A few weeks ago I had one of those hugely stressful weeks.
You know the one; that kind of week that is so completely jam packed and filled with important meetings, events and to-do’s. It’s as if somehow every important meeting and event from the entire month, ended up on the same week.
Waking up Saturday morning I was still exhausted. I was not exactly sure how the two short days ahead in my weekend we’re going to help me recover.
It is hard to rebound from such a stressful week. We can feel tired, lethargic, even a bit sad or depressed.
It’s important to have a plan after a week like this. So I decided to get serious about de-stressing and carved out a full day for a blissful ‘decompression session.’
You must be deliberate about carving out time for your decompression session – or you won’t give yourself what you need to fill yourself back up again.
Here are 5 of the best ways I have found to decompress from a particularly stressful week and rebound faster:
Turn off the phones, turn off the computer, and shut off the outside world for at least half a day. Seriously leave that stuff at home. These things just raise your stress level. Go offline and forget about the online world. Offline is the new luxury.
Even if it’s the last thing you feel like doing, take a walk or run and get outdoors. Being active is one of the best ways to reset your system and increase your overall stress tolerance.
The key is to do something that gets your body moving in a way that nourishes and rejuvenates you and promotes relaxation.
3. Reconnect with someone you love
Spend time with your loved ones. Just be completely there with them. Snuggle with them, focus on them.
Or, is there someone you haven’t connected with in a while – that you know would love an out-of-the-blue phone call from you? Not an email or text, but a phone call. Someone who brings out the best in you. Reach out to that person. Surprise them. Let them know they are still on your mind and in your heart.
The act of giving and receiving love is very soothing, rejuvenating and uplifting.
Not all breaths are created equal. A simple but effective exercise for calming the nervous system is a timed breath where the exhale is longer than the inhale.
To begin, sit somewhere comfortable. Close your eyes and begin breathing through your nose.
Then, inhale for a count of two. Hold the breath in for a count of one. Exhale slowly counting to four. Finish by holding the breath out for a count of one. Keep your breathing even and smooth.
Do this for about 5 minutes. You will notice how your feel more calm and relaxed.
5. Practice Gratitude
One of the most powerful tools for enriching your soul is keeping your gratitude tank full. Writing down 10 things you are grateful for puts you in a mindset of abundance and bliss.
So take out a journal and start making a list. These items can be small things such as being grateful for the yummy breakfast you are eating, or larger things such as being grateful for your family. It’s amazing how effective this little exercise can be.
Stress is cumulative and recovery is not negotiable.
Even if you don’t have a full weekend ahead, deliberately decompressing for just a few hours in the evening can stop the stress cycle.