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  • Writer's pictureMimi Fayer, LMFT

5 ways to destress after a long work week

Updated: Dec 17, 2018

Before I started my own private practice, I used to have almost an hour of commute to work each way. I used to spend that time thinking about how stressful traffic is and how can this be helpful after a long, hard day at work? Let's not even talk about the days I was beyond busy. I can barely drive home without experiencing road rage almost every 10 minutes when someone will do something offensive to me like cutting me off. Multiply that day by 5 for a long work week, and well, you can guess how bad that was for my mental health.

That is the thing, a long work day or week can be quite difficult and stressful even for the job that you love. You may end that week feeling like you need a 2 weeks vacation yet you do not have the opportunity, the means, or enough vacation days to take that break. The thing is, we do not always have to take a long vacation or even a vacation to another city to feel better. The main thing you need to destress is time; the time to do something enjoyable for you. Most of the things you can try do not even require money! Here are some suggestions:

1. Take a bath

You may think this is silly, but everyone has to take a shower some time right? Why not change up the routine and switch to a bath? A shower is in and out and wastes no time, but a bath, well that usually takes some time to run the water, fill the tub, and you probably want to hang out in the water for a bit. That is exactly the point. You take the time to wind down, decompress, and be with yourself. Read a book while you're at it or simply turn on some music, light some candles. It does not have to take long, your bath can take a 10-15 minutes (most people spend more time on the phone than that), but I promise you, after you take that personal time to be with yourself, you'll feel rejuvenated.

2. Meditate

Meditation is a practice that you can develop as a part of your daily routine. It is another way to gain some time to yourself, have some peace and quiet, and be with just your thoughts. There is nothing to be gained or achieved because meditation is what you make of it. The main benefit is you get the time to be still and mindful to the most important person - yourself. Do this in the morning every day for 5-10 minutes, and your day will start off on a clear and positive note.

3. Exercise

Yes I know. Exercising is not everyone's cup of tea. But with today's choices of workout, you can definitely find something that excites you or at least get you interested. Like the other options, exercise gives you the opportunity to be with yourself and sometimes with others you want to spend the time with (talk about multi tasking!) all the while helping your body to get fit. There are many studies that show exercising help release endorphins which make you feel more positive. That's two bangs for your buck.

4. Take a walk

Walking allows you to be outside and see all the things in your surrounding that you may have not noticed before. It also gives you time away from the mundane things that you may do in your job such as working on a computer or from your phone. It allows you to experience nature for those that have natural surroundings in your neighborhood which gives a mental boost as well. A hike is amazing for this. And, just like the exercise, walking can help you get physically stronger while being emotionally recharged.

5. Have a staycation

A vacation does not always have to be in another city or country; your city can have things to offer that you have not done before. Travel to the parts you have not explored; go camping somewhere nearby. All you need sometimes is a change of scenery to make you feel fresh and ready to take on another work week that is coming. These impromptu staycations can surprise you with new experiences beyond expectations.

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