How to treat yourself after a stressful week
Have you had a stressful week? You’re not alone. According to a UK survey commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation in 2018, 74% of adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope – proof that it’s a widespread issue that we need to start doing more to address in our own lives now.
Thankfully, for most people, a stressful week can be quickly forgotten after a relaxing weekend and a little R&R – so if you’re feeling ready to collapse on the sofa with a glass of wine on Friday evening and sleep through until it’s time for Sunday roast, then it’s time to start looking after yourself a little better.
It’s important to plan some time in for yourself each weekend to allow yourself to really unwind – whether it be heading out and letting your hair down over dinner and drinks with friends, or booking yourself in for a sumptuous spa break so you can really switch off from the world.
Different people like to relax in different ways, but the good news is, there’s something for everyone. So if you’re in need of a way to treat yourself after a stressful week, then look no further – we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to do so for you – leaving you with one less thing to worry about.
Find yourself living for Friday night, when you can crack open that bottle of bubbly, head to a swanky cocktail bar and hit the dance floor with friends for a night of fun and sheer abandon? You may well be an extrovert.
According to various studies, extroverts experience a rush of dopamine when in a highly stimulating environment such as at a party. If you’re an introvert, however, then this might not be the right way to go about unwinding, as such situations can be distressing and up that dreaded stress factor even more.
If you enjoy a tipple or two at the weekend, then bear in mind that alcohol is a depressant, meaning it slows down brain function and central nervous system processes, making you feel more relaxed in the short term. However, in the long run, alcohol has been linked to depression and anxiety, making stressful situations harder to deal with, so remember to drink according to healthy recommended amounts and cut yourself some slack if you’re feeling less than your best the following day.
2. Spa Trip
Ahh, a relaxing spa trip. What better way to let go of the stresses and strains of the week than by soaking them away in a hot, bubbling jacuzzi, steaming them away in the steam room or sweating them out in the sauna? And, if you throw a relaxing massage and a good book into the equation, then you might just find yourself in seventh heaven.
Massages, facials and other treatments available at many spas release feel-good endorphins, resulting in relaxed and rewarded feelings – which are exactly the aim of the game after a difficult and trying week.
For some people, however, this may well be your idea of hell! Different personalities enjoy different things, and if you’re an active type and find yourself restless or unable to sit still, then a spa day may not be the right choice for you.
3. Natural Remedies
There are many different natural stress-relievers out there, such as calming teas and essential oils – but hemp oil is one natural remedy that sets itself apart from the rest. This multipurpose oil is renowned globally for its beneficial properties, and contrary to common belief, is not used by people who want to get high! Hemp oil contains virtually no THC, and although hemp oil and cannabis do come from the same plant, the two are manufactured in completely different ways.
Rich in extremely beneficial fatty acids, hemp oil and has been dubbed by many one of the best health products in the 21st century – so if massages and nights out aren’t cutting it, then it could be the remedy for you.
Doesn’t this one sound fun and relaxing? Acupuncture might not seem like something you’d want to indulge in after a bad week, but despite the tiny needles involved, it’s not as painful as you might think. In fact, acupuncture is one of the most effective stress relief therapies around, and this ancient treatment has been proven to stimulate the stress-reducing parasympathetic nervous system, enabling the body to relax.
Acupuncture is effective on every major system within the body, including the cardiac system, the gastrointestinal system, the immune system, and the neurological system.
Don’t knock it until you try it – it’s an effective way of winding down after a stressful week. And the great news is, you can barely feel those needles at all, so just close your eyes, lie back, and let them work their magic.
5. Craniosacral Therapy
If a regular massage no longer cutting it for you in the relaxation department, then it might be a good time to try craniosacral therapy instead.
Craniosacral therapy is a massage technique in which practitioners concentrate on the bones, soft tissues, and cerebrospinal fluid that surround the central nervous system. Together, these are known as the craniosacral system, and support the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain and the spine.
A gentle but potent way of working with the body using a light touch, it supports your body’s ability to balance, restore and heal itself, helping to reduce stress whilst simultaneously building underlying energy.
If you enjoy long walks and the great outdoors, hiking could be the perfect option in order for you to relax and destress. There’s nothing quite like immersing yourself in nature for a few hours, and it really can be like food for the soul.
There are scientific reasons why just being outside in nature is a great stress reliever. Sunshine prompts your body to produce vitamin D, which will help your body to work more effectively and make you feel happier and healthier overall. Fresh air, meanwhile, is one of the best natural stress relievers out there, improving blood pressures and helping to regulate and balance your overall mood. Oxygen also increases your serotonin levels, improving your sense of wellbeing overall. What better reason to get outside into nature and go for a long and invigorating hike?
When it comes down to it, at the end of a long and stressful week, sometimes all you need is a good night’s sleep in order to relax and to forget about all of your worries and troubles.
Sleep is not only is relaxing and refreshing, but is also important because it is the time in which your body recovers. During sleep, your body will repair vital organs, such as your heart, blood vessels and kidneys, ensuring that they can continue to function effectively. It also gives your mind time to process thoughts and feelings, making it particularly useful as a stress buster. It’s important to ensure that you get enough sleep in order to retain good health, so get into bed a little earlier tonight and indulge in some extra shut-eye.
If you’d like to delve a little deeper into how to relax at the weekend, then Nivea have shared some great tips over on their website. And, if you’re an active type who is looking for a little inspiration, then check out 30 of the World’s best hiking locations and start planning your next adventure!