We all know that a bad day can spiral into a bad week if we don’t learn to get a handle on stress. If you’ve had one of those days, it can make it hard to relax. Before you know it, you’re struggling to stay awake on the sofa before climbing into bed only to spend hours staring at the ceiling wondering why on earth you can’t get to sleep. Stress is one of the most common causes of insomnia, and we all know how harmful sleepless nights can be. If you’re stressed out after a gruelling day at work or the kids have been playing up all day, here are some simple ways to boost your mood before bed.
Work it out
Have you had one of those days when you feel like you haven’t had chance to catch your breath? Or are you feeling frustrated because a meeting didn’t go as planned or you’ve got too much on your plate? You may just want to get home as quickly as possible after a rubbish day, but if you can find time to do a workout, you won’t regret it. Exercise is a proven mood-booster, and it can also be a really effective way of controlling your emotions. If you’re angry or you feel like you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders, hitting some golf balls, punching some pads or going for it on the treadmill will undoubtedly make you feel better. If you’re tired and you’re feeling run-down, opt for something gentler like swimming or yoga, or like me choosing a Tone it up video. You don’t need to spend ages at the gym or go for an hour-long jog. Even 20-30 minutes of exercise could make all the difference.
Share the burden
Do you feel like you need to get something off your chest? Are you ready to explode? If so, it’s beneficial to share the burden. Sit down with your partner or give your best friend or your mum a call. Once you’ve ranted, you’ll feel better, and you can draw a line, and move on. If you’ve got thoughts whirring around your head, it’s always good to get those emotions out. It will help you to feel calmer and to control your anger or anxiety.
Run a bath
There are few things more appealing at the end of a tough day than a hot bubble bath. If you’re prone to stress and you find that having a bath helps you to relax before bed, it’s worth taking steps to convert your bathroom into a soothing sanctuary. Fluff up the towels, scatter some candles around and put some music on. Treat yourself to a couple of waffle bath robes and dressing gowns, and invest in some essential oils. Dim the lights, close the door and enjoy half an hour of blissful peace.
When you’ve been concentrating all day, and your brain has been tackling statistics, logistics or linguistics, it’s time to switch off and unwind. It’s hard when you’re under pressure, but try and leave work at work. Don’t bring it home with you. It’ll only make you feel more stressed. Avoid checking emails, and devote your evenings to doing things that you enjoy. Catch up on your favourite programmes, chat to your friends, or lose yourself in a film.
The best medicine for a frazzled mind and a weary body is laughter. When you laugh, you automatically feel more positive, and doing something fun or talking to somebody who cheers you up can make you feel better instantly. If you’re laughing your head off, that awkward meeting will become a distant memory.
Meditation is an increasingly popular stress management technique. Many people find that it enables them to clear their mind, slow their thought process, and reduce anxiety. You don’t have to sit on a mountain or have attended meditation classes to enjoy the benefits. You can meditate anywhere, and if you need some guidance, there are lots of apps you can download. If you find it hard to stop your mind racing after a day that hasn’t quite gone to plan, meditation could be an effective solution for you.
The last thing you want after a trying day is a sleepless night. If you’re feeling fraught, tense or anxious, you may find it hard to get to sleep. At the end of a bad day, these steps will help you to feel more positive and enable you to get rid of frustration in a constructive way. They are simple solutions, but they really work.
*This post was contributed by Georgina Parkinson 🙂