Being a working mom can be stressful! It is important to de-stress after a long day at work no matter what your profession. I work swing shift so I am not home until about midnight on nights that I work. I often get on social media when I get home which I know is not the best way to unwind but for whatever reason, I still find myself there. I came up with this list for myself but I also hope that it will be helpful for you. I often feel like I don’t have much time after I get home to do some of these things but then I end up on social media for over an hour many times. That is plenty of time to spend time doing a more helpful de-stressing activity!
Take a Bath
There are so many studies about the benefits of baths. Taking a hot bath is good for your mind and body. There are many essential oils and salts that can be added to make baths even more helpful. Here is a post from HealthLine that goes more in depth about the benefits of taking a bath after a long day. How a hot bath can clean of a days stress. Bath bombs are a big deal right now and they make bathtime simple. Here are a few of my favorites!
Or you could try making your own! I might try it. Here is a recipe I found on Pinterest from Sunlit spaces How to make amazing DIY bath bombs
I’m sure you have heard about the “adult coloring book” craze. I thought it was a little silly when I first heard about it. Coloring is thought of as an activity for kids. I actually enjoy coloring with my kids though. I did buy myself an “adult coloring book” too. I even got my husband a star wars one. I don’t color as often as I would like. Sometimes it seems like too much work. But once I get started I never regret it. It helps clear the mind and can be calming as well. It helps you use your creativity too which is good for your well being. Here are a few I like from amazon!
Talk to a friend
Talking to a friend and being able to de-brief and vent about a tough part of the day is a great way to de-stress. Friends can re-assure us that we made good choices. They can also validate our frustrations. I love being able to walk out of work with my co-workers. I work in a large hospital so walking to the parking garage is a bit of a trek. This trek gives us just a few minutes though to talk about or day, voice our frustrations or laugh about ridiculous moments of the day. As I was thinking about ways to de-stress, I realized how beneficial these few minutes are.
Write in a Journal
If you are not able to talk to a friend about your day you can write in a journal instead. Getting thoughts down on paper can be very helpful. We often learn a lot from a stressful day and writing down these thoughts can help us face a similar situation with less stress.
I have also started a gratitude journal recently. Each day I write down something I am grateful for. This helps me find the good in a work day, even if it was stressful. You can read more about gratitude journals here. Count your many blessings: Thoughts on keeping a gratitude journal.
Listen to Music
Music is a huge motivator for me. Whenever I don’t feel like doing housework or doing a particular task for my blog, I turn on some of my favorite music. Listening to music can also help you de-stress after work. I love blasting a favorite song and singing along on my drive home from work. Music has always been a huge part of my life and has helped me so much during tough times. There is such a variety of music too! Something for every mood and situation.
I have never been good at either of these. My mind usually wanders or can’t get off a particularly bad moment of the day. I imagine that listening to music and meditating might be helpful. I also have terrible balance and coordination so yoga is a bit tough for me. I really want to start doing more yoga though! Since I work such a late shift I can’t exercise after work. But yoga is a great way to exercise and relax at the same time. I have a yoga mat with some suggested poses that I am going to try out. I recommended a DVD below as well. I love Jessica Smith’s workouts! There are also a lot of great free videos on youtube (Including some from Jessica Smith)! My family is usually all sleeping when I get home though, so this won’t work for me.
Spend time outdoors
Since I get off work so late, I can’t really spend time outdoors after work. I try to spend a lot of time outdoors though on my days off, or in the morning before work. There are a lot of studies about how spending time outdoors helps people have less stress in their lives and in turn even live longer. Here is a post from Business insider that gives science-backed reasons for spending time outdoors including improving memory, fighting depression, and lowing blood pressure. Why spending more time outside is healthy. Even though I live in a city, I still enjoy spending time in my backyard. I even got a hammock to hang in a couple of trees, and it is awesome. So relaxing!
Turn your electronics off
This is very tough for me. I have always used my phone as my “mindless” activity after work. But there have been some recent studies that show that spending time on electronics actually increases our stress and can lead to depression. Here is a study called “Association between screen time and depression in U.S Adults“. And another from Psychology Today called Screens and Stress Response. I am working hard to break this habit. I encourage you to do the same. Try one of the other ideas on this list if you feel stressed out. It will work better than spending mindless hours on social media.
Work on a Craft
I love doing crafts even though I am not that great at it. There is something about making something yourself though that is very rewarding. Working on a craft can also be relaxing, especially compared to the chaotic environment of a hospital. I usually do not have the motivation to work on a craft when I get home. My craft area is also in our bedroom which is not ideal in the middle of the night, haha. But if you have the ability, I say go for it!
Eat Ice Cream
When all else fails, eat some ice cream or your favorite treat. Even if you are trying to eat healthy, an occasional treat after a bad day is definitely ok in my book!
These are just a few ways that I have found to de-stress after work. What are some ways you de-stress? Thanks for reading!