We’ve had a lot on our minds the past few months. Staying safe, staying at home, staying productive—you name it. But dealing with stress hasn’t necessarily been at the top of our list since we’ve been confined to our makeshift WFH offices. And I get it. You’re trying to figure out how to keep the kids occupied, get some lunch on the table and reassure your mother that, yes, you’re still washing your hands. All just so you can finally send that email you’ve been working on for 20 minutes. Not even going to lie, I got stressed writing that - LOL.
OK - BREATHE.
Times are stressful, but one of the most important things we can do after a long day of work is to clear our minds and switch from “work-mode” to “chill-mode.” Finding that balance between work and home life is something we’ve all been dealing with. So, in order to keep us all sane – literally – we have some tips to help you recharge.
Fresh Air = Fresh Mind
This isn’t some top-secret list of ways to deal with stress. These are the things we’ve all known for years, but in times like these, we can simply lose ourselves to stress and anxiety and overlook the small things that keep us healthy. So, GO OUTSIDE! Being outdoors impacts not only your mind but your body, too (you know, two birds with one stone kind of thing). Even taking a 15-minute walk can completely reset your psychological state. So, grab your pup, cat, kid or favorite human and get to sniffin’ those trees and flowers (allergies permitting).
Whether you are a soft pop kind of person or a heavy metal stan, music has been an escape for people since the beginning of time. Did you know that music can be a drug to certain people? The Nucleus Accumbens section of the brain seeks pleasure and reward, and for some people, listening/playing music increases dopamine. I personally know this to be true because, as a music lover, it’s my form of therapy. It instantly takes me to a different place, especially when I’m stressed.
Grab A Book
Now, I have never been one to pick up a book after a long day at work, but I know you all are out there. Getting lost in a story or someone else’s thoughts will literally put you into a different headspace. So, get comfy in your favorite reading nook or surround yourself in a blissful meadow (just me telling you to go outside again) with your go-to book and get to reading.
Creative People! Go Forth and Be!
There are some people who weren’t wired to “chill out.” I know who you are, you beautiful-minded humans. You create. It’s what you do, and it’s how you “recharge.” Whether it's playing an instrument, drawing, writing, sculpting, designing, singing, dancing, painting and all of the many creative things—go do you. There is something wonderful about getting lost in something you love to do/make. So, do it.
Phone a Friend (or Family Member)
Having someone you can chat with on the phone as a form of relaxation is one of the easiest ways to reset after a long day. The power that expressing your thoughts and feelings to someone has on your mental state is huge. So, go call your mother and ask her about her day.
Get To Moving
You knew this one would make the list. Exercising has so many benefits. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep and improve self-esteem.” The wonderful thing about the 21st century is that technology has allowed us to work out from home, just pull up a YouTube exercise video and you’re set. Or you can go for a walk outside while listening to music (see what I did there?). But seriously, the important thing is to stay moving.
So, there you have it. I know these aren’t groundbreaking tips for a clear headspace, but sometimes all we need is a simple reminder to take a step back and do the little things. Try incorporating one or a few of these techniques into your “after-work” routine and clear your mind. Oh, last thing! Wash your hands.