4 Activities to Help You De-Stress and Relax

Woman sitting at the beach.
Credit: Simon Rae / Unsplash

We’ve all been there. The stress-induced headaches, the exhaustion that never seems to end, the restless nights…If there’s one thing the pandemic has shown us, it’s that self-care is integral to our well-being. With the pandemic coming to an end, most of us are wondering if we’ll be able to take care of ourselves again once things get hectic. With responsibilities piling up and constantly feeling busy, a work-life balance might get harder to manage. Fortunately, we’ve got some tips for you. Here are 4 easy activities to help you de-stress as life gets busy again.

1. Go Out for Walks

Person walking in forest
Credit: Emma Simpson / Unsplash

Consider taking a walk to de-stress and feel more relaxed. Don’t worry—you don’t need to take out your walking gear and physically exert yourself. Just walking at a regular pace can boost endorphins and reduce stress hormones, and ultimately promote relaxation. Try to walk through a green space and appreciate the nature that surrounds you. Doing so can shift your mind into a calmer state. As you walk, try to hold room for reflection while quieting your thoughts. Feel your body move and focus on your breathing. By stepping away from the office, or from responsibilities at home, you can step away from the stress that overwhelms your body.

2. Write in a Journal

Woman writing in her bed.
Credit: Ava Sol / Unsplash

We have thousands of thoughts every single day—and while most are not significant enough to remember, other thoughts may stick around and cause stress and negativity. A great way to relieve the stress from your mind is to write it down on a piece of paper. Write about whatever is bothering you—whether it’s an interaction at work or a problem you can’t seem to solve. Try your hand at writing stream-of-consciousness style. Forget about formulating proper thoughts or sentences—instead, just write as you think. This is a great way to unpack your mind and gain inner reflection and awareness about feelings you may be carrying.

By writing in a journal, you’re exploring your thoughts in a safe and productive way. Try to end the journal entry with positivity, with a few words about potential solutions, things you appreciate, or good things about your day.

3. Unplug from Social Media & Technology

People using technology
Credit: Marvin Meyer / Unsplash

Consider taking a break from social media and technology. Even if you don’t want to disconnect entirely (let’s face it—who can give up Netflix?), distance may prove to be a good thing. By unplugging yourself from distractions, you can spend your energy on things that matter, like spending time with friends and family, spending time alone, and unwinding completely (that means not checking your phone for work emails). As we get stressed and our days begin to blend together, unplugging from technology can improve our quality of life and help us feel more present during the day.

4. Try Meditating

Woman meditating.
Credit: Jared Rice / Unsplash

Practice meditating at home, on the bus, or even at work. It’s simple and inexpensive—and definitely effective. Meditating can induce a deep state of relaxation as you focus your attention and get rid of negative thoughts that may be lingering in your mind. It enhances well-being as you learn how to manage stress, increase self-awareness, gain new perspectives, and focus on the present moment.

While there are different forms of meditation, you can begin by listening to YouTube videos about guided meditation, where a teacher uses sounds, smells, and textures to lead you. You can also try mantra meditation, where you repeat a word or phrase in a calm manner to prevent intrusions and distractions. Or try your hand at mindfulness meditation by letting go of thoughts without judgement and focusing on the present moment through breathing.

We know the life that awaits us post-pandemic may include more stress and less time to relax. But thankfully, there are solutions that you can implement into your daily routine for an overall improved quality of life. What are some of your go-to ways of de-stressing? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by Sania Malik

Sania is passionate about all things social justice, sushi, and self-care. With a background in journalism and human rights studies from Concordia University, Sania is interested in learning about systemic inequalities and the law. When she isn’t reading a thriller novel or trying her hand at creative writing, you can find her at a kickboxing gym or a coffee shop in Montréal, pretending to enjoy a bitter Americano when all she truly wants is an overly sweet Frappuccino.

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