When you leave the office and get into your car (hopefully you are not still on the phone with someone and hopefully you are not sitting alone in a parking lot, in which case, leave immediately) take a moment, close your eyes, and just take a few deep breaths. See in your minds eye how you are colleting the stressors in your body and mind and just blow them out on long, slow exhales. Do this for as many rounds as you need, some days you will need more or less than others.
2. Sing in the car:
Now I know what you are thinking – “I can’t do that! What if someone sees me, or even worse hears me?” Que Shock & horror…. I hate to break it to you, but everyone is so consumed with their own stuff, no one really cares and will probably not even notice. And even if they do, are you going to let a stranger, that you do not know dictate your ability to let go of stress? Exactly NO ways . Science has suggested that singing can massively improve your well-being and that music produces the same feel good hormones, when you hug someone you love. And if taking deep breaths haven’t do the trick, singing releases tension in your diaphragm. That exact spot we carry our anxiety and stress. There is something extremely cathartic about singing and I suppose sometimes sing-screaming in the car. I suggest creating a few different playlists for yourself.
3. Add a scent:
Ever noticed how certain smells can make you feel certain things? For example, how the smell of vanilla can transport you right to an excited Christmas morning or how the smell of a certain perfume can remind you of a holiday you took. I suggest choosing a candle, incense, or diffusers scent that you can light as soon as you get home, to help further that feeling of calm and relaxation.
4. Take a few minutes for yourself:
(Now this one is hard, especially if you have littles. So, I suggest just doing what you can.)
If it is at all possible take 5-10 min for yourself in peace and quiet, light a candle, put on some feel good music, maybe get rid of your work attire, or take a shower (literally washing away the stress of the day)
5. Go for a walk:
This one will make you feel instantly better, it will boost endorphins and reduce your anxiety and stress levels. Side note: If you ever feel you are creatively burnt out, I suggest going for a walk, it can boost creative output by 60%.
As a yoga teacher with over 10 years’ experience working many different people from many walks of life, this is one tip I know does wonders. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Yes, stretching can be daunting if you aren’t flexible or haven’t adhered to a daily practice. The good thing is it meets you where you are at. Can’t do the splits, guess what, you don’t have to. Just a few basic moves, stretching and opening into your whole body will start to sooth your nervous system, increase blood flow into your muscles and encourage deep breathing – which in and of itself has a relaxing effect. Tension and anxiety sit inside our bodies, making us more tense. What happens when there is no movement in a stick and you try and bend it, it breaks. If it has some give and movement it can handle the bend. Your body works in much the same way. A lovely visualization exercise to do is to imagine the tension in your body/muscles melting away as you move and stretch alongside your breath. Actively see space being created so it has chance to soften, move and release.