If you are looking for simple ways to relieve yourself of stress, a relatively easy way is by simply giving yourself some rest and relaxation. Breaking up what seemingly feels like constant stress is such an obvious answer to stress but the idea fails to cross so many people’s minds. Either that or they simply don’t know how to effectively use rest and relaxation to lower their stress levels. Let’s discuss everything you need to know to incorporate rest and relaxation into your stress-management goals!
Rest your body and your mind
Sleep is a necessity of life, even if you feel like you can get away with only a few hours of sleep every night. Whether or not you realize it, a lack of sleep negatively impacts your not just your focus and attentiveness throughout the day, but also your general mood and behavior. Getting enough sleep is crucial to maintaining an uplifting and positive mood, which counteracts any stress you may have. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve personally gotten into bed earlier than usual after a long day, and woken up the next day simply feeling better. The stress in my life was still there, and I knew it was there. But it didn’t weight down on me as much as it did the previous night.
How much sleep is enough?
The generally accepted amount required for a good night’s rest is 8 hour every day. But if you want to augment just how refreshed and good-spirited you after when waking up the next day, feel free to sleep even longer. It all comes down to what you can personally manage in terms of how many hours in a day you have available to sleep.
Also, if the stress is so prominent that it makes it hard to fall asleep earlier than your usual routine, I highly recommend purchasing one of the many supplements out there that help you fall asleep. Otherwise you would just be wasting your time lying in bed for a few minutes (or hours) before you eventually fall asleep at your regular time. If you are serious about using sleep to reduce stress (which it absolutely can), then make sure you actually get the sleep you need to feel better!
Find time to simply relax
We all only have so much time on Earth to live. As a result, many people feel the need to constantly be doing something every minute of every day. Whether it be spending time with your kids, to going on adventurous hikes or dining in fancy restaurants, filling out the free time you have outside of work is good for your personal wellbeing in general. However, when it becomes a constant stream of activities with no time to rest, it causes significant problems once stress inevitably creeps into your life.
Once stress kicks in, the constant struggle of trying to stop thinking about your stress while you do something else will only amplify the stress even more. Without ever giving yourself time to recover from the day and recover from the aspects of the day that stress you out, you make it hard on yourself to limit stress as a whole.
Take breaks to get your mind off of stress
Even just a 5 minute break in the middle of your day can produce outstanding results in terms of your overall stress-levels. During this break, all you have to do is make sure that you avoid anything that will remind you of the stress you are facing. For example, if work stresses you out, take a five minute walk around the office without any access to your email or phone calls. Or if you are stressed about a fight with your significant other, take a break to catch up on the latest sports or news stories on your phone.
The ways you take your breaks really don’t have to be anything specific, as long as you aren’t focusing the stressful aspects of your day. You can simply just sit at your desk and stare at a wall for five minutes if it helps you to relax. And while taking just a single five minute break every day can be quite therapeutic, why not go for more than a single break a day? Or have longer breaks? The more “me time” you can dedicate to yourself, the less stressed out you will be.
Just slow down your day
This is part of knowing your limits as a person. You only have so many hours in a day, so even if you could technically accomplish ten things in one evening, actively make the decision to only finish seven things, or even five. Forcing yourself to try and do as much as possible not only means less personal relaxation time as we mentioned above, but also a greater chance for making mistakes. Making mistakes will just frustrate you and generate more stress in your life. So slowing down your day, while it sounds simple, really is an effective way of managing stress.
There are plenty of other little things you can do to slow down your day. Don’t worry about answering text messages right away. Take your time in the shower or while getting ready for work. Or just take those few extra minutes to really enjoy your meal. Savoring the good parts of life while setting aside the bad parts (at least temporarily) can have a profound impact on your outlook on life, which naturally reduces the stress you experience.
Small changes to your lifestyle can drastically improve your stress levels
As easy as it all sounds to just rest and relax more often and magically see your stress diminish, it does require some concerted efforts here and there. Whether it be by getting into bed a few hours earlier than normal, or by finding little break periods throughout your day, changing how you approach the daily grind is paramount to ensuring you get the rest and relaxation you need to see positive effects on your stress levels. And best of all, taking these small steps will not just improve how you manage your stress, but also improve other aspects of your health and well-being such as your mood and your outlook on life. Try out some of these tips today and quickly see just how much better you feel overall!