This is a guest post by Vishen Lakhiani.
We’ve all been there. Days at work that feel like they just won’t end. You spilled yogurt on your favorite shirt. You got reamed out by a client. And your boss has approached you for the seventh time to correct something you fixed last week.
Most days when we leave work, we’re not in the throes of an existential crisis (hopefully!). But every so often, we have a day that’s so bad, it makes us question not only what the heck we’re doing with our lives but why the universe at large is conspiring against us.
And let’s be honest: most of our methods for coping with work stress aren’t the greatest.
Yes, scarfing down a Cinnabon may taste divine, but you’re probably going to feel unhappy about it later in the evening once you descend from your sugar intoxication. And snapping at your partner because they didn’t line up the TV remotes isn’t a valid excuse for all that yelling.
So, the next time you have an awful day at work, maybe try one of these strategies for blowing off steam instead:
1. Hit A Yoga Class
Granted, contorting your body into strange and challenging positions for an hour might not sound like much of a treat after a bad work day, but trust us – this one is tried and true.
Yoga is a great way to unwind. It’s a form of exercise that’ll elevate your endorphins, but that also places emphasis on reconnecting to the mind. It’s by far one of the most efficient ways to channel all that accumulated stress out of your body.
And hey, if you’re too pent up and yoga just isn’t going to cut it? Try a kickboxing class instead. Kickboxing will have you sweating out that frustration out in no time.
2. Find A Park
Or – anything green, really. If it’s got trees and grass, then you’re good to go. Could be as simple as setting out a chair in your own backyard.
We recharge when we’re immersed in nature. Ideally, going for a hike would be your best bet, but not everyone has access to hiking trails where they live, so a local park can also do the trick. Enjoy the weather (yes, even if it’s raining), breathe some fresh air, give your eyes a rest from all those screens and just focus on the raw, unfiltered sights around you.
Take a solo stroll or find a friend, but either way, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by wandering around a park for a little while.
3. Order Take Out
Okay, to be clear: take out does not mean Cinnabon. Cinnabon is not a meal, so you should quit while you’re ahead.
But why not grab some sushi? Or some Thai food? Maybe all you want is a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Whatever it is that will help make your life a little easier – do that.
You’ve likely got enough on your plate when you get home from work without having to fuss over making dinner. Call it in, and that’s one less item on your to-do list.
4. Take A Power Nap
If you’re thinking you can’t take a nap at 6pm, boy do you have another thing coming. You can, and you absolutely should.
Short naps can give you the recharge you need to power through the rest of your night. It’s superior to downing a cup of coffee and you won’t have to worry about late night caffeine jitters.
Ideally, experts suggest you nap for about 15-20 minutes (yes, that’s really all it takes!). You’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle those after work obligations, no problem.
5. Try A Guided Meditation
Meditation is a great way to decompress, and there are so many ways to practice this ancient technique that you can always find a way to make it work for you.
Fit your practice to your needs and your schedule. Only have 10 minutes to spare as you take the train to your carpool lot? No problem. Practice some mindful breathing on the way and you’ve just fit some meditation in.
Or, if you’re looking for a real treat, why not try some guided meditation? Like a mini vacation for your mind, guided meditation often employs visualization techniques to help you relax, recharge, and reconnect with your inner creativity.
Meditation has been extensively studied, and the benefits are undeniable. If you want a quick, reliable way to destress after a hectic work day, then meditation is the way to go. You’ll banish cortisol (the stress hormone), reduce your blood pressure, lower internal inflammation, and feel great while you’re at it.
What are your go to methods for decompressing after work? Have you had success with any of the strategies listed above? Tell us what you think in the comments below!
Author Bio: Founded in 2003 by Vishen Lakhiani, Mindvalley Academy is an online school for all the things regular schooling forget to teach you. We bring you world-class courses from the world’s top personal growth authors to allow you to create remarkable transformations in all areas of your life. It isn’t just about having a good career – lead a life that is extraordinary in all dimensions of being human, and beyond. Learn more at Mindvalley Academy.