How To De-Stress At Home By Doing These 6 Little Things After A Seriously Long Day
I’m sure you’ve learned by now that college isn’t all fun and frat parties, especially if you’re the type of person who clings to syllabi and basically eats, sleeps, and breathes extracurricular responsibilities. I think most of us — myself included — struggle to find an appropriate work-life balance. If by your last class, you’re on the brink of burning out, but still feel as though there’s work you could technically be getting done, it’s imperative that you learn how to compartmentalize now, so you don't risk sacrificing your sanity later. We work to live, friends, we do not live to work, which means you need to know how to de-stress at home when long days come to an end, so a new one can begin on a clean, hassle-free slate.
I completely understand how impossible it can be to put your grind on pause in college. I was totally that girl who’d fill up her schedule with the maximum number of classes, an internship, a part-time job, and at least two extracurriculars per semester. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Did my mental health suffer as a result of trying to balance a ton of responsibilities? Definitely. No matter how hard I tried, I could not find a way to properly decompress because I was unable to separate the hustle from relaxation.
According to Dr. Danielle Forshee, LLC, the trick to doing this is to leave work at the office, at your dorm room desk, or in the library. She tells Elite Daily,
You have to leave your work at the workplace physically and mentally, and not bring it into your personal space. By bringing work into your personal space, it will trigger stressful thoughts.
The bottom line is, stress happens, and it happens to all of us. Unfortunately, we usually make things worse by hyper-focusing on what went wrong in our day, looming deadlines, or a list of responsibilities instead of relaxing when we really need to. Here are a few ways you can destress at home after a long day that desperately needs to be forgotten.
1. Listen To A Podcast
Normally I'd advise venting with a few close girlfriends to melt your stresses away, but that might not be such a great idea in this case.
Especially in college and the workplace, you're surrounded by classmates and co-workers who are most likely experiencing the same little annoyances as you are. Even if you start the conversation in agreement not to discuss the professor you collectively loathe or a pressing deadline, chances are the discussion will somehow make its way to the subject.
Rather than harping on the strains of the day, try to put them out of your mind by redirecting your thoughts elsewhere. Listening to a podcast is a great way to do this, and there are so many to choose from, depending on your interests. Get out of your own head, and listen to someone else's thoughts for awhile.
2. Download A Meditation App
One of the main causes of stress is overthinking, which definitely happens a lot in a college setting. Between internships, capstone seminars, and the fact that the real world doesn't feel so far away anymore, there's a lot to consider.
The issue goes back to harping on the stressful situations of our everyday lives. The more we focus on something, the more likely it is that our imagination will blow things out of proportion, causing a lot of unnecessary stress.
Wellness expert and co-founder of Stop, Breathe, & Think Jamie Price tells Elite Daily that practicing mindful meditation can help you become present in the current moment, and also "boost your mood" when stress gets you down.
3. Enjoy A Cup Of Your Favorite Tea
According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who experience a significant amount of stress can have bouts of insomnia, or have difficulty falling asleep.
In order to quiet your thoughts and meet the FDA-recommended six to eight hours of prime snooze time, I highly suggest investing in a delicious, soothing cup of tea.
Bigelow's Sweet Dreams Herbal Tea lulls me to sleep like a baby in its cradle. The leaves are derived from a mixture of chamomile, hibiscus, peppermint, and orange blossoms, among other calming herbs, and the brew itself is 100 percent caffeine-free.
Sip on a hot cup when you get home, and release that tension you've been holding onto all day.
4. Give Aromatherapy A Try
In addition to focusing on your breath, you'll definitely want to consider all your other senses when you're trying to wind down, as well.
Essential oils can be used interchangeably to wake up and ease the mind, depending on your scent of choice. Seitho, the founder of Zazen Bear, tells Elite Daily that scents are incredibly powerful, as they can help you destress almost instantly:
A simple smell has the ability to immediately evoke emotions and memories instantly that can directly impact our bodies through our nervous system.
So after a long day, try to use scents such as lavender to help you relax and de-stress.
5. Take A Break From Technology
Technology has many pros and cons, and while Instagram is wonderful and Twitter is endlessly entertaining, having an unlimited connection with the world almost 100 percent of the time isn't necessarily a good thing.
It's also really tempting to keep type, type, typing away when your laptop is right in front of you and there's a term paper due by the end of the week. Deadlines are pressing, but so is your mental health, and taking a break before you become overworked should definitely be a priority.
At the end of the day, grant yourself a temporary technology hiatus. Log out of all social media accounts, silence your phone, and step away from the laptop. It's for your own good, I promise.
6. Pay Attention To What Triggers Your Stress
If you're interested in going the extra mile to tackle daily stressors once and for all, The WellBe Bracelet might be worth the splurge.
The lightweight bracelet comes in a variety of bands and colors to marry fashion and function. Similarly to how a FitBit tracks your physical activity, WellBe keeps tabs on your stress levels using a patent-pending algorithm.
Once it's able to recognize what makes you tick, the technology offers stress-reducing programs like meditation, focused breathing exercises, and personalized playlists to help you cope more efficiently.