Adapted from "11 Ways To Destress After a Long Work Week" by Alison Silvius LMFT
1. Exercise. It may seem counter-intuitive to exercise when you are low on energy and stressed out, but you have to use energy to get energy. Exercise releases endorphins – the hormone that makes us feel happy and reduces stress.
2. Breathe. It’s involuntary, right? So why focus on it? If you focus on breathing slower, it can actually activate the section of your nervous system that tells you to calm down. Try breathing in for a count of 4, holding for a count of 7, and letting it out for a count of 8.
3. Sing along or listen to music. This isn’t just fun – it also releases those happy hormones.
4. Take a bath or get a massage. These can both be physically relaxing, which helps us mentally relax.
5. Bake. It’s not only a good distraction, but you’ll also have something delicious to eat afterwards. You can even use this as an excuse to invite people over.
6. Watch a favorite movie. There is just something about watching a movie you really enjoyed again that brings you back to a good mood.
7. Read. It’s easy to get lost in a good book. It also helps keep worrying down to a minimum.
8. Treat yourself. Go eat your favorite snack, or buy yourself something you wouldn’t normally buy. It feels good to reward ourselves once in awhile.
9. Spend time with your friends/family. When you hang out with people that lift you up, it makes difficult times not seem as difficult.
10. Color or meditate. These ones aren’t for everyone, but both allow our minds to clear and reflect – which can be a really helpful escape or insight when you have a lot on your mind.
11. Schedule worry time. This may sound silly – but if you are someone who spends the entire weekend worrying about work on Monday, giving yourself permission to worry for only an hour on Saturday morning allows you to enjoy the rest of your weekend, while still allowing yourself to feel worried.