Between work, family, and the unexpected twists and turns of life, it’s easy for our stress levels to build as the day wears on. The more the tension builds, the more difficult it can be to unwind once the day is at its end. Because stress can contribute to a slew of problems, from muscle pain to stress headaches, finding the best ways to relax at the end of the day is especially valuable.
Process the Day
When we’ve had a particularly stressful day, we often carry that stress with us, and sometimes the best way to deal with it is to take a few minutes to acknowledge it. Take some time to talk to a loved one or journal about what went wrong during the day and what went right. After a few minutes, though, it’s good to put the day away and move on to other things. Otherwise, you’ll cross the line from processing to obsessing.
It can seem counter-intuitive to do more physical labor when you want to relax, but exercise is a great way to release the tension of the day. That’s because exercise reduces the levels of stress hormones like cortisol and increases our feel-good hormones like endorphins. Beyond this, spending time exercising during the day tends to help us sleep better at night. These effects suggest that, when we do stop physically moving after exercise, the relaxation will be deeper and more satisfying.
Get a Massage
Like exercise, massage lowers our cortisol levels and raises our endorphins, thus reducing our stress and helping us to relax. But even after we get to a relaxed headspace, sometimes our bodies aren’t so quick to follow. Massage loosens up tense muscles and lowers our heart rate, giving us a more comprehensive relaxation experience. And if you can’t get to a massage parlor, our massage therapy products can provide the same relief.
Enjoy a Hobby
For those who find sitting completely idle more stressful than work, there are plenty of hobbies that promote relaxation. If you are interested in gardening, simply spending time outdoors surrounded by nature lowers blood pressure and has a positive effect on mood. Virtually every art form, from painting to interpretive dance, has been linked to stress relief. Even watching a humorous movie can reduce stress if it makes you laugh.
Make Relaxation a Habit
Human beings are creatures of routine. If we wake up at 6 a.m. every day, after a while, we will wake up at 6 a.m., whether we set the alarm or not. If we eat a chocolate bar after lunch every day, then when we forget our chocolate, we’ll still crave it. It’s possible to teach your body to relax in the same way. Pick a few of the best ways you relax at the end of the day, and do them at the same time every day. Eventually, your body will take the cue and start to relax for you.