…Stress triggers an inflammatory effect in our bodies. We may not “feel” like we are stressed, however inside, our body mechanisms are going haywire!
Regardless of your day-to-day lifestyle, whether you are knee-deep in corporate America, or whether you are an entrepreneur living out your dream career…there comes a time when you just need to decompress.
The caveat to this is that most of us have busy, hectic weeks and the weekend is a two-day sight for sore eyes. Taking two weeks to spend on an exotic island is often times not a practical approach for most of us. So how do we effectively decompress and unwind so that we can start the next week fully refreshed and recharged?
- Decide on when your “chaotic clock” stops.
- If you are dedicated at anything you do, chances are, you have a hard time logging out, unplugging, keeping the laptop closed and not answering calls. In order to fully decompress, think about a time when you can completely shut things down and stick to it.
- Incorporate calming techniques.
- Taking time to decompress means choosing alternative methods of shutting any and everything down that disturbs your peace. For example, if you normally listen to music that gets you hyped up….chose something a bit softer and smoother. If you are a heavy caffeine drinker, have your final cup of Joe by 11am so your body can naturally calm down. If you know you are going home to be greeted by bit of chaos, take an alternate route home to give yourself time to mentally prepare, or better yet, think of ways to set a calm atmosphere when you arrive.
- Another important fact is that stress triggers an inflammatory effect in our bodies. We may not “feel” like we are stressed, however inside, our body mechanisms are going haywire! Part of decompressing means eating anti-inflammatory foods to help our bodies relax and get back to calm, naturally. Some good food choices are healthy fats like avocado, almonds and walnuts, and fish rich in omega 3 oil like salmon and mackerel. If you are not into the meats, you can always go heavy on the spinach and kale salads with dark berries.
- Spend some time outdoors.
- As human beings, we come from nature. We are created by the universe so it’s only natural that we feel peace when we are outdoors inhaling clean fresh air. Surround yourself with lush green trees and take as many deep breaths as your body will allow. Inhale the peace of nature, and exhale the stress of the week.
- Disconnect from social media.
- I know this is a tough one for many, myself included. But scrolling and/or commenting to every post can be a bit daunting. It definitely is not relaxing. Take a breather, even if just for one night. Instead, pick up the phone and have real conversations with those who are important to you. Meet for brunch. Schedule a late dinner date. Go for a walk with a friend. Get back to the realness of relationships.
- Get plenty of rest.
- This goes without saying It is a medically documented fact that sleep improves cognitive function, cellular activity, muscle repair and overall well being. All that hustle and bustle during the week needs to be compensated for….in Zzzzzzzs! Set the tone: dim lights, silence your phone, lower the TV volume…do whatever you have to do in order to trigger your body to go into deep relaxation mode.
If you incorporate these quick steps, you will be able to start your week off refreshed and rejuvenated every time!