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Revive and Thrive: A Post-Workday Relaxation Guide


Unwinding after a long, challenging day can feel cumbersome, especially if all you want to do is morph into a couch potato, sink into the cushions, and get lost in a television show until it is time for bed. Using adaptive coping skills to manage daily challenges is essential for maintaining your mental and emotional well-being. Here are some effective, and intentional, ways to relax and unwind.


Creative Expression

Engaging in creative activities can be a therapeutic outlet for processing emotions and stress. It allows for self-expression and diversion from daily worries. Painting, drawing, and crafting can be used to help process difficult experiences by re-writing/drawing/painting your experiences in a way that is adaptive and balanced. Preparing a meal or baking can also be a form of creative expression, and the focus required in the kitchen can take your mind off stress. You are also rewarded with a delicious meal that you can enjoy mindfully, or share with others to foster.


Grounding

Grounding techniques (e.g., progressive muscle relaxation, holding/manipulating a frozen orange) can help stabilize your nervous system, improve blood flow, and reduce stress. Taking 10 minutes to yourself when you first get home, especially if you live in a busy household, to engage with grounding techniques can help you decompress after a long, difficult day.


Journaling

Writing down your thoughts, emotions, and experiences can be therapeutic, especially if you do not have someone immediately available to socialize with. Journaling helps you process and make sense of your day, identify sources of stress, find solutions, and simply get your worries out of your head. This can lead to a greater sense of control and relief.


Exercise

Physical activity releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Exercise can also help you clear your mind, boost energy, and reduce tension. Exercise can include low- to moderate-intensity activities, like a brisk walk or yoga, or higher intensity activities, like high intensity interval training (HIIT).


Socializing

Spending time with friends, family, and loved ones can provide emotional support, physical and emotional closeness, a sense of belonging, and a sense of community. Spending time with loved ones can also provide laughter, which are all great stress relievers. Sharing your challenges and feelings with someone you trust can also help you to better process your challenging experiences, receive new and differing perspectives, and engage in problem-solving efforts.


These activities can help you to intentionally and purposefully unwind after a long, difficult day by stabilizing your nervous system, reducing stress hormones, improving blood flow, promoting relaxation, and providing a mental break from the challenges and pressures you face. Finding what works best for you may involve some trial and error, but incorporating a mix of these techniques into your routine may lead to a healthier work-life balance, and improved well-being.


At Allen Psychotherapy Services, LLC I offer HIPAA compliant telehealth services focused on the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and related disorders, Anxiety, Phobias, Depression, and other mental health concerns for children and adults. For more information, please contact me today at DrAllen@drbriannaallen.com or at (561) 299-1447 for a FREE 30-minute consultation!


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Sources:

  1. Menigoz, W., Latz, T. T., Ely, R. A., Kamei, C., Melvin, G., & Sinatra, D. (2020). Integrative and lifestyle medicine strategies should include Earthing (grounding): Review of research evidence and clinical observations. Explore, 16(3), 152-160.

  2. Morgan, A. J., Parker, A. G., Alvarez-Jimenez, M., & Jorm, A. F. (2013). Exercise and mental health: an exercise and sports science Australia commissioned review. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, 16(4).


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