Furthermore, regular exercise increases your sense of self and levels of energy which will do wonders for every aspect of your life. If gyms are boring, consider heading out to the soccer, basketball or lacrosse facilities. Yoga is also a terrific option.
GET OUT OF THE HOUSE
Maybe a change of scenery is exactly what you need. There is something very soothing to the senses to walk about in the beauty of nature. Consider walking through a park, forest or any other expanse of greenery. This is not just good for the body, it is good for the mind as well.
RELAX WITH MUSIC
Music is a magical thing that can communicate to the body and mind (and spirit!) in more ways than we truly understand. The music that you play will speak to the mind and dictate the mood. So if you would like to calm down and relax, thrash metal may not be the best choice. Consider playing something soothing and relaxing that allows you to breathe easy.
READ A BOOK
A book opens worlds to your imagination and allows you to completely disconnect your mind from the details of your personal, social, academic and professional lives. When we read fiction for example, science has shown that the part of the brain that improves empathy receives positive stimulation. So consider picking up a fiction about a character you admire; a hero, a dreamer or a problem solver.
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