How To Unwind After a Stressful Day
11 Ways To Refresh After a Mentally Stressful Day
This is all about how to unwind after a stressful day.
I am sure we could all use a little extra unwinding. Mainly due to the fact that I am quite positive that we all can relate to experiencing some level of stress in our lives.
So if we know and accept that stress will be present in our lives then we also need to be absolutely sure that unwinding activities are part of our lives.
Some of these ideas may seem incredibly obvious. But do we do them? Do we do the things that seem to be no-brainers?
The truth is that no matter how obvious or easy something may seem, actually implementing these things (whether big, small, or anywhere in between) into our lives is no easy feat.
Now, some of these ideas may seem a little bit out of the box but I really want to take a look at short-term solutions and also ideas that can impact us for the long haul.
There are things that can provide quick or almost instant relief. Yay for those things, right?! They are useful.
But we also have to think about creating habits and putting systems into action that play a part in us not living in a state of perpetual stress.
Let me say one very important thing before we get to the good stuff.
I have two small children and a husband that does not work traditional 9 to 5 hours. I also do not live near much of my family.
So I understand feeling like the odds are stacked against you when it comes to taking time for yourself and finding relief in the seemingly constant chaos.
I truly get it.
But the older (and I’d like to think wiser) I get, I am working on pushing myself to not just settle for “it is what it is” and rather dig to discover what I am able to do to make shifts in my life, even in the slightest ways.
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Here Are 11 Ideas All About How To Unwind After a Stressful Day
1) Calm Your Mind
Do you ever feel overstimulated? My guess is YES.
I know so often I find myself overstimulated beyond measure. Especially on high-stress level days.
One thing I love to do is find some time for silence.
Take some deep breaths. Sit in a dark room for a few minutes.
It’s like a mini reset.
Picture yourself as a phone with a dead battery. A few minutes on the charger is not going to fully charge the battery (the battery being you of course) but those few minutes can be what you need to get by until you can go to bed.
Find the time and leave space for quiet. We all need some slowness and stillness in our lives.
I know a few friends that meditate daily and swear by it. I have tried it but in all honesty, I didn’t keep at it long enough for it to stick. But it is definitely worth giving it a shot. (I’ve been really wanting to give it a try again myself)
2) Work on Doing Nothing
If the idea of nothing feels overwhelming in itself, then start by just doing a little less.
Do me a favor. Scratch that. Do yourself a favor. Give yourself permission to do less.
Give yourself permission to choose rest or relaxation in whatever way shape or form that is for you.
You are doing enough. Always. We just happen to live in a society where “more” is so often equated to better. And that could not be further from the truth.
It can be challenging to flip the script and recognize how doing less will actually result in a much more full life. But keep at it.
3) Seek Comfort
Maybe this is grabbing your favorite blanket, wrapping up in it like a burrito, and sitting in complete silence. (remember I mentioned earlier that I do this!)
Maybe this is a hot bath with a book in your hand. (check out this awesome bath caddy…I bought it for my mom who is obsessed with taking baths and she loved it)
This could be a walk in nature. I am always pleasantly surprised by what a walk will do for me when I am not firing on all cylinders.
A bowl of ice cream or some chips and queso could be your comfort. (I’ve never meant a bowl of queso I didn’t love)
Your comfort could be cuddling in your partner’s armpit. (did I mention I am a weirdo that loves the way my husband smells… I also love how my kiddos smell)
Now, I am not telling you to go around sniffing armpits. (unless you want to of course)
The point here is to decide what is truly comforting to you and do that thing.
For me, this always comes back to books. I love to read.
It is something that I have learned to make time for no matter what.
But this could also be TV-related. There are so many awesome comedy specials on Netflix that make me feel better almost instantly.
Press play on your show or movie of choice and press pause on your mind.
This is really just about something that takes your mind off things. Something that allows your mind to slow down. To stop going over your to-do list for the next day.
Spoiler alert: Our to-do lists will (probably) always have things on them. Chasing that feeling of everything being done will not serve you well.
We hear a lot about not building a life we want to escape from but every now and then a little escape may be just what the doctor ordered.
5) Dump Them Out
So what are we dumping here? Your thoughts.
Our minds can become busy places. Picture big city traffic jams. There is a lot going on and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
Have you ever done a brain dump? If not, I highly recommend giving it a try.
Empty out all those thoughts that are pinging around and taking up space in your head.
This won’t make your life magically stress-free but it has the power to take some weight off.
So many of us take on a heavier load than we should. Yes, we can handle the load. But should we?
Getting our thoughts out can also work wonders for putting things into perspective. There is just something about physically seeing words on paper that can ease the pressures of life just a little.
6) What is Truly Important
Everything in our lives can not be on the same importance level.
Yes, I need to feed my children but I do not need to always have a sink that is free of dirty dishes.
While I like to have the dishes done, I have come to accept that is not a code red for me.
Are we sacrificing too much of ourselves to keep up appearances to show we can do it all?
Is this us thriving in life? Or is this us trudging through?
There is no glory in doing it all and being partially miserable.
My advice is to prioritize your little heart out. Create your own personal priority totem pole.
7) Choose Easy
Some nights in my house, this means a frozen pizza for dinner. Or take-out. Or the dang drive-thru chicken nugget dinner.
This means leaving the TV on a little longer. Maybe even skipping bathtime and aiming for an early bedtime.
At the end of the day, making choices that feel doable and easy is the best choice for everyone involved.
Continuing to stretch ourselves ridiculously thin is not the way.
Looking back, I see that my own mother as well as other women in my family were not thriving or living their most fulfilled lives. They were trying to keep the facade going that everything was in line and going great.
They had it all handled. And they thought this was the way it had to be.
We know better now. At least I hope we do. I hope we know that suffering is not the only option.
Surviving and thriving are at opposite ends of the spectrum. And there is all this gray area between them. We will all fall in different areas on that spectrum on any given day.
Take a moment, though, to think about if you feel the full range of that spectrum or if you tend to find yourself consistently on one side.
8) Focus on The Basics
Drink some extra water.
Choose sleep over one more episode of that show. I know. I know. We all feel like we need one more episode. But every once in a while choose an early bedtime.
Move your body in some way. For some, this might mean a long run. Yoga. A dance party.
Don’t underestimate the power of just a few minor tweaks.
9) Technology Break
Put your phone down. PUT THAT DANG THING DOWN.
Mindless scrolling is something I am guilty of. And sometimes it can feel good. Until it doesn’t.
When we are not in the right state of mind, our phones can be really dangerous.
We can easily get sucked into a comparison funnel and we all know those are difficult to get out of.
Make sure you are spending more time enjoying your actual life than scrolling through curated lives on the internet.
Ok, this might sound odd. Unwind and relax by learning. Crazy talk, right? Or is it?
I find learning to be stress relieving and even slightly therapeutic.
Right now, I am reading this book and it is teaching me so much about myself and how I spend my time and energy.
If you find yourself struggling in a certain area, seek out information. A specific struggle or challenge does not have to be ever-lasting.
Knowledge is power. And when we learn, we feel more equipped to make positive changes.
11) No Room For Guilt
One thing I see so much of, whether within my own friend and family group or from other moms on the internet, is that mom guilt is very real and very powerful.
Honestly, even if you do not have children I still strongly believe that so many of us almost instantly feel some level of guilt when we choose ourselves.
When we put ourselves first. When we make a decision that benefits us first and foremost.
This is something that takes persistent practice to get better at. There are no quick fixes. At least none I have discovered thus far in life.
It can be such a struggle for us to see and treat ourselves as someone important. This sounds ludicrous when you say it out loud. Or in this case, type it out.
The only way to change this narrative is through persistent practice and constant reminders.
And then the hope is that at some point the guilt fades more and more into the background and becomes a very small supporting role in your life rather than the main character.
Listen up. Stress is a part of life. Having a lot on our plates is just part of the gig.
But.. and this is a big but… we don’t have to or need to let stress or busyness be the mainframe of our lives.
We all deserve better. Life is a journey meant to be enjoyed. So while we are all doing the things we need to do let’s also do things that feed our souls.
More of the good stuff. That’s the name of the game, friends.
Have any ideas on how to unwind after a stressful day? Share with the rest of us!
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