Taking care of your mental health is very important for your general well-being and physical health. It is essential to take some time off to relax and unwind after a long and stressful day.
Here are some activities you could do to ensure you keep your stress levels to a minimum and look after your mental and physical health.
Bear in mind that some of these activities might be relaxing for some people but not for you. Therefore, pick the activity that suits you best to make sure you are not adding additional pressure on yourself.
Breathing and meditation exercises
In times of stress, one of the best ways to relax your muscles and to ease your mind is to practice meditation and/or simple breathing exercises.
When we are anxious, our bodies tense up and our breathing becomes shorter, which creates a vicious circle by providing less oxygen to our muscles.
A good solution is to breathe deeply for a couple of minutes. You will feel your muscles relax and your bodily response change.
If intrusive thoughts are responsible for your stress and anxiety, meditation could help. By regularly meditating, you will learn to control your thoughts and prevent those thoughts from overwhelming you.
You can perform breathing exercises and meditation practices by yourself by simply downloading an app, following a YouTube tutorial or attending a class, more information regarding which are the best apps for this can be found on sites such as hvtimes.
Physical exercise can also help you reduce your stress levels. When our bodies tense up, they activate our ‘fight-or-flight’ response.
This response to stress helped us survive in our natural environments. It heightened our senses, allowing us to run quickly and escape danger.
By doing some physical exercise when you feel stressed, you will be fulfilling that stress response’s purpose and releasing the tensions in your body.
A run, a workout, or a simple walk around your neighborhood can do the trick.
Spending time with friends or family
Another way to unwind is to spend some quality time with your loved ones. Whether these are family members or close friends, you can benefit greatly from meeting up with them.
If you have been feeling down over the last few days, you can tell those you trust and seek their advice. Identifying the source(s) of your stress and anxiety can help you avoid intrusive thoughts and overwhelming emotions.
Once you have identified these sources of stress, you might feel the need to share it with your loved ones. By discussing it with them, you might feel a great sense of relief and comfort.
You can also take advantage of your time with friends and family to talk about different things, have a good laugh, and clear your mind.
Whether with friends or by yourself, another option is to play games to reduce your stress levels. Games can help you clear your head by changing your focus.
For some people, and depending on the game, this can also be a form of social time. You could, for example, play a board game with your friends or play casino games online.
Sites such as 888poker give you the opportunity to play poker virtually with friends or by yourself.
Alternatively, you could find a physical board game and play with your friends in person.
You might also enjoy your alone time and prefer to unwind by doing some self-care activities.
If that sounds like you, then you could light up some candles, put some music on, and hop into a hot, bubbly bath or a steaming shower.
Then, you could put on a facemask and/or opt for a nice, refreshing, and lightly scented skincare routine.
Other options for those who enjoy self-care activities include body scrubs, massages, manicures, pedicures…
If you are looking to take a break from screens and social media, look no further. You can find a good, physical book to read during your alone time.
The classics are always good to read or re-read if you haven’t gotten a chance to, yet.
Otherwise, you can find your next read by looking at book recommendations on online sites such as esquire asking your friends or popping to a local bookstore.
Once you have your book, you can sit down with a nice, warm cup of tea or coffee and enjoy it.
Those looking for activities to do outside might be interested in gardening.
Gardening can be a very therapeutic and calming activity. It allows individuals to reconnect with their natural surroundings while discovering different plants.
Usually associated with older people, gardening is also a nice practice for children and young adults.
It also offers a nice break from screens and artificial lighting, you can find tips on how to get started by reading sites such as miraclegro.
Some people may find cooking to be very soothing. Cooking can reduce your stress levels by keeping your mind and body active.
The slow process of cooking can also give you some meditative time and force you to take a break from work.
For a more relaxed atmosphere, you could also turn on some music and drink a glass of wine, or nibble on some appetizers, while preparing your meal.
Some might also enjoy putting on their favorite show while cooking.
Watching a film
Others might prefer watching a film or a show on a comfy couch wrapped up in a warm blanket with some popcorn on their lap.
Some films can definitely reduce your stress levels by making you laugh and entertain you. However, this may depend on the type of film that you choose to watch.
Some films can also augment your stress levels, so make sure to pick one that is not too intense, emotionally-speaking.
Any other artistic activity
Other activities that could help you reduce your stress levels include listening to music, playing an instrument, painting, and more.
These different activities are ideas of things you could do to ease your anxiety and look after your mental health. Of course, they are subjective and will depend on your personal preferences.