If you’re like many Americans, you might feel like it’s becoming more and more difficult to come home and unwind at the end of your day. Unfinished tasks, events replaying from earlier in the day, and worrying about what needs to be done tomorrow can quickly begin to weigh on our minds and make it nearly impossible to come home and simply let go and relax. What many people may not realize, however, is that our mental and physical well-being can heavily correlate with one another, and stress can rapidly begin to take a physical toll on our bodies. This is why it’s so important to take time each day to relax and unwind. If you’re struggling to find ways to do this, continue reading for some helpful tips on ways to mentally unwind at the end of your workday.
Our surroundings often play a role in how we are feeling, so put yourself in the right state of mind by creating an atmosphere of calm and relaxation. When you come home after a long day, keep your lighting dim, turn on some relaxing music or sounds, and maybe even light a few candles for added ambiance. The dimmed lights and laid-back atmosphere can help signal to your body that it’s finally time to wind down.
Soaking in a warm bath is not only a great way to de-stress physically, but can also help your mind unwind as well. Add in your favorite bath salts, a bath bomb, or bubbles, and let the gentle warmth and soothing scents relax you — mind and body. Some calming music and a candle or two can also add to the atmosphere.
Simply the action of curling up on the couch while holding a hot cup of tea can be a tranquil experience in and of itself, but many herbal teas have the added bonus of containing stress-reducing flavors and aromas. Try sipping on a cup of lavender or chamomile tea after work or shortly before bed to soothe your mind and wind down for the night.
Studies have shown yoga to be especially effective at helping manage stress and relaxing the mind. Try practicing for a little bit each night before bed to help clear your mind and let go of your daily stresses. There are many free yoga tutorials to be found online that specifically cater to reducing stress — or you can start with just a few simple beginners poses, such as child’s pose and savasana.
Despite how fond we often are of our tech gadgets, they can also be a large source of stress in our lives — plus the blue light emitted from electronics can actually make it even more difficult to fall asleep at night. Make it a point each night to shut down your devices in order to spend time away from screens and give your mind time to relax before bed — social media and email can wait!
It may seem redundant to remind you that a bedroom is a place of rest, but your bedroom is probably full of mental stimulants without you even realizing it. In order to promote relaxation and to help you fall asleep quicker, create an atmosphere that feels cozy and inviting. Fill your bedroom with serene colors, soft pillows, and blankets, and remove any electronics from the room — and yes, that means TVs and phones, too!
Try out a few — or all — of these helpful relaxation tips to help you mentally unwind at the end of the workday and begin to see the difference this kind of stress management can make in your life! If you’re struggling with managing your stress and would like to learn some additional relaxation tips, or could simply use someone to talk to, Dr. Kelly Mothner can help you. Dr. Kelly Mothner is a licensed psychologist serving the South Bay and Hermosa Beach, CA areas and specializes in adolescent, adult, and couples therapy. Sometimes we all feel like we could use a little extra help in life — if you’re ready to get started, please contact me today to request an appointment.