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Challenge your Mindset

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10 ways to switch off

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‘Stress’ is a word we hear more and more. People experience stress from different sources and it affects people in different ways. The explosion of social media, the omnipresence of technology and the increase in target-driven, high-pressure jobs means that the modern woman can find it hard to switch off from her stresses and worries. We all need to find methods to switch off from our increasingly fast-paced lives so that we can properly relax and unwind:

1. Go and Get Some Fresh Air

It might sound like an old wives’ tale, but a study was done which found that being outside really is good for reducing people’s levels of tension. The researchers found that the participants who got fresh air felt much better. Sunlight also helps our bodies to produce Vitamin D which increases our serotonin levels, the chemical produced in our body that helps to balance our moods and ward off stress and depression.

2. Leave Your Emails for Tomorrow Morning

Don’t compulsively check your emails. They aren’t going to go anywhere between dinner and 9 o’clock tomorrow morning; if you relentlessly open your inbox, you’ll never have a moment’s peace. It might help to stick to certain times to check your emails, so that you prevent your work consuming your time at home. If you feel that your time is not well balanced between your work and home life, then download our planners and guides to start proactively turning your life around for the better.

3. Let Go of Your Phone

It’s no good trying to switch off while you’ve constantly got texts and emails going off in your pocket or bag. Being constantly in reach of problems and dramas at work means that you’re never out of ‘work mode’. Research by a British psychologist has found that constantly checking their smartphones or laptops increases people’s stress levels. Companies have been urged to encourage employees to switch off their devices at the end of the working day.

4. Exercise

Whether it’s a jog around the park, going to the gym or a brisk walk, chemicals called endorphins are released by our bodies during physical activity. Endorphins increase our well-being and help us to wind down after working our brains hard, by triggering feelings of positivity. Regular exercise can improve sleep and reduce anxiety.

5. Don’t Overwork Yourself

You might feel that working and working is the only way to succeed, but constantly thinking about work can be counterproductive and send your brain into overload.[What to do when you are feeling overloaded] Allowing yourself to properly switching off from work can mean that you come back with a fresh perspective and attitude, and actually help you to solve a problem or come up with an idea faster.

6. Pet Power

Stroking a furry friend is scientifically proven to make those of us who like animals calm and relaxed. Contact with animals, as well as other humans, produces the stress-relieving and bonding hormone oxytocin while lowering heart rate and blood pressure.

7. Socialise Outside of Your Work Friendships

It’s nice to be friendly with the people you work with but sometimes you might end up spending a bit too much time with them. Even when colleagues meet up in their own time, they tend to ‘talk shop’. In your free time it’s healthy to invest in your life outside work and get together with people you know from other areas of your life.

8. Make time for ‘Me Time’

If you are a parent, make sure you have at least one night out a month with your partner, away from the hustle and bustle of busy family life. Devoting time just to each other can be romantic and enjoyable, making you feel like yourself again while helping to keep your relationship strong. If you would like some bite sized relationship advice from the experts, then visit our Video Moods for answers and solutions to some of the most commonly asked relationship questions. If you prefer to reflect on your relationship further, then download our enjoyable eBooks to help you to discover more about relationship compatibility and overcoming common communication problems.

9. Laugh

Do something that is going to tickle your sense of humour and make you laugh, watch your favourite comedian on telly or meet up with a friend who has the same idea of what is funny. Laughing and the facial movement of smiling sends stress-busting signals out to the brain that tell us we are happy. Just sitting still and smiling can actually help us to relax.

10. Tweak Your Bedtime Routine

The light from television or computer screens is received by our eyes and brain as daylight. This makes our bodies think that it is still the middle of the day and blocks our sleep hormones which help us to switch off at bedtime. Altering your activity in the half hour before bed from watching telly or surfing the internet to reading or having a warm comforting bath, can make sure we are not wide awake as we try to go to sleep.[8 habits of the sleep deprived]

What might help one person to wind down might make another person tense or feel hassled, for example getting active and going to the gym may work for some, where others may find expert advice and support inspiring or (for the more practical of us) getting organised and planning ahead can make all the difference. It’s important we learn ways to deal with stress and find what works for us as individuals

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This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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