In the U.S., we wear our stress like a badge of honor. While we know the amount of stress we carry around can’t be healthy, we often feel like it’s a necessary component of success. For most of us, our work causes a lot of that stress, even if we enjoy our jobs. Around two-thirds of both men and women say that work has a significant impact on their stress level, and 25% have called in sick as a result!
If you’re struggling to wind down after work or your health is being compromised due to your stress levels, try these tips to reduce stress the natural way.
- Take a walk in nature
As you might know, exercise releases endorphins — pleasure-producing chemicals made by our bodies. Getting regular exercise can release tension, improve your mood, and allow you to sleep better at night (just like a heated neck pillow will!). Studies have also found that spending time in nature can be highly effective at reducing stress and anxiety. By combining the two, you’ll essentially be hitting your body’s reset button. Taking a long walk in a park or even in your own neighborhood can do wonders.
- Try aromatherapy
Aromatherapy isn’t a new invention, but it’s really caught on in recent years. Even if you don’t go all out with essential oils, you should know that scent is extremely powerful and can have a huge effect on how we feel. Lavender, in particular, is touted for its calming qualities. You can combine smells like these with heat therapy for an even greater impact. Aromatherapy neck wraps can relax both your body and mind. When more of your senses are engaged, you’ll be able to benefit from greater stress relief. Try a lavender scented heat wrap on your neck or back at the end of the day or on the weekends for a little extra pampering.
- Unplug from technology
You may think that social media is a good escape from your work worries, but checking your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts could actually be adding to your anxiety. Technology can be great, but it makes it all too easy to feel like you’re on-call all the time — particularly if you access your work email from your phone! Even checking the news headlines can be stressful! Make it a rule never to check anything related to work when you aren’t actually working. And instead of endless scrolling through posts, limit your social media interaction to certain hours of the day. Using your devices too late at night can interfere with your sleep and can jumpstart your anxiety. Don’t be afraid to disconnect from technology when you get home.
- Take a hot bath
Hot baths can be effective in the same way that aromatherapy neck wraps can help ease muscular and emotional tension, especially if you make it an event. Add candles, scented bath products, soft music, or a book you love to your “me time.” Experts say that soaking in water has a soothing effect on the brain and on the body, and if you’re carrying around stress in your shoulders, neck, back, legs, hands, or feet (like many of us do), it can be an excellent way to combat that. Be sure to eat a nutritious meal before or afterwards to replenish your body’s needs, too.
Whether you want to get your daily dose of physical activity or you’d rather lay in bed with an aromatherapy neck wrap, it’s important to reduce stress and anxiety whenever possible. That way, you’ll be more productive, creative, and happy at the office. It may just be the change you need to maintain a better work/life balance.