We lead busy lives, and often it can be hard to find a spare moment to relax during the week. Between work (or school), staying fit, maintaining homes, and fulfilling modern obligations like keeping up on social media, there just isn’t too much spare time. This leads to a lot of stress, and by the end of the week it’s necessary to do something about all that.
Everyone has his or her own preferred techniques for easing stress, but as a sort of general guide we thought we’d write up five good ideas for how to unwind after a particularly long week.
1. Practice Pilates
People practice Pilates to stay fit, to improve flexibility and to build muscle, or even to relax in the moment. But too few people recognize its legitimate ability to relieve stress. As stated by one piece on the subject, Pilates is incredibly powerful in providing a place for the body to relax, rejuvenate, and relieve tension. Perhaps more importantly, there is scientific research that shows there are actual chemical benefits from some Pilates and yoga practices that can lower blood pressure, relax muscles, and calm the mind. It’s exercise, to be sure, but it’s also the perfect way to calm down after a long week.
2. See A Friend
Many of us plan to see friends at some point over the weekend. But if you’re looking specifically for stress relief, think about meeting up with one for a coffee or happy hour immediately when work lets out on Friday afternoon. Talking to a friend can immediately take you away from all your obligations and get you laughing and smiling, which works wonders for stress relief. If possible, you might even want to think about making it a weekly meeting of sorts.
3. Play A Game
Lots of people still rely on video games to relieve stress, and truth be told they can work wonders. And you don’t have to be a serious gamer to have plenty of options here. Even if you don’t own a console or download mobile games on your phone, there are plenty of possibilities in your browser window. One area expanding in popularity is the slot arcade genre, where a growing selection of 3D games makes one-simple offerings feel more like high-end gaming experiences. If those kinds of games aren’t your thing, pull out the good old board game or puzzle and get the family together for a fun game night at the kitchen table!
4. Unplug (& Read)
Stepping away from your technology for a little while on Friday evening can also be a terrific method for getting rid of stress. As much as they help and entertain us, smartphones, tablets, and laptops also stress us out, simply because they keep us occupied and busy at all times. So instead of diving into your technology, consider unplugging for a bit – and picking up a good old-fashioned book. There are actually several science-backed reasons to read actual paper novels, including that flipping pages can help you understand what you’re reading. You’re more immersed in the material when you’re handling it, not to mention you aren’t distracted by anything else going on with your screens. Not to mention that reading can decrease your stress levels, improve your memory and focus which may translate nicely into your Pilates work, enhance your imagination, boost your sleep and many other benefits.
5. Do A Double Feature
Finally, consider seeing a movie – and then making it two. Watching one film, either at home or at the cinema, you can lose yourself for a couple hours, but you’re always conscious that it’s going to end before too long. And if you’re home, you might be multitasking as well. When you sign up for a double feature though you’re really dedicating yourself to a full evening of movies, and it might be easier to just put everything else aside. It’s a perfect, indulgent way to reward yourself for a long week, particularly if you have some nice drinks and snacks on hand.