We all have times in our lives when we have a lot going on like meeting deadlines, exams, due dates etc, which can affect our stress levels and put our health at risk. So, Kanchan Naikawadi, Director, Indus Health Plus (P) Ltd, has listed the 20 best ways to unwind after a hectic day.
Take 5-minute breaks every hour
Take 5 minutes for yourself if you have a busy schedule. No matter how efficiently you work, you’ll always get distracted and let your mind wander. So, step out of the office for a breath of fresh air and mild exercise to improve concentration levels.
Stretch A great way to relax is to simply stretch. Try to feel your body and pay attention to your breathing. A simple stretch relieves muscle tension and can do wonders for improving your focus at work.
Take a refreshing shower
A warm water bath, a cold bath or a bubble bath can work wonders. It is a cheap and fun way to soothe your muscles and relax. Use your favourite bubble bath or bath oil to calm and relax you. A shower also clears your head and helps you sleep soundly.
Get close to nature
There is nothing more relaxing than being surrounded by greenery, the sea or the mountains. Being close to nature helps us connect with ourselves. So, simply looking out of the window or going for a walk in the park can do the trick.
Drink enough water and eat healthy food
It is tempting to order pizza, but it really pays off to take time to cook and eat nutritious and healthy food. Not only will it help you keep fit, it will also boost your mood. A full happy stomach always keeps us upbeat and energised.
A pet can help you relax
Pets are a great way to de-stress, as they make us feel happy and loved.
Spend time with family and friends
Spending time with friends, engaging in some light banter with co-workers, reading comics, spending quality time with your kids and spouse can improve your mood and help you relax. So, make sure you are in touch with people that make you happy and inspire you.
Pamper yourself at your favourite spa
It’s exhilarating to give in to your senses and simply relax. Get a pedicure or a nice soothing facial to rejuvenate both your skin and mind.
You do not have to go on a retreat to the mountains to feel relaxed. Five minutes of quiet time is all it takes to reap the benefits of meditation and relieve stress and depression. So find a comfortable spot, concentrate on your breathing, and watch the stress melt away.
Positive affirmations can greatly impact your mood. So, instead of indulging in negative thoughts, tell yourself you look and feel good, you’re doing great and that you can handle everything that comes your way.
Do something for yourself
Reward yourself with gifts, chocolate and mini-breaks whenever you finish a task. Focusing on yourself and making yourself a priority can boost your mood and help you relax.
Listen to your favourite music
Stress relieving calm music will help relax you and upbeat music will help boost your mood.
Cook a simple meal
Cooking can be therapeutic and can help take your mind off things that may be stressing you, plus you can enjoy the benefits of a good nutritious meal.
Wear comfortable clothing
On reaching home, shed your work clothes and change into clothing made from cottons and linens. This will help you relax.
Spend time with yourself
Find a zen spot in your home where you can sit down and relax for a few minutes after a long tiring day. Make sure to switch off your mobile phone.
Wash or splash your face with cold water
This little trick will energise and invigorate you. Washing away the dirt and grime from you face will leave you feeling cool and refreshed.
Slow and deep breathing
Slow, deep breathing can help lower blood pressure. Try pranayama breathing, a yogic method that involves breathing through one nostril at a time to relieve anxiety.
Take a nap
It’s easy to think that a few extra hours of work will do you good, but it won’t. Sleep is important so make sure you get plenty of it.
A head massage can do the trick
A head massage can increase blood flow, curb headaches and improve sleep and is a great way to fight stress and ward off illness.
Write it down
Starting a journal is a great way of communicating with yourself and lowering your stress levels.
Whether you finished up a big project, had some tough conversations or found yourself hurtling through the week like there’s no tomorrow, it’s about time you take a moment to learn how to relax after work.
If your mind is on a merry-go-round of work-related thoughts, you’ve clicked on the right blog post. Read on for seven practical and pragmatic steps you can take to reset and relax after a busy week.
How to relax after work
Step #1: Breathe
Focusing on your breathing, even for five minutes, can help you to step out of the Fight or Flight response that you’re likely in and switches your parasympathetic nervous system on so that you can rest.
If you want to keep it simple, breathe in for the count of four and breathe out for the count of four. On the other hand, if you want to get a bit techy with it, there’s a couple of apps like Smiling Mind and Waking Up with Sam Harris that will take you through a simple breathing meditation that’ll relax you in no time.
We’ve also got a guide to the best meditation apps (complete with star ratings and pricing deets) that you can take a look at to create a consistent breath work practice.
Step #2: Phone a friend
There’s nothing better than a good chinwag. Give someone a call who leaves you feeling uplifted to kick start a state of relaxation.
Curious as to why phoning a friend makes a difference? When we connect socially with someone we care about, we engage our Limbic System in a positive way.
The Limbic System is responsible for our emotions, so by changing your emotional focus from stressing to socialising, you’ll end up feeling relaxed and calm by the time you hang up the phone.
Want to learn more about the Limbic System? Watch this video:
Step #3: Have a picnic
Switching up your routine can help you step out of work mode and into relaxation. So, instead of eating dinner at the table why not pack it up and head down to the local park or your backyard? If it’s cold out, set up a picnic in your living room.
There’s nothing more relaxing than a good cheese platter on a Friday night…
Step #4: Give yourself a sleep edge
If your week has left you feeling overwhelmed and run down, give yourself the gift of a good night’s sleep.
To set yourself up for a restful night, a great science-backed hack is to have a hot shower and then go to sleep in an air-conditioned room.
Want to know why this works so well? During your hot shower, your blood vessels in your skin will fill with blood (think of that nice rosy glow you have post hot shower or exercise).
Then when you step into the aircon, the rapid drop in temperature will stimulate a reversal of that process – with blood rushing from your extremities to your vital organs.
The rush of blood to your vital organs will put you in a state of ‘rest and digest’, by activating your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for long-term survival.
Step #5: Exercise
There’s nothing quite like an endorphin rush to get your head out of the work mode and into a state of relaxation.
Whether you’re a runner, a pilates-er or a crossfit-a-holic, spending as little as 20 minutes in workout mode will allow your body to release endorphins that will leave you feeling euphoric.
Another fascinating result of regular exercise is that it gives your body the opportunity to practice responding to stress.
According to Dr J. Kip Matthews, a sports and exercise psychologist, regular exercise allows your body to streamline communication between the systems involved in the stress response. That’s why the less active we are, the more challenged we are when dealing with physical and emotional stress.
Step #6: Get out in nature
Ah, nature. It’s great, isn’t it? I mean, unless you run into a massive spiderweb or sit down to tie your shoelaces only to be bitten by an angry Australian ant.
Overall, getting out in nature has been shown to have a positive effect on your mood.
According to Dr Strauss from Cambridge Health Alliance, having something pleasant to focus on like trees and greenery helps distract your mind from negative thinking, so your thoughts become less filled with worry.
Step #7: Write a to-do list
If you just can’t stop thinking about the things you need to do at work, get them out of your mind and onto paper.
Write a to-do list or journal your thoughts for five minutes. This will give you the mental clarity you need to relax by getting all those work-based thoughts down on paper in a structured plan.
The best bit is it also gives you an opportunity to visually see your progress as you tick items off when you’re back in the office on Monday.
Now that you’ve got some practical tips up your sleeve it’s time to put what you’ve learnt into action.
If you need a bigger nudge in the right direction, pick yourself up a copy of this book, it’s filled with practical activities that’ll help you get back on track.
There’s a thin line between treating yourself and going overboard, but it is possible to reward yourself with the foods you love without leading to weight gain.
If you have a cheat day for every day of eating healthy, for example, you’re not going to get anywhere fast. But a cheat day every week – a planned lapse with self-control – can help you stick to your health and fitness goals in the long run.
Everything is about balance and moderation – not deprivation. Strict dieting simply isn’t sustainable, so we’ve shared some secrets on how to splurge but stay sleek:
Allow yourself two treats a week that really get your mouth watering. Whether it’s a scoop of your favourite ice cream or a hotdog slathered in fried onions, the key is to really focus on the quality of the food. Think about how it smells; how it tastes on your lips and tongue; how it feels as you swallow. Eat about 300 calories worth of the treat – if you’re truly mindful you’ll appreciate every bite and won’t be tempted to binge.
Get thorough rest
We crave calorific snacks when we haven’t had enough sleep, which is why getting a good night’s rest is one of the most crucial (and overlooked) factors when it comes to getting in shape. To create a healthy sleeping pattern, put any electronic devices away at least half an hour before bed and try to doze off at the same time every night.
Plenty of people work out simply so they can eat more of the foods they love without putting on weight. While torching calories definitely helps, make sure you don’t shovel down the ‘cheat’ foods straight after a sweat session. Post-workout, you want to replenish your body – repairing muscle tissues and getting your glycogen stores back up. To do this, snack smart: protein shakes, peanut butter and banana on rice cakes, lean turkey with sliced apple. If you refuel the right way, you won’t get the urge to binge later.
Don’t give up
You’re invited to a party. You have a few glasses of wine, fill up on the buffet, then get home and demolish a pizza. Nights like these will happen, but it doesn’t mean you have to get discouraged and eat junk food again the next day because you’ve “already failed”. You haven’t fallen off the wagon, you’ve just had an unplanned cheat night – so don’t plan another in for the rest of the week. And definitely don’t let a mistake defeat you and go back to old ways.
Make your favourite foods healthy
Love pizza? Make your own using cauliflower for the crust and cut the calories in half. Obsessed with brownies? Try a healthy dessert recipe that uses vegetables, maple syrup and cacao powder instead of a million artificial flavourings and mountains of sugar. There are countless ways to make foods you love healthier, by sneaking in fruit and vegetables or using sweeteners free from refined sugar.
Make downtime a specific goal and prioritise it by scheduling it into your day. It could be as simple as setting aside 5 minutes to do nothing after work. The same applies for date night or planned activities for exercise and play. Perhaps you can set a goal of achieving 3-5 relaxation activities during the work week and build them into your calendar.
No matter how you choose to unwind, it will be difficult to do if you are still thinking about work even when you’re out of the office. The first thing you should do as you step out of the office is to turn your work phone off. Avoid bringing work home with you. You deserve to save some time for yourself and your family after putting in most of your energy for the day into the office.
3. TAKE A WARM SHOWER OR BATH
The best way to leave work behind you is to wash away the tension from your body. Water has a calming effect on the mind and soul. Try a nice hot shower to help your muscles relax followed by a cool splash of cold water to energise the cells in your body. If you have a bath tub, light some aromatic candles and soak your body with some Epsom salts. Don’t forget to moisturise after a long soak!
4. UNWIND WITH EXERCISE
Work off the stress – literally. Exercise releases endorphins. You can’t argue with the science. Aside from that, regular physical exercise will help you feel happier and more energetic in the long run. Team sports have a great social element to them, but if you prefer to exercise alone, a good playlist can be just as good!
5. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE
A change of scenery after being cooped up indoors all day will help you relax. In fine weather, try seeking out nature – you don’t even have to go farther than your garden. Breathing in some fresh air and looking around the greenery can let your mind wander away from the office.
6. RELAX WITH MUSIC
Seek some peace and quiet with some soothing tunes. The music you listen to influence your mood substantially. To promote calm, avoid fast and loud genres of music as it may only aggravate you and give you a headache. Slower music that you can close your eyes and breathe along with, will help to reduce your heartrate.
7. READ A BOOK
Sometimes the best way to escape the chaos of the day-to-day is to slip into another one. Research suggest that the part of our brain that feels empathy gets a great workout when we read fiction, for example. So, try reading about a powerful character, or a positive situation. If you are not an avid reader, you can opt for an episode or two of TV series you like.
8. HAVE COMPANY
Some of you prefer to be alone at home after a long day. Solitude and silence can be the ultimate way to relax. For others, there is nothing more diverting than enjoying the company of your loved ones. Whether they provide a distraction or they help you to ‘hug it out’ shifting your focus with the help of a friend or loved one, can really help to reduce stress.
You don’t have to sit in a lotus flower pose and chant “ohm” to meditate. Some people find formal meditation a great way to channel their energy from stress to positivity and calm – others find a comfortable chair and a heated eye mask more beneficial. If you’re keen to try meditation, try searching free podcasts. There are plenty out there.
10. SLEEP TIGHT
There’s no better way to restore energy than getting a good night’s sleep. This can be challenging for many of us. To set yourself up for success, prepare early. Ensure that your bedroom is a place for sleep only by removing distractions that prevent you from sleeping. Once you’re in bed, you are there to sleep. Avoid checking your phone and power down your electronics at least half an hour before going to bed.
I think of all the stereotypes and the critical things people have to say about millennials. I think of the way we are mocked for our participation awards, our inspirational quotes and our obsession with documenting our lives online.
But what they often fail to mention are the pressures millennials face in this modern world.
The massive amounts of debt we incur through student loans, the impossible search for a stable job, the completely unrealistic housing prices and the constant inferiority we feel because of the highlight reel we see from our peers online.
This world squeezes us from every side. It crushes us beneath its weight. It tramples on our dreams and takes delight in leaving us feeling like a failure.
It can be hard to keep your head up against those pounding waves.
It can be a challenge to step into anything new, bold or daring when the way before you is paved with potential failure and an onslaught of “I told you so’s.“
I have struggled with self-love for as long as I can remember…
I have fallen into the trap of trying to be like everyone else many times.
I’ve berated myself for my differences and done everything I can to change them. To smother my uniqueness. To stifle my individuality.
However, I have come to realise that my greatest successes always come when I am being my authentic self. But it takes so much courage to live that way. To be unashamed of ourselves and to live without putting up walls that keep people out.
That kind of vulnerability requires incredible inner strength and an abundance of self love.
We have to recognise that in order to thrive in this world we need unshakable confidence in ourselves.
We have to believe in ourselves because we might just be the only one that does.
When you treat yourself with gentleness and compassion you create a safe environment where you have room to be vulnerable, to make mistakes, to try without fear of failing.
That’s what is so great about self love affirmations. They are more tangible. We can say them out aloud, write them down, hang them on our walls.
We can thread them through our lives so that they become part of our vocabulary. A familiar, friendly voice of encouragement.
They can change the way we think and talk about ourselves.
For many people, self-love can seem trivial. A luxury. An indulgence. But I believe that self-love is a necessity. Not a after thought or an add-on, but the one of the things we need most of all.
Self-love is important because it is our foundation
It is the place where we build all our beliefs about ourselves from. It is the difference between having the confidence to say YES or giving into fear and saying NO.
So here are some words of encouragement for you today and every day. For the bad days and the good. Words for you to speak over yourself and let sink deep down into your heart.
May they become part of your vocabulary, the new way you think and feel about yourself.
My dear millennial friends, this is your participation trophy, your pat on the back, your gentle reminder that you are doing a good job. I hope these self love affirmations will give you the confidence you need to face the world.
Beyond not feeling well, taking a sick day can cause stress from feeling idle or unproductive. However, it is extremely productive for your health and the health of those around you.
Sometimes you have no choice but to allow yourself to take a pause, rest and heal. The best thing to do is ensure you get the most out of your day of rest to get back to your day to day routine.
Don’t know how to properly disinfect? What to eat? How much to rest? We’ve got everything you need to know.
Here is our complete guide for a restorative sick day.
How to Disinfect When You’re Sick
It is important to properly and thoroughly disinfect your home when you are under the weather. It is ideal to have a clean space to help you fight off your sickness and feel better.
Additionally, when living with roommates or your family, you want to minimize the risk of passing on what you have as much as possible. Therefore we have included our tips for disinfecting and keeping things clean.
What Cleaning Products to Use for Disinfecting
There is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. While soap and warm water are great for regular cleaning, they sometimes miss the mark for thorough disinfecting.
To ensure that your disinfecting measures are truly successful, it is important to know what cleaning products eliminate germs. Be sure to read the labels and follow the directions on the product.
Look for products to add to your cleaning routine that are “disinfectants” specially formulated to kill germs and bacteria. The goal is to not only sanitize and kill 99.9% of bacteria, but viruses as well.
Where to Disinfect
The idea of attempting to disinfect your entire home is daunting and might be unachievable when you’re not feeling well.
Here’s a quick list of the main spots to wipe down:
- Handles and corresponding surfaces you touch daily such as doorknobs, cabinets, and sinks
- Kitchen appliances (refrigerator, microwave, countertop, dishwasher, etc.)
- Light switches
- Bedroom furniture
- Dining table and coffee table
- Bathroom, especially the counters and outside of drawers
- Car door and steering wheel, if needed.
A simple rule of thumb you can follow is: if it’s part of your daily routine, clean it.
How Often to Disinfect When You’re Sick
The next question you may be asking is how often you should be disinfecting all these items and places in your home.
While the true answer is as often as you use them, the more realistic answer is as often as you can. If you are able to disinfect twice on a sick day, then that is a success.
As it is, you are taking a sick day because you are not well enough to work, so don’t wear yourself out further by attempting to clean your whole house.
One place we do recommend disinfecting regularly is where you eat and prepare food.
How to Properly Rest and Relax When You’re Sick
Along with disinfecting, properly resting and allowing your body to heal is extremely important. You want to ensure you are making the most out of your recovery time. This way you don’t have to take more off or risk still being sick when returning to work.
When you’re perfectly healthy, it is ideal to shoot for six to eight hours of sleep every night. However, when you’re sick, your body needs as much sleep as possible to regain its strength.
Listen to your body throughout the day. Taking naps is perfectly normal when your sick and highly encouraged, especially if you feel exhausted by the early afternoon.
To ensure restful sleep, there are a few things you can do before bed:
- Put down your phone, close your computer, and turn off your tv two hours before going to sleep
- Drink a cup of hot herbal tea
- Avoid caffeine
- Turn on a humidifier, if you have one
- Eat a healthy dinner early in the evening, avoid large meals close to bed
No Strenuous Activities
Your sick day is not the time to get a good workout in.
Additionally, don’t use this break from work to take on any big tasks in your home such as reorganizing a room or clearing the garage.
Getting fresh air and going for a light walk could be beneficial, depending on your illness, but overexerting your body can prolong your recovery and might cause symptoms to worsen.
What to Eat When You’re Sick
Along with adequate sleep, you need to consume healthy meals.
What you fuel your body with during a sick day is of the utmost importance. Focus on consuming food that will boost your immune system and help you regain your strength.
Check out our blog on immune boosting foods for more ideas.
- Leafy greens and vegetables
- Sweet potatoes
- Honey and ginger
- Broth-based soup
To emphasize the last point in our list, fluids are by far the most important thing to have throughout your sick day. Along with water and lots of electrolytes, try hot herbal tea with honey or ginger.
Listen to Your Body
Ultimately, taking time to recover when you are sick is important for your health, as well as the health of those around you. Listen to your body and seek medical attention when needed. If you have any concerns regarding your symptoms or being to feel worse, visit your doctor or local ER Near Me for evaluation.
Whether you’re at school, college or work, life can be really busy. When we’re busy, it can be difficult to find time to rest and take the time we need to look after ourselves. But, it’s really important for our mental health that we take time out.
Why is taking time out important?
Taking time out to rest and relax not only helps our bodies to have a break, but it is also important for our mental health. It can help you:
- calm your thoughts down if you have had a busy day or you have a lot going through your mind
- reflect on your day and how it made you feel
- give you time to process your thoughts
- switch off from your work or studies
- have time to do activities that you enjoy, like reading, writing or going for a walk
- feel refreshed from work, studying, or revising and more focussed when you start these tasks again
Taking time out to focus on yourself can help you to feel calm and in control. Whether it’s doing a hobby that you enjoy, going for a walk or doing some deep breathing, doing something for yourself can help you look after your mental health.
Text on a white background which reads: you can do anything but you don’t have to do everything! The text ‘anything’ is yellow and in 3D. The word ‘but’ has two red arrows on either side of the word pointing towards it. The word ‘everything’ is turquoise and in 3D.
Life can get busy
When our lives gets busy, it can feel like you are going from one thing to the next without having any time for yourself. It can build up and you may not always realise how busy you are. You might start to feel:
- no longer in control of what is happening around you
- panicky when a friend asks you about hanging out or you are given more work to do
If you are feeling this way, you are not alone and there are things you can do to feel better.
Tips to help you take time out
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If you are struggling to take time out to look after your mental health, or you’re not sure where to start, take a look at our tips below.
Pause – try to make time during the day to take breaks. It can help if you plan ahead when that will be, especially if you are revising or doing school or uni work for long periods of time. You can write down a schedule for the day to help you remember to take breaks and when your breaks are. Pausing throughout the day can prevent stress from building up. Here are some ways you can pause:
- Set a timer on your phone. When it goes off, stop what you are doing if you are able to, move your body position by stretching, or letting your shoulders drop.
- Use a self-soothe box. A self-soothe box contains things that ground you and make you feel more relaxed. It can have some of your favourite things in to focus your mind on and away from your work.
- Leave time in between tasks to stop, gather your thoughts, and have some moments of quiet before moving onto something else.
- Get a drink or snack. Going to get a cup of tea or a biscuit will give you a moment to walk away from your work, pause and give you something else to focus on.
- Listen to some of your favourite music or a podcast. It can help pause your thoughts from what you are working on. Focussing on the beats of the music or the conversation can make you feel calm and help you switch off from the task you are doing.
A yellow post-it note sits on top of a white brick wall. The text on the post-it note reads: Make a self-care habit. The words ‘self-care’ is in a banner scroll and the word ‘habit’ is underlined.
Take deep breaths – taking deep breaths after a stressful situation and concentrating on your breathing can have a calming effect and help you relax.
- Close your eyes.
- Take deep breaths in and out.
- Think of your favourite place.
- Focus on the place and picture yourself there.
- What can you see? What can you smell? What can you feel?
Imagining being in your favourite place can take you away from your current stressful situation and help you relax and calm down.
Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. It can help you change the way you approach challenges and see them from a different point of view. Find out more and how you can practise mindfulness from our blog ‘How I practice mindfulness to improve my mental health’.
Taking time away from screens – sometimes, it can be hard to switch off when you get a lot of notifications, messages and alerts on your phone. When you are taking time out, try to relax by reading a book, writing in your journal or listening to music. For more ways to look after your mental health while on social media, take a look at our tips and advice.
Find a hobby – a hobby away from school or work can help you switch off and take time to do something you enjoy. It can be anything, but common hobbies include running, reading, drawing and writing.
Go for a walk – going for a walk during your lunchtime at work, or after school, can help you to take a break and find time to reflect on how you are feeling.
Meet a friend – spending time with a friend can help you take your mind off whatever is making you feel stressed. Whether that’s just sending a text, going for a walk together or having a phone call, chatting to someone you trust and talking things over can help you wind down.
If you are finding things overwhelming and you are struggling to cope, talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling. You deserve the support you need.
Wouldn’t it be great if life were just one long, blissful expanse of time, free of worries and anxieties? Unfortunately, for one reason or another, we all experience stress from time to time — and when you’re in a relationship, it’s not just your own stress you have to cope with. Being a good partner means finding ways to help your partner deal with stress, too, because healthy relationships are all about mutual support.
"When we are in committed relationships, we tend to feed off one another’s energy," Edie Stark, MSc, LCSW, a San Diego-based Psychotherapist, tells Bustle. "Learning what makes your partner tick and exploring ways to help ease [their stress] are. important part[s] of building a successful relationship. It is also important to note that while we can be supportive of our partners, it is not our job to take on their stresses and then fix them. We need to learn how to manage our own stressors and coping skills that help ourselves."
In a relationship, it’s both unhealthy and unrealistic for one partner to expect the other to "fix" or get rid of their stress, which is why learning how to deal with stress on your own is so important. But even though it’s never your responsibility to help your partner overcome their stress, you still can (and should!) be a pillar of support for your partner to lean on when times are tough. Here are nine simple ways to ease your partner’s stress when they’ve had a rough day, according to experts.
Plan Something Relaxing For Them
According to Rebekah Montgomery, Ph.D., a Psychologist and Relationship Expert, planning a special, relaxing event — like a nice dinner, trip to the spa, weekend getaway, or just a quiet night in — for your partner when they’re stressed is the perfect way to show them you care.
"This shows thoughtfulness and support and will help your partner get a break from all that’s going on," Montgomery tells Bustle. "Self care in this way is invaluable when you’re stressed!"
Let Them Vent
Sometimes, all someone needs in order to de-stress is a good venting session — so practice your active listening skills, and then the next time your partner is stressed, offer to lend an empathetic ear.
"Ask questions [and] talk it through; providing emotional and verbal support goes a long way, particularly when a situation isn’t quickly fixable," Montgomery says.
Cook Their Favorite Meal
If you ask me, there’s no problem that a good meal can’t fix. When your partner has a stressful day, offering to either cook or order their favorite comfort food is a small gesture that doesn’t take much effort on your part, but will nevertheless go a long way.
"Not only will you take cooking dinner (or whichever meal) off your partner’s to-do list, but also the gesture shows that you care and want [them] to feel better," Justin Lavelle, dating expert and Chief Communications Officer of online background check platform BeenVerified, tells Bustle. "Consider watching a movie while you eat to help distract your partner from his or her worries. A glass of wine may also help both of you relax."
Indulge In Their Hobbies
Another great way to relieve stress? Distracting ourselves by doing something that brings us joy. When you can sense that your partner is stressed, suggest that you both do an activity that they love to do — even if you’re not necessarily into it yourself.
"Whatever your partner’s interests or hobbies are, spend some time doing something he or she finds pleasure in," Lavelle says. "You will, no doubt, speed up the road to recovery and make your partner’s day."
Go For A Walk Together
Helping your partner de-stress doesn’t have to be a big production; in fact, it can be as simple as taking a romantic, relaxing stroll outside.
"Exercise is a natural stress reliever," Lavelle says. "In fact, studies have shown that going for a 10 minute walk a day can reduce many ailments: depression, anxiety, anger, etc. The release of endorphins will lower stress-producing hormones and boost self-esteem and happiness."
Give Them Some Space
Sometimes, the best thing you can do to help your partner feel less stressed is. absolutely nothing at all. According to Stark, giving your partner space when they get home from a hectic day and letting them unwind alone can work wonders.
"Sometimes someone who is very stressed feels more stressed about how they may be negatively impacting their loved one," Stark says. "Letting them know you love them, and understand they may need some time to reset can be very helpful."
Watch A Funny TV Show With Them
As if you needed another excuse to fire up the old Netflix account, according to Chelsea Hudson, LCPC, Licensed Therapist and Founder of Cityscape Counseling, watching your partner’s fave funny TV show with them can actually help ease their stress.
"This will serve as a distraction technique to free their thinking temporarily from their stress-inducing situation," Hudson tells Bustle. "Laughing also releases endorphins which can help with stress reduction."
Offer To Give Them A Massage
There’s nothing more relaxing than getting a soothing, intimate massage — and offering to massage your partner is an especially romantic gesture on days when their stress levels are higher than usual.
"Give them a massage with some essential oils whilst playing relaxing music," Hudson says. "This use of physical touch coupled with calming music is known as self-soothing, an act that signals to the brain that you are safe and commands the relaxation nervous system to be activated."
Do Their Share Of The Chores
When you’re overwhelmed and stressed out, the last thing you want to do is think about all the chores you have to knock off your to-do list. At times when your partner is the one who’s stressed, offering to help out with their chores or errands is a small act that will really show you care.
"Take over some household chores or volunteer to run errands for them until their stress subsides," Hudson says. "Reducing demands on your partner can lower their overall stress."
We all handle stress in our own unique way, and part of being a supportive partner is figuring out how your partner likes to deal with stress — and then helping them cope in whichever way works best for them. Even though you might wish it were possible to magically melt away your partner’s stress, simply being there to support and listen to them during difficult times will be more than enough to show your love.
You can spend a whole day trying to get one job done. Just as you start something, your baby wakes up, a nappy needs changing, or they need a bit of attention.
Sometimes you can feel as though life is completely out of control. This can make you feel very tense and frustrated.
Worry and unhappiness can also cause stress. Maybe you’re worried about where you’re living, money or relationships.
Or perhaps you’re worried about a lot of small things that nevertheless make a big difference to your life. You may not be able to do anything about some of these things, but there are ways you can deal with the stress.
Some of the following suggestions may help:
- Unwind. Spend half an hour each evening doing something you enjoy. This helps you put other things out of your mind and relax. Have a bath, read a magazine, watch TV or do whatever else helps you unwind. Borrow a book about relaxation from the library. Ignore any housework – it can wait. Make some time for yourself.
- Seeing other people can help relieve stress. Your health visitor or other parents may be able to recommend local groups for you and your baby. If you’re not keen on organised groups, get together with people you meet at the clinic, playgroup or nursery school.
- Make time for your partner, if you have one. Relationships can suffer when you’re tense, tired and don’t spend much time together. Make time to be with your partner, even if all you manage to do is fall asleep together in front of the TV.
- Express yourself. Talking about how you’re feeling can help, at least for a while. You and your partner need to understand how each other is feeling and work out how you can support each other. Sometimes it’s better to talk to someone outside the family.
- Accept help. Make the most of all the help you can get. You can’t do everything yourself.
- Relax – being a parent is the one thing that nobody is perfect at.
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Page last reviewed: 20 October 2021
Next review due: 20 October 2024
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