The work week is tough for most of us; we’re studying, working, socializing, and generally trying to stay on top of things all day long. Our busy schedules might pay the bills, but they also wind us up and stress us out in many different ways. While we may brush off the tiredness and worry, research has shown just how harmful these high stress levels can be.
If you let stress take over your body too many times, the results could be disastrous for your mental and physical health. We’ve seen the increase of disorders like depression and anxiety over the years, while stress can also lead to physical issues like high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, etc.
The good news, however, is that we can also make use of our weekends and days off to de-stress and stave off all these issues. There are several amazing rest and relaxation products out there, though we can also use certain techniques that don’t cost a dime.
Here are some of the best ways to unwind and relieve yourself of stress this weekend:
1. Simply Breathe
Many of us don’t realize the importance of breathing properly throughout the day. Even if we do know enough to breathe with our tummy and not our chest, it might be a good idea to look up some breathing exercises to enhance our health. This is a de-stressing technique that many yoga enthusiasts are familiar with, so all you have to do is look them up.
Even a short session of deep, regular breathing can get you a beneficial oxygen boost. This will help to slow down the nervous system promoting an inner calm and sense of peace. The benefits here include a lowered blood pressure.
2. Eat Right
It might be tempting to indulge in some fast food over the weekend. One rarely feels like cooking on their day off, and that pizza or Chinese takeout is usually the highlight of a regular week. However, the high levels of sodium, preservatives, and other unhealthy ingredients could actually cause an energy crash later on. This only adds to your stressful vibe, so consider choosing a healthier path.
However, this doesn’t mean that you limit yourself to leafy greens and flax for the whole weekend. Choose a nice treat to release that serotonin in your brain. For instance, you might want to go with a bar of dark chocolate instead of a heavy sundae from a fast food restaurant. This choice will be more likely to put you in a happy frame of mind.
3. Reaching Out
Being around those you care about immediately releases the tension from your body and alleviates your mood. This weekend, make sure to take out some time and spend it with the people that make you feel good. This could be your kids, your spouse, or some old friends.
You don’t have to make some long, complicated plan to enjoy yourself with family or friends. Even something as simple as a picnic or just hanging out could work wonders in making you feel relaxed. Plus, such activities are also essential for strengthening your current relationships.
4. Walk It Out
A walk can help our mind get into a state of meditation, especially when we’re outdoors. This simple exercise will release endorphins and decrease the stress hormones coursing through your body.
If you have a long weekend or some days off, a walking holiday might be in order. This would be the perfect time to gain benefits from this exercise and enjoy a new place at the same time. You might look up some tips for transitioning back to work afterward.
5. Sleeping In
One might be unfortunate enough not to get enough sleep throughout the whole week, so why not turn in early on the weekends? Staying up late, hanging out with friends or simply watching Netflix might be your idea of a good weekend, but you can also do these things in the daytime. Generally, sleeping late in the morning on a Saturday or Sunday could knock your body clock out of whack for the coming week. Instead of taking this risk, turn in earlier on those days and get up early to make the most of the day.
However, you might want to indulge in a bit more sleep than usual when you don’t have to go to work or class the next day. If that’s what it takes to get that necessary rest, take a nap in the middle of the day or sleep a little later than usual.
6. Read a Book
These days, we’re much more interested in getting our entertainment on screens and with the tap of a finger. This time around, when you get a few hours to yourself, try taking up a real book and losing yourself in a good story. This will give your brain a relaxing session while also saving you from blue light exposure. Get some healthy treats to snack on while you’re at it and put away the phone.
7. Some ‘Me’ Time
Weekends could end up being even busier than weekdays, so make sure you find some k. This might involve hiring a babysitter for the kids, going out to eat instead of cooking, or putting some work into your favorite hobby. Having some time to establish your own identity will make you feel less frustrated and more in touch with your personal goals.
While you’re taking out time for yourself, make sure you do something that benefits your body and soul as well. Moisturize, exfoliate, and use that bath bomb just because you deserve it! We might not get the time to do all that during the week, so don’t lose out on the chance when the weekend rolls around.
9. Get Closer to Nature
Living in a concrete jungle can sometimes take us very far away from nature. This transition might put more tension in our bodies than we realize. In addition to taking a walk outdoors to de-stress, we might also consider other outdoor activities to rejuvenate our spirits. This could include taking a bike ride, going to the park, or simply sitting outside on the porch to enjoy some fresh air.
We’re way too dependent on our respective devices, so it might be time to put them away for a few hours at least. Scrolling through social media can give us depressive feelings as well as FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Since everything seems so polished and upbeat online, it can be easy to feel that we can’t compete with our peers. The world of social media is rarely connected to reality, though, so it’s best that we maintain a distance as much as possible.
Once the phone or tablet leaves your hand, you’d be free to focus on things that actually matter. You might be surprised at how much time you have when the scrolling doesn’t eat up hours of your day.
Unwinding and distressing might take some effort, but they’re possible and even necessary on a regular basis. Try to implement some of the following steps this very weekend and see the difference they make.