TAKE A BREAK!: TIPS ON TAKING A MENTAL RESET AFTER A STRESSFUL DAY
March 3, 2022 Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Lifestyle, Self Esteem, Stress
After a stressful day it can be difficult to turn off our negative thoughts and feelings. It can be easy to bring stress home after a long day at work, an argument with a friend, or whatever it may be that brought you down. It is important to take care of yourself after a stressful day by checking in with yourself and allowing a mental reset. Taking a mental reset can help in better managing your stress and not allowing it to continue the remainder of the day into the next. The following are ten tips and strategies you can use to help unwind after a stressful day:
Write down your thoughts: Upon returning home after a stressful day, it can be easy to dwell on the negative thoughts and feelings that had been experienced. After walking in the door (or even before leaving your desk), it is good to write down your thoughts and experiences, this allows you to express the negative emotions but also to walk away from them. In the process take the time to reflect on things that you are grateful for, this can help to shift the focus from your stress to the things that bring joy to your life.
Spend time outside: Spending a few minutes outside in the fresh air can bring a nice mental reset. Taking a moment in the sunlight can give a boost to your vitamin D which is proven to boost your overall mood.
Focus on your breathing: Take time to bring awareness to your breath and follow a guided meditation. Bringing awareness to and controlling your breathing helps in calming your nervous system- when your nervous system feels reassured and calmed it helps to increase your overall mood. You can do this by practicing breathing exercises such as breathing in and out to the count of four or following a guided meditation. Guided meditations can be found on YouTube or you could download an app on your phone (some examples are: Headspace, Calm, The Mindfulness App).
Listen to music: Listening to your favorite playlist can help to distract your mind from the negative thoughts. You can listen to music if you have chores or responsibilities you need to conquer, this can make these tasks seem more manageable.
Read a book: Pick up a book or magazine that you find interesting and find a comfy, quiet space to read. This can help distract and shift your focus to something other than your stressful day.
Spend time with loved ones: Take time to talk to or spend time with those you love, whether it be a telephone call or in person. Spending time with and talking to those you feel supported by can help to process negative emotions and/or increase your overall mood.
Get creative: Now not everyone enjoys creative expression or finds themselves to be crafty but for those that do take time to channel your feelings in a creative way! Take time to engage in whatever creative activity you enjoy most- painting, drawing, coloring, knitting, etc.
Exercise: Exercising pumps your endorphins which assists in increasing your overall mood. There is not a set type of exercise recommended other than to get your body moving! Whether you enjoy intense cardio, weight lifting, stretching, yoga, or going on a nice, brisk walk. Bonus: incorporate exercise into your daily routine!
Watch TV or a movie: Take time to get cozy and indulge in your favorite movie or TV show.
Schedule a mental health day: If you find yourself facing increased stress on a frequent basis with difficulty in unwinding, take time to schedule a day off (if feasible) to have a full day reset. Take a day to unwind and engage in activities that bring joy to your life.
Need additional support on ensuring you take a mental reset when you need it? Click here.
REDUCE & PRODUCE: DEFUSING STRESS AND ANGER WHILE INCREASING POSITIVE THOUGHTS
April 15, 2021 Anger, Lifestyle, Stress
Anger can arise as we experience upsetting or strenuous events. Even though anger is an organic response, it can evoke adverse reactions and invoke harmful actions, compromising ourselves and others. In the face of anger or distress, we typically undergo heightened adrenaline responses, making it more difficult to calm down and regroup as we endure those pressing sensations. So what can you do to prevent eruption from these emotional disruptions? Here are a few options:
Deep Breathing: There are various breathing techniques that can assist you in reducing anger. They introduce calm and produce rational decision-making, helping to resolve intense and compounding situations. Practice breathing exercises for about five minutes daily so that you can draw on these skills when necessary. That’s the therapeutic dose you need! There are many different breathing exercises, the goal is to prioritize taking even breaths, exhaling for a few seconds longer than you inhale, and try to relax your body as you exhale. Need some additional support in developing some techniques? Yoga and mindfulness classes proffer additional support and provide a great way to develop these skills.
Physical Exercise: Increases in adrenaline often manifest in stress and anger. To reduce these increases produces calm, informed decisions, engaging in physical activities, like going for a walk or a run. Participating in more exercise proactively reduces the likelihood of exacerbating adrenaline releases upon stress.
Taking Space For Yourself: When feeling stressed or angry, prioritize space (e.g., your bedroom, walking outdoors), take a step back and give yourself a few moments of quiet; so that you can then seek solutions. As you take time away, consider the sources of your anger factoring into your stress and what resolutions might be applicable or solutions available to you.
Counting: By counting you give yourself time to cool down. Once you’ve calmed down you can think more clearly, and make an informed decision about how to respond to the situation exacerbating your anger.
There is no best way to manage and decrease anger. Try out these strategies to learn and discern what works best for you.
Need additional support developing new strategies to reduce anger? Click here.