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As posted on 5 simple ways to destress after a long day

Stress is an inevitable part of life. Today’s busy schedules, always-on working environment, and the pressures we face both at work and at home can keep us from taking time out for ourselves — too often things we need to do outweigh the things we really want to do.

Sometimes micro-stresses, little hassles and the barriers we face each day can lead to “one of those days” where the world seems not quite on your side. How do you actually manage to switch off and not let the stress of the everyday invade your personal life?

Taking care of yourself should come before replying to that late-night email, and there are a range of steps you can take to lift some of that weight off your shoulders at the end of a rough day. Here’s a selection:

1. Unplug

We’re constantly connected to life’s little hassles, thanks to the devices we carry around all day, every day. While smart tech has done a multitude of good in our world, it can also be one of the major aggressors in our lives — being unable to physically switch off from our work and social commitments makes us more likely to carry the stress of both environments through to our downtime.

Log out of your emails. Turn your phone off, or at least detach yourself from it for a couple of hours. Give yourself time in the real world with just your own company, without the constant online conversation buzzing in the background.

2. Unwind

Mental wellness is slowly becoming a big part of the national conversation, and rightly so. Relieving some of the pressure on your mind may seem like an impossible task, but there’s ways you can give yourself a break.

Meditation is a tried and tested way to reduce stress, manage feelings of anxiety and help you get off to sleep easier on an evening. Much like a good workout is therapy for the body, taking time out to meditate is the workout your mind needs.

If you’re new to meditation, why not try out one of the many Meditation Apps (many of which have trial or free access) which provide short 10-minute meditation sessions that you can easily squeeze in on your downtime.

3. Find your rhythm

Listening to music can be a great source of comfort after a long day. Be it some feel-good ‘80s pop, your favourite rock anthem or Mozart’s third symphony, you know just what sound will take your mind off the stresses of the day.

In partnership with NESTEA, Natasha Bedingfield has released Let Go, the anthem to your stress-free summer. Looking for an inspirational piece that gets to the root of life’s everyday stresses and helps you cast them out? Stick on this jam.

4. Exercise

The stress-relieving benefits of exercise are well documented – there’s a reason working out is called “blowing off steam”. The endorphins produced when you exercise act as natural painkillers for both body and mind, allowing you to feel happier, calmer, and more able to tackle anything.

You don’t need to hit the gym religiously every day. Incorporating small amounts of exercise and activity into your lifestyle will gradually help ease your stress levels — taking a walk after a long, difficult day can really help clear the cobwebs.

5. Learn a craft

Art therapy is a creative way to channel concentration and take your mind off the minor stresses of the day, so it’s time to pick up your knitting needles, or get started on that scrap book you’ve been talking about for ages.

The feeling of working on a project in your spare time allows you to channel your creativity in a positive way outside of the ways you channel it in your day-to-day.  

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