Health and Wellness

8 Ways to Wind Down from a Stressful Day

Written by: Lena Hemsworth

There’s nothing quite like a stressful day to ruin your mood. It’s not something that you can brush off like it’s nothing. A bad experience or trouble at work can ruin your whole day, making it hard to focus on the things you want to do. On these kinds of days, you need to find a way to unwind and let those issues go. This is easier said than done, however.

Finding ways to relax and forget about your woes is no simple task. If you need something to take your mind off of things but don’t have the inspiration, you can always look around for ideas to try out. Here are a few that you might want to consider.

Run a bubble bath

When someone is having a relaxing day in a movie, there’ll definitely be a scene of them spending time at a spa or in their bathtub. This is because warm water and bathtubs are universal symbols of calm and relaxation. If you’re looking to wind down, there’s no better spot to use in your home.

However, just filling the bath with warm water might not be enough. What you really need is a bubble bath. There’s something about having those fresh scents around you while listening to the bubbles pop that creates a calming sensation.

Bathroom lights are hardly ever soft, as they’re needed for maximum visibility. These harsh lights might intrude on your relaxation, so why not light some candles instead? Treat yourself to a visually pleasing experience and you’ll be even more relaxed. It will make you forget all about work or school.

Cook up something nice

Food is an essential resource, but it’s also something that we can thoroughly enjoy. While making a quick meal to feed yourself is nice, pampering yourself with a three-course meal would be even better. It turns just “eating” into a pretty memorable event.

It might seem like cooking will be just another task that will leave you worn and tired, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. When you’re being productive in the kitchen, your ultimate goal is to give yourself a great dining experience. There’s no rush or deadlines, so you can take your time and enjoy the process.

To top it all off, you get to eat the food you’ve labored for. It’s a self-fulfilling reward that helps you practice your cooking skills while also giving you results that you can enjoy. You end up feeling even more invigorated from the process than you might have expected.

Order takeout

On the other end of the food spectrum, there’s also eating some take out. If you really can’t be bothered to cook something up, what’s stopping you from getting an equally tasty plate of food in front of you anyway?

When considering your takeout options, choose something that you really like. Fast food can be a tempting choice, especially because of the price, but it’s not always the best choice. Why not get something from your favorite restaurant? If you’re going to get takeout, make sure it’s the best one you can get. Then again, you probably know your favorite dish by heart and want something new to try out.

Find a new restaurant that you haven’t visited yet and try out their cuisine for the first time. It’s like going out to test the place, without having to actually move a finger. It’s going to tell you a lot about their establishment so you know whether or not you want to head there in person next time.

Try a light workout

After a rough day, you’re probably going to want to lie down and stay in one spot. While this may be enjoyable and relaxing, it’s not going to help you if you want to get energized. Unless you want to take a nap, you’re going to have to move around a bit.

Even though it seems counter-intuitive, working out will leave you feeling awake and energized rather than drowsy. Getting your adrenaline up will definitely jolt your body from any lethargy you might have.

Heading to the gym is one option, but it might feel like too much of a chore on its own. What if you work a particularly demanding physical job and don’t have the energy to do a full workout immediately? You don’t have to work on your strength to get energized. A short cardio workout could give you the pump you need to get through the rest of your day while feeling more relaxed and awake. Riding a stationary bike or having a short jog would do wonders for your energy levels.

Binge a TV Show

Watching shows on TV is a pretty popular pastime, whether you’re watching on an actual television or streaming service. Either way, you’re getting quite a bit of quality content in a very digestible form of media. It’s a great way to relax and unwind after a hard day without having to put in much effort.

It’s something that you can turn into a daily or weekly ritual. Prepare some popcorn or another snack of your choice and set yourself up on the screen of your choice. Watching an interesting series will help you get your mind off of things and help you destress.

Go for a bike ride

Spending time outside is a great way to relieve stress. Combine this with a small workout and you have a recipe for clearing your head and getting some nice physical activity. If you’re not a fan of jogging or you find it hard on the joints, cycling is a perfectly viable alternative.

The great thing about riding a bike is that you get to experience a lot more fresh air and nature. You can ride for miles in a relatively short amount of time and visit just about any park in your vicinity. If you’re inclined, you can even go for a ride outside your city to see some raw nature. There’s nothing better for destressing than being surrounded by the greenery in the great outdoors.

All you really need in terms of exercise gear is a bike and a helmet. Find an adequate bicycle shop that will offer a wide variety of bikes to choose from. Get one that matches your taste and you’ll quickly fall in love with cycling. You’ll often find helmets in these same kinds of shops, so you don’t have to search elsewhere. Once you have your ride, you’ll be able to ride till your heart’s content and relax surrounded by nature.

Practice Yoga

It’s difficult to discuss relaxing physical activities without mentioning Yoga. It’s one of the best ways to destress after a long day while also getting some great stretching out of the exercises. Yoga has long been used to relax the body and mind, so it’s a pretty tried-and-tested method. Not to mention, Yoga is also a form of meditation. It helps you cultivate mindfulness while keeping your head clear of negative thoughts.

Yoga isn’t that difficult to get into, either. All you need is a Yoga mat or any surface that you’re comfortable working out on. A carpet would be just as good of a choice. You can then simply find a Yoga class online and follow it as if it were happening live. The exercises shouldn’t be too difficult, but they take some time to get used to it. Once you have the hang of it, you’ll find that you’ll enjoy them more than you anticipated.

Look for support

After a particularly hard day, you might not find solace in your environment and activities. You’ll have a lot of bottled up negative energy and emotions which you probably shouldn’t keep all to yourself. Sharing these feelings with your close ones could go a long way in reducing feelings of stress and discomfort. Sometimes, you just need to have someone to talk to after a long day to help get through it.

In these situations, talking to your friends or family could be all the stress-relief you need. It can be surprising how much simply venting to someone can mean for your current mental state. Make sure you talk to someone that will understand your issues. Often, coworkers can be an unexpected source of sympathy and understanding, especially if most of your stress comes from your work environment.

Go out for coffee with a friend and vent about your issues. They’ll provide their perspective and experiences and you’ll enjoy their company. It’s a two-way street, so make sure you also listen to what they have to say. It can be a pretty cathartic experience that brings you together and strengthens your friendship


There are lots of ways to unwind and destress after a difficult day. As long as you have a tiny bit of motivation and some creativity, you’ll be able to handle it and forget about your woes. Use some of the above ideas as inspiration and you won’t find in a bad mood for very long.

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