6 Ways to Calm Down after a Tough Day
After a stressful day, you may have trouble winding down and focusing on the rest of your day. Stress can impact both our mental and physical health, making it more difficult to complete normal, daily tasks. Try using one or a few of these techniques to calm down and take your mind off stress.
Focus on your breathing
One easy way to calm down is to focus your attention on inhaling and exhaling. You can do this standing, sitting or lying down. Place your hand on your belly and feel it rise and fall as you breathe. You can also use meditation apps or videos for a more guided experience.
Going outside can be especially helpful after a stressful day. It’s always great to be out in nice weather, but there is a scientific reason behind why the sun helps you feel good! Sunlight can help your body release important chemicals to help you de-stress and boost serotonin levels in your brain. Getting out in the sun (or even sitting in an open sunny window) is a great way to calm down after you’re stressed out.
Stress can build physical tension in your body, so stretching is a good way to release that tension. Movement also helps you focus on the present moment and balance your emotions. Do some easy stretching exercises to help relax your body and mind after a tough day. If you’re not sure where to start, try looking up some gentle meditation stretching videos!
Use your 5 senses
Using any of our senses, especially the use of smell, can help make you aware of your current surroundings and bring a calm feeling. Try using the 5-4-3-2-1 sense method (Find 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste) to bring yourself into the present moment and calm your emotions. Check out our Instagram Reels for more on this method.
Take a break from social media
It can be easy to use social media as a distraction, but this can actually make you more stressed instead of calm. You have little control over what comes across your feed, which may mean you’ll end up coming across stressful, disturbing, or just overstimulating content. Be mindful of how you’re feeling and take a break from constant scrolling. It’s okay to feel bored. Or try something that involves your hands or imagination instead—like reading fiction, drawing, or even coloring. This can give your mind the break it needs without making you overthink or feel overwhelmed.
Write in a journal
Writing down your thoughts can be a helpful way to process what you’re feeling after a hard, stressful day–even if you never look at them again. Some enjoy journaling because it gives them a chance to look back and see their growth over the years. Others find journaling difficult because they don’t like being reminded of how they felt in the past. For those that find journaling tough, try just writing everything down, stream of consciousness, and then throwing the page away. It can help to get the feelings out on paper, even if you never look at it again. You can also search Pinterest for guided journaling prompts or even find pre-written guided journals like these.
If you’re looking for ways to calm down, try some of these techniques to relax and refocus your mind and body. You can also reach out to the therapists at UpStreet on our website right now, and they can help you find more resources and tips that might be helpful.