You could hardly sleep last night. You’ve been stuck in traffic and late for work. When you finally arrived, there was nowhere to park. You forgot to pack lunch for your kids. They got into a fight at school. Your partner is annoying you. There are so many sources of everyday stress, especially when you’re juggling between all these chores and responsibilities. Anxious thoughts linger in your head even after you’ve resolved the day’s major problems.
You need something to clear your mind and boost your mood. So, Here are some ways to mentally refresh after a stressful day.
1. Take a Nap
Let’s start with something you’ll definitely like. Taking a nap is like pushing a restart button for your day. It allows you to start anew. There are multiple benefits of napping: improved mood, increased alertness, reduced fatigue, and relaxation.
However, to avoid the downsides of naps (and they exist), keep your daily dose of shut-eye short – 10 to 20 minutes, or 30 at the most. Also, nap only in the early afternoon to avoid interfering with your nighttime sleep.
2. Take a Deep Breath
We sometimes get so nervous that we forget to breathe. Well, not literally, but we don’t pay attention to our breathing, which can be bad for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our bodies. This increases stress levels, leads to anxiety and panic attacks, and causes other emotional problems. These issues can be alleviated by doing breathing exercises, such as alternate nostril breathing, breath focus, and roll breathing.
Meditation is a great way to clear your head and get some inner peace. Still, it’s not for everyone. Many people have tried and described it as hard or even pointless. If you are one of them, consider trying guided meditation. This can be done through various YouTube tutorials or mindfulness apps.
4. Put It on Paper
When left roaming around your head, your thoughts can be messy and agonizing. Journaling your anxious thoughts, fears, and worries can help you see your problems more clearly and understand them. They won’t seem as scary once you get them out of your head and onto the paper. This can help you gain control over your emotions as well as to express gratitude and realize what’s important in life.
5. Get Physical
When someone says ‘relax’ or ‘de-stress,’ exercising is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. However, working out helps you clear your mind, mentally refresh, and reduce stress – and those are just the instant benefits. Regular aerobic exercise has the unique capacity to make extraordinary changes to your metabolism, endurance, and mental health. It is often accompanied by an increased sense of vigor and improved self-esteem.
6. Get Some Fresh Air
Spending time in the great outdoors can do wonders for your mental health. Just soaking in the vitamin D from the sunlight can boost your mood. Top it off with a fresh breeze going through your hair and caressing your cheeks. Your senses will be awakened and the oxygen will flow to your body, allowing your lungs to work at full capacity.
We live in a world where we are constantly available – not only to those we love but also to those we work for. Checking your email the very moment you get home can only be counterproductive. Respect your free time. Detach from social media as well, because it can take a lot of your time without giving you something valuable in return.
8. Choose Your Company Well
Adults often tend to spend time with people they don’t care for or even people that annoy them just out of courtesy or because it can benefit them somehow. If you’ve had a hard day and want to refresh mentally, choose who you will do that with very carefully. Be with your family, the people you love, or simply call your friends and go have a drink. Go dancing. Be with people who have a positive effect on you and make you happy.
9. Take Some ‘Me Time’
Finally, spend some time with the person who matters the most – you. Being alone doesn’t necessarily mean being lonely. This is the ideal chance to unwind, reflect on your life, and do something simply because you can. This includes taking a bubble bath, reading a book, listening to your favorite music (and why not, dancing around the house), binge-watching a TV show, devoting some time to a long-lost hobby, or doing anything you love.
All of these ‘mental refresh’ methods are efficient, but their efficiency depends on your individual needs. Think about which one would be best for you, do more of them at the same time, or try them all out until you find a preferred one. Just remember one thing – you deserve the chance to relax.