We thank our guest Kurtis Wilcox for sharing these great tips with us.
Restoring energy inspires a more positive outlook on life, which is no fun for those who are over-worked and suffering from constant stress. This article will help provide easy, gentle, and effective ways to relax and recharge after work for better sleep, brighter mornings and a bigger smile.
Ending the day with an intense headache, stiff shoulders and busy mind have become the norm for many people with demanding jobs. Modern life puts an emphasis on productivity which has become synonymous with long hours and being on the go 24/7. The long-term effects of these stressful days can cause anything from insomnia to burn-out. Rest and being able to switch off are vital to wellbeing. Looking for ways to unwind properly after work can help in getting the balance back. Consider these!
Connect With Nature
The key to unwinding after a day of being plugged into emails, zoom calls and racing to meet deadlines is to ease into ‘non-work’ mode. Switching off can be challenging, with advances in technology making it harder to disconnect from devices and allowing time to just be. Nature pulls people back into the moment, activating more of a daydream state to connect with the bigger world.
The world outside Microsoft Windows is full of colour, beauty and possibility. Whether it’s a quick stroll around the park or putting a few houseplants around the house, being around nature after work brings a calmer mind and space to simply breathe.
Breathing techniques have long been praised by science for engaging the parasympathetic nervous system and dampening the production of stress hormones. There is nothing more powerful than nature to inspire slowing down the breath and activating the stress-busting magic of presence.
Enjoy a Scented Bath
Throughout the day the pressure of external expectations from meeting presentations, hitting sales targets and retaining information can initiate fight-or-flight mode. This is an automated response to stressful situations, leaving the mind constantly scanning for threats. Quite often this is a state many find themselves in long after clocking off, which can lead to problems sleeping as over thinking and preparing for battle the next day leads to nights of tossing and turning.
A long hot bath with scented oils can help calm the monkey mind and racing thoughts. Skin releases endorphins in a similar way to warm sunshine on a summer’s day, invigorating energy and soothing away stress and tension. A bedtime bath comes with sleep benefits too. The natural drop in temperature when getting out of the tub stimulates melatonin, preparing the body and mind to unwind for a restorative night’s rest.
Close Down the Screen
It is no secret our phones, laptops and myriad of electronic devices play a big role in modern life. While daily screen time helps us connect, learn and play with the world around us, too much of a good thing comes with side effects.
Exposure to blue light stimulates the part of the brain designed to be awake and alert, without a proper screen-break the mind is not having a chance to switch off, rest and recharge, which can lead to chronic insomnia and accumulated stress. More than two hours of screen time in the evening is enough to interfere with melatonin production which will interrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and lead to restless nights.
Constant lack of sleep leads to low mood, relying on sugar or caffeine to function and zaps joy from the day. The answer? Switching screen time for a good book and leaving phones out the bedroom are easy switches to allow your mind and body to unwind and get the quality sleep it needs for stress-free mornings.
Not taking steps to reduce stress can not only lead to a lack of vitality, it can cause mental and physical exhaustion over-time. Unwinding after work is just as important as showing up at the desk in the morning. Sufficient rest and better sleep are essential for a happy, healthy lifestyle and it starts with a few simple changes at home.
Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of Conscious Living by Design™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.
Bob provides bespoke counselling services to clients in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).