16 Ways to Decompress From a Stressful Day

Stress is a killer. It wreaks havoc on your body and wears you down both mentally and physically. In today’s world, stress is hard to avoid. With everyone living a busy lifestyle and society pressuring you to be perfect, it’s no wonder stress feels like it weighs you down.

Stress is something that is coped with, but not eliminated. When you learn how to decompress from a stressful day, your life improves. Here are a variety of ways in which you can decompress after a stressful day.

1. Walk

When life begins eating at you, you need to escape. Walking is a fantastic way in which you can do this. Not only does walking put distance between you and your stress, but it also allows you to think about your stress and put it into perspective.

2. Read

Getting your mind off stress is important. Reading allows you to focus on something other than your stress. By jumping into a novel, you let your brain focus on the story, and you let the stress dissipate. If you don’t like reading novels, you can always read news articles or something similar in length.

3. Nap

Sometimes stress causes you to lose sleep. When this occurs, your body won’t react well — you need to get your sleep. If you find you aren’t getting enough sleep, take a short nap. You’ll be surprised at what a little shut-eye can do for you.

4. Take a Day Off

Sometimes, it all gets to be too much. Everything feels like it’s piling on top of you. A great way to de-stress is to take a day off from work. Don’t make it a habit, but doing this sparingly gives your mind a rest from the routine and stress of your work life.

5. Get Outside

Sunlight helps with depression, and sometimes stress stems from place and circumstances you may not know you’re going through. You could be depressed and not want to admit it. Either way, getting outside and walking can help you cope with stress.

6. Meditate

Meditation is meant to calm the mind. It’s a practice that is still used even after thousands of years. Meditation helps you calm nerves and gets you to focus on the positives in life rather than the negatives.

7. Take Deep Breaths

Breathing is an art form. Doing it correctly and in the right style helps you relax and keeps your stress in check. You can find a multitude of deep breathing exercises online, and they become quite handy when you need to take a moment and reduce your stress levels.

8. Exercise

Get your heart pumping! Exercise is good for both mental and physical well-being. It gets you physically fit, and it also helps reduce stress. It’s a fantastic combination that begins a cycle of positivity. The best part? You can exercise anywhere!

9. Massage

It’s preferable if you get someone else to massage you, but doing it yourself also gets the job done. Often, you may build up physical stress in your muscles from the mental stress of your life. If this sounds like you, take a couple of minutes and massage your shoulders and neck. You may be surprised at how tense your muscles are.

10. Drink Green Tea

Tea can do wonders for the body. Out of all the positives, giving the body the ability to reduce stress is one of them. Specifically, green tea gives the body L-Theanine, which helps relieve anger and stress.

11. Progressive Relaxation

Related to deep breathing, progressive relaxation allows the body’s muscles to loosen up gradually. When you loosen up muscles in your body, it may lead to a relief of mental stress as well. You start with the head and work your way through the body.

12. Drip Cold Water on Your Wrists

It sounds goofy, but it can help relieve stress in the body. Why does it work? Rubbing cold water on the wrists helps cool down your body, which helps reduce your stress. Try it for yourself!

13. Organize

Sometimes, it’s hard to find the source of your stress — and it may come from unexpected places. Try getting organized in an area of your life. Clean up your room or clear off a desk. Organizing will help you decompress from the stress of the day and help push your life in a positive direction.

14. Yoga

Stretching, in general, is great for your body and a fantastic way to reduce stress. In particular, the Vipariti Kirani pose reduces stress and can make you forget all about the lousy day you had at work. Be sure to try a handful of other poses if this works for you.

15. Dance

Dancing is something almost everyone can do — and you don’t need to be a master to do it. Dancing can help you decompress from the day. Go home, turn on some tunes and dance your problems away. Just make sure to take a break now and then.

16. Aromatherapy

Scents do strange things to the brain. For instance, smelling lavender can help regulate the emotions in the brain and lead to a sense of calm. Other smells can accomplish the same thing, so you should try and experiment with different scents. You never know what you’ll discover.

Decompressing from stress may seem like a difficult task, but taking action is key to relieving it. Go out and try one of these de-stressors. Do you have some favorite ways to reduce stress? Be sure to subscribe to Punched Clocks and let us know, plus get more helpful work advice.


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Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks.

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