5 Healthy Ways to Relax and Destress After Work

Work stress

Are you looking for alternatives to hitting up happy hour with your co-workers? While it might seem like going out for some gossip and cocktails is relaxing, in actuality, substance abuse usually starts in such environments. It’s not only the influx of alcohol, but also the unhealthy eating habits. Most people don’t opt for a salad with dressing on the side when they’re at happy hour. They’re in a space where they’re encouraged to “treat themselves.” Add in the risks of drinking around co-workers and bosses, which include saying something you shouldn’t, and suddenly those happy hours are a recipe for disaster.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. If your work is the type that demands some socialization, limit yourself to one happy hour per month. It will keep you in the inner circle, but also give you permission to truly destress after work in a healthy manner. Here are a few ways to do just that:

  1. Seek out a pampering session that’s affordable and that you truly enjoy. Whether it’s a massage or a blowout, take a look at schools in your area that offer steep discounts. In many cases, practicing massage therapists and those in beauty school need to secure a certain amount of hours working with real clients in order to graduate. This is your opportunity to get pampered for a steal. Just make sure it’s a pampering that truly relaxes you. Just because you’re supposed to like getting a hot stone massage doesn’t mean this practice is truly your nirvana. Be honest with yourself.
  2. Grocery shop like a European. If one of your goals is to eat healthier, it might be worthwhile to consider a European way of shopping. Unlike the American tradition of one big shopping trip per week, a lot of Europeans stop by a grocer on their way home from work. They pick up fresh produce, loaves of bread, and consider a complete meal for the evening. Try to find smaller, local stores that aren’t packed full of people for a truly relaxing experience.
  3. Pick up a good book. You get bonus points if it’s a “real” book, as research shows people enjoy this experience more and actually retain more information. In an era where we’re all addicted to screens, it’s a great alternative for entertainment. Reading is part of mental health, and what you read can be a major driving force in your attitude. Book clubs, whether in person or online, are a great way to get introduced to new authors and also make friends with similar interests.
  4. Turn off all electronic devices at a certain hour. Do you find it challenging not to have a mobile device or television readily available from the moment you get home until you go to bed? That’s a sign of technology addiction. Choose a time after you get home to turn off all devices. Set your alarm for the morning and put your phone on airplane mode. Challenge yourself to ditch the technology addiction and focus on yourself.
  5. Develop a sleep hygiene regimen. Good sleep hygiene can include a number of practices, and that includes not looking at a screen at least two hours before bed. It can also include anything that relaxes you and tells your brain and body it’s time to start getting ready for sleep. Some people enjoy a hot bath, decaf tea, reading in bed, or some relaxing exercises (such as legs up the wall). It will take some trial and error to see what works for you. Aim for enough hours of sleep that you wake up naturally without the need of an alarm—that’s how many hours you uniquely need to feel rested.

We don’t have total control of how stressful our work environments are. There’s only so much we can do while at the office to counteract all of those stressors. However, when we’ve clocked out for the day, that’s the time to recharge and undo some of that negativity that naturally occurs at work. Take this time to prioritize yourself and your health. Whether it’s spending time with family or maximizing those hours for health and wellness, this is your special time. Too many people spend it running unnecessary errands or distracting themselves in a negative manner. Design your own after-work regimen, which can include anything from going to the gym to a distraction-free home cooked meal with friends.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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