No matter how much you love or hate your job, one thing is certain: you’re going to have some really hard days. And even if it hasn’t been a “bad” day, there’s a high chance that some part of it was stressful. In fact, 8 out of 10 Americans report that they are stressed at work. So how can you shake it?
The truth is, there are going to be unavoidably stressful situations at any job. So rather than learning how to avoid a stressful situation altogether we want to focus on positive ways you can cope with stress.
There are plenty of creative, and even productive ways to deal with stress—most of us just aren’t aware of them, and don’t plan or make time for such activities. We’ve outlined a few of our favorite ways (both simple and more involved) to alleviate stress after a long day. Make note of a few of them to try this week!
We know it can help make you feel a whole lot better.
Let The Music Take Control
If you’ve got a long commute home, leave your phone in the back seat and let yourself ease into a few minutes of musical bliss. While your first choice may be something upbeat, aggressive, or just plain loud to help “thrash out” the stress, we’ve got a different genre in mind: classical.
It’s been shown that classical music can actually alleviate stress and promote good health. Almost every city has clear access to a fantastic classical station, so find yours online or on you scanner and take back your evening commute.
And when you get home, if your musical thirst still hasn’t been quenched, you can try learning an instrument yourself! The first few tries at it may not be the most relaxing, but it’s a productive skill that you can hone that will help to take your mind off the craziness of your day.
And before long, you’ll be playing sweet, mesmerizing music of your own!
Sweat It All Out
There are plenty of ways to take out stress with cardiovascular measures, but sometimes a regular trip to the gym just doesn’t cut it. It’s overcrowded, you’re embarrassed about how out of shape you are, or maybe you really don’t like going to a traditional gym.
The good news is: you’re not alone. For years, people have been coming up with fantastic alternatives to a traditional gym. And while there’s no substitute for working your body to it’s full potential, there are plenty of avenues for going about doing that. For instance:
Boxing: boxing is one of the fastest ways to burn calories and work up a sweat. And the best part? You get to take out your aggression on a sparring partner or sand bag. You’re killing two birds with one stone, making yourself a sharper and fitter person all at the same time.
Swimming: swimming is a full-body resistance workout that’s easy on your joints and a breath of fresh air from traditional cardio. You’re out of the traffic-filled world, and into a solitary pool lane—alone with your thoughts to decompress and power through an amazing workout.
Zumba: If you haven’t tried Zumba, you’re seriously missing out. If you can find yourself on the dance floor on a Saturday night, why not be there on a Tuesday after work? Surrounded by other rhythm and fitness enthusiasts, Zumba is a fun and safe environment where you can have a great time toning your body and unwinding after a long day.
Steam Room: OK, so while it’s not a workout in and of itself, a steam room is a great place to work up a sweat, get out all the toxins, and cleanse after a tough day at the office.
Have a Hobby Ready
Whether it’s woodworking, video games, pottery, or computer programming, a hobby is the perfect way to transition out of a long day and into home time. If you work using your mind (whether it’s finance, tech or the arts), try picking up a more physical hobby. If you’re more physically inclined at work, try developing a hobby that stretches your mind.
It’s more than just preoccupying yourself with an activity. A hobby is a chance to grow and learn, doing something that you enjoy, and that pushes you in different ways than your job might.
Paint – With Lots of Colors
For whatever reason, colors have a magical ability to sooth our stress. If you’re an artistic person, or even want to be, painting is a great way to wash away the stress of a long week.
Break out your brush and canvas and simply lets the colors move you. Make something beautiful, or paint a mess of nothingness. The point is that you’re allowing your mind to leave work and spill onto a canvas. It will help you to process, slow down, and have a nice break in your week.
Have a Beach Moment
Sometimes we just need a moment of escape. If it’s been one of those days where you wish you were anywhere else, try this: light some candles, draw a bath, lock the door, and turn on some ambient beach sounds, or a session from calm.com and just relax.
You’ve earned those 20 minutes of peace. Soak them up.
Bonus Pro Tip: Turn Off Your Screen Before Bed!
You may not know it, but your computer could be killing you. Sure, we’ve all believed our share of robot conspiracies, but this one hits much closer to home: countless studies are now proving that staring at a screen before bed reduces your quality of sleep—which is naturally going to increase your stress levels, and decrease your ability to cope.
Save yourself a world of trouble. Turn of your computer, find your way to relax, and treat yourself to an evening this week where you can escape the all the noise of life.