It is said if you don’t pick a day to relax, your body will pick it for you. And it might not come at a convenient time for you. With unending conversations about self-care on the rise, people are prioritising rest over the hustle culture and discovering their own methods of unwinding after a hard day of work.
Here are some of them
A tried and tested method to unwind is definitely a physical activity: be it hardcore exercise or even a sport. According to Harvard Health Publishing, during exercise, the brain releases endorphins, dopamine, and adrenaline, all brain chemicals associated with feeling happy and confident, ultimately reducing stress. Kolkata-based fitness coach and exercise nutritionist Asif Zaman, 27, points out that most scientific evidence suggests that exercise, particularly aerobic training, improves one’s mood.
Also read: 12 ways to be mindful every day
His viewpoint is mirrored in a paper published in the National Library of Medicine. According to this paper, in the long run, aerobic and resistance exercise training have shown promise in treating and managing depression and anxiety. Participation in sports also contributes to psychosocial well-being and mental health. For example, financial advisor Yashovardhan Kanodia from Kolkata plays cricket at least thrice a week with his friends to unwind. He says, “Playing cricket helps me relax. When I am playing, my mind is diverted from the daily stressors of work and other commitments.
As children, everyone would go out and play once the day was done, a great way to unwind and relax after working hard. As people grow up, they tend to forget the value of play.
Games, whether on the computer or in the physical world, are a great way to forget the madness of the day and embrace being a child again. Ask Sahil Bhalla, a 30-year-old from New Delhi, who enjoys playing Water Sort, a colour puzzle game.“It’s both fun and challenging,” says Bhalla, who plays the game daily with some music in the background. "We all need a break from the craziness of the day, and this is the perfect antidote,” he says.
For more mellow people, aromatherapy is an effective way to soothe frazzled nerves at the end of the day. Aromatherapy products, ranging from essential oils, candles, and even bath and body products, are easily available and could help relieve stress. According to research conducted by the School of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences in Korea, the sense of smell plays an important role in the physiological effects of mood, stress, and working capacity.
Aromatherapy has no apparent side effects and can be used while doing other activities. For instance, a diffuser can fill the room with fragrance and relax you while you work, meditate or do any other activity. Shubhra Chaturvedi, aromatherapist & co-founder at Meraki Essentials, an aromatherapy brand, recommends lavender, bergamot, jasmine, and vetiver oils, the most commonly-used essential oils for relaxing and unwinding. "Using a humidifier is the easiest way to use these essential oils.You could also make a diluted version of the essential oils and store them in a easy-to-use glass roll-on bottles that you can carry with yourself to destress on the go”, says Chaturvedi.
According to research conducted by the University of Rochester, one of the ways to deal with any overwhelming emotion is to find a healthy way to express yourself.This makes a journal a helpful tool in managing your mental health. Journaling can help manage anxiety and reduce stress, helping people clarify their thoughts and feelings, thereby gaining valuable self-knowledge. London-based writer and writing coach Akshay Gajria says that journalling has helped him tremendously. He does various sorts of journalling: a morning session to chalk out his upcoming day and another freehand sort of journalling to mark the end of his work day. "It’s more reflective of my thoughts, what I’m feeling, or my frustrations. On some days, it’s also a place to vent or motivate myself,” he adds.
Also read: The ultimate guide to sleeping better