Stress is a normal response to what is happening to us and around us, as defined in psychology. It can bring positive effects. For instance, you have an endless list of tasks to finish for the day. Your stress can prompt you to be productive because you get the motivation to complete your tasks.
However, stress can negatively affect your well-being when not managed properly. Experiencing heavy stress during the day can influence the quality of sleep you get at night. In the same manner, not getting adequate sleep at night affects how you function during the day. It is because your stress level and sleeping problem are interconnected.
On a brighter note, managing stress doesn’t require expensive therapy. Here, we at Community Mental Health (CMH) recommend activities you can do to calm down after an exhausting day.
- Take a warm bath or shower.
Physical signs of stress include back pains and muscle aches. Taking a hot bath or shower can relieve the tension in your muscles, causing you to feel a bit more relaxed after. This helps you fall asleep easily.
- Eat a light meal.
Many people resort to eating when they are stressed out. It is fine, as eating your favorite foods can lift your mood. But binge eating at night can lead to an upset stomach. This can only add up to your stress. So, eat a light yet delicious meal instead.
- Watch your favorite show or read a book.
When you come home after a long day, it can’t be helped to think about your unfinished and pending tasks. You’ll end up dreading coming to work the next day, adding up to the stress you are feeling. Watching your favorite show or reading a book with a light storyline can help ease the anxiety you’re experiencing. Stories are healthy distractions to divert your thoughts and improve your mood.
- Write a journal.
Writing down your thoughts is another alternative for expressing yourself. Empirical studies have proved that journaling can result in positive mental health. Writing about your day, whether about the events that have stressed you or the good things that have happened, can reduce stress.
These are just examples of routines you can do. Some may not work for you. We suggest trying different activities to find a routine that fits your lifestyle.