We have all had one of those days, when we come home from work and you don’t want to see anyone, or hear anything, or even breathe. You’d actually just prefer to crawl into a hole and not be found. That’s what a stressful day at the office feels like for me. I’m usually moody and irritable and just want to be left alone. But we don’t always have that luxury, do we?
I must admit, Noel is very supportive in that regard – there are days when I get home and get straight into my PJs and retire for the day, and he leaves me to be. But, its not always possible to just shut the world out, so I had to find ways to unwind, to destress and snap out of it. Not only for my own sake, but for Noel’s as well and Toby’s, for that matter. When you are stressed out, it’s usually your innocent family who bears the brand of it 😦 . But it really isn’t fair to them. Here are a few ways that help me – maybe they can help you too 🙂
Epsom Salt Baths. They have amazing health benefits and are a quick and easy way to distress and detoxify the whole body. They contain magnesium and sulfate, which stimulates detoxification while increasing the magnesium levels, a mineral most people are deficient in. They also soften the bath water (also making it easier to clean) and softens your skin, so you will feel relaxed and pampered and your body will thank you for helping it cope a little better.
All you need is 40 minutes to reap the full benefits. On a Friday evening, after a long week, I run a warm bath and sprinkle about a half a cup of Epsom Salts in. I light some scented candles and switch off the lights – yes, I make a ritual of it :). I guarantee, you will feel a whole lot better.
The first 20 minutes the body uses to extract the toxins through the skin and the balance of the time is used to absorb the minerals. Its always good to drink a glass of water before and after, because sometimes the detoxification process can cause mild dehydration. (If you have any health issues, rather consult your doctor first before trying this one, just to be safe 🙂 )
Reading your favourite book. Reading after a hectic day relaxes me, as it forces me to concentrate on the words and to visualise what I’m reading. In that way, I don’t get to think about the day I had or the challenges that may be waiting for me in the morning. Make yourself a nice cup of tea or pour yourself a nice glass of red wine, get into bed (or wherever you prefer, as long as its a quiet space) and get started. Even if its just an hour, its an hour of no stress.
For those of you blessed to have kids, maybe use their bedtime story as your time out too. Really listen to what your are reading to them and be in the adventure with them. You might be pleasantly surprised that you’d forgotten about your day and still fulfilled your parental duty:)
Adult Colouring Books. We all loved to colour in when we were kids. Some of us stuck to the rules and stayed within the lines, while others went wild and really couldn’t care. I saw on a Facebook friend’s wall some time back that she had tried adult colouring in and I decided to give it a try for myself. I loved it!
It helps me relax and I found it to be quite therapeutic. My “inner child” also gets to come out and play for a while which can only be good for my soul 🙂 . Trouble is, I’m extremely impatient and sometimes I just wish that the damn thing would be done already, but I suppose that’s the point. Its suppose to take some time, so that your mind can register that its time to relax and concentrate on the task at hand.
If you have a family, why not get your kids to colour in as well. You get to spend time together, doing something therapeutic that benefits all of you. Adult Colouring Books vary in price depending on where you purchase them, so now I use kiddies ones – who made the rule that they are only for kids anyway! Your life – your rules!
Go for a walk. It may sound too simple, but there are many health benefits to walking. It loosens the muscles and improves your posture, both of which takes a serious beating sitting 8 hours in front of a computer all day. It doesn’t require any special equipment and helps to improve your mood drastically.
We usually take Toby along so he gets an outing too. He really is such an intelligent dog. When he sees myself or Noel in a peak cap or running shoes, he goes and sits under his leash, which we hang over a beam in the entertainment room and waits all excitedly for us to hook him up for his walk 🙂 . It makes me excited when I see him excited!
For those with kids, take them along for a walk around the neighbourhood – I’m sure you will all enjoy the fresh air. And now with summer just around the corner, there are no excuses!
Spend quality time with your pets. One thing I realy love is playing catch with Toby in the front garden. He goes mad for a tennis ball and cannot control his enthusiasm when he sees a ball in your hand. Our neighbours must think that I’m some crazy dog lady, because everytime he catches the ball mid-air, I say “Whose a clever dog…Whose a clever boy”and I clap for him! But I don’t mind being called crazy every so now and then 🙂 .
Research has found that spending quality time with your pets lowers the blood pressure, reduces the stress hormones and helps the body release relaxation hormones. Animals also have a sixth sense and can feel when you are tense – I think that is why Toby puts on a performance and jumps mid air to catch the ball as if he is competing for a medal or something – its so I can be entertained and forget about my troubles for a little while. So next time you feeling stressed out, go play with your dog or your cat – I guarantee that you will feel better and your fur-bestie will love you even more for spending time with him or her.
I hope that you will try a few of these out and see what works for you. Stress is something unfortunately we cannot avoid in this day and age and so, if we can find ways to manage it better, we’ve won half the battle. I think that stress is a silent killer, the words “Stressed out” are used so often that people in general have become desensitised to hearing it. This poses a very real problem, because we will only realise its harm, when its already caused some major damage.
Remember, you can’t pout from an empty glass – take care of yourself so that you can take care of your family 🙂 .
I’m keen to know what you do to distress, it may help me too. Please share in the comments section below 🙂