Created by Corinne Keating | Reviewed by Patrick Alban, DCLast updated on November 13, 2018
These 11 tips offer various proven approaches to loosen the grip of stress on your mind and body. The key is to make a few of them a habit.
De-stressing aids your health, lowers your blood pressure, and lets you get enough restful sleep to be up-and-at-‘em when a new day dawns.
But contemporary life makes it hard to de-stress.
You may work very long days, leaving yourself a very narrow window of time to de-stress.
You might have to fight an exhausting commute to get home, arriving drained and full of stress on your doorstep.
Perhaps your boss expects you to be available 24/7, sending you emails or texts late at night or early in the morning.
Or, you could be putting pressure on yourself.
If your head is telling you to “do the laundry, check your emails, do some shopping …” during your off hours, it’s hard to wind down.
And yes, many people have additional responsibilities, like child care and cooking, that don’t allow for much de-stress time.
How to De-Stress: The Bottom Line
There are many proven ways to wind down and de-stress.
Meditating, unplugging from electronic screens, listening to music, dancing, hanging out with pets, taking hot baths, exercising, and proper sleeping all can help.
The best activities to de-stress will vary from person to person.
It’s important to find a few that you will enjoy and stick with for the long haul.
About the author
Corinne Keating is a health and wellness journalist and blogger. When she isn’t writing for her blog Why So Well, she enjoys reading, hiking, and coffee.
1. Get Exercise
Exercising is a great way to boost your endorphins and get your blood pumping, which happens to be one of the most effective ways to deal with stress. Whether you decide to take a walk, hit the gym, attend a yoga class, or go for a run, exercising your muscles and getting rid of tension will help ensure you have a calm, relaxing weekend.
2. Turn off Your Phone
Take a half hour or more on the weekend to completely unplug from our hyper-connected society. Turn off your phone, turn off the TV, and close your computer. Instead spend this time doing something that will result in immediate gratification, like cooking, cleaning, reading, or hanging out with friends. You’ll be surprised at how this simple task can help you de-stress.
3. Take a Nap
When your mind and body are stressed, your sleep pattern usually suffers for it. And the less sleep you get, the more stressed you’ll become. This cycle can be ruthless. One of the best ways to bust out of the cycle is to nap. Even if you only have enough time for 15 minutes of shut-eye, giving your brain a chance to sign off—even if just for a moment—will do wonders for your stress levels.
4. Listen to Soothing Music
Music is a powerful tool, especially when it comes to stimulating or soothing the mind. If you get home on Friday afternoon feeling completely overwhelmed, put on music with slow tempos and focus on matching your breathing to the beat. You can also do this before bed as a relaxation technique or when you’re stuck in traffic on your way home from school.
5. Get Creative
Even if you don’t consider yourself the “creative type,” forcing your brain to think outside of the box can help distract you from the things that are causing you stress and angst. Try learning to play the guitar, start doodles in a sketchbook, or write in a diary. See if someplace in your community offers a creative space or hosts weekly paint nights. These are all great ways to help you expand your creativity while decompressing from a stressful week.