10 ways for professionals to unwind

Professional life can be stressful and you may not be taking measures to counter the stress build-up.  It is important for your physical and mental well-being that you find the time to relax and rejuvenate, at least once a week, before heading back to work again.  Here are 10 ways for professionals to unwind and destress.

1. Pottery class

Pottery class
Pottery class; Anna-Maria Olehn

A pottery class is an entertaining as well as therapeutic activity that anybody can undertake.  Pottery is a form of art that focuses on self-expression.  When you are shaping the lump of moist clay, you are unleashing your creativity and rediscovering the artist in you.  The use of hands and the sense of touch will make you feel more in sync with yourself, and will help to improve your focus.  It is soothing and releases pent-up frustration and stress.

2. Visit the local animal shelter

Pets are known to be a natural antidote for stress.  If you don’t have one at home, head to the nearest animal shelter.  If you can’t bring one back home, you can spend a couple of hours petting and playing with them.  Pets, especially dogs can reduce your anxiety levels, so much so that there are airport dogs to calm down those afraid of flying!

3. Aromatherapy

Considered as a type of alternative medicine, aromatherapy makes use of essential oils to enhance psychological and physical well-being. These essential oils are extracted from various parts of different plants. When inhaled, it is known to reduce anxiety, stimulate brain function, ease pain and depression, keep headaches at bay, and induce sleep.  Aromatherapy also boosts your energy level, so that you can be back at your job feeling rejuvenated.

4. Dance lesson

Dancing is another creative outlet for stress reduction.  Be it Samba or Salsa or Jive, dancing releases endorphins and increases your level of happiness.  The physical movements increase your heart beat and also serve as a good workout for your muscles.  While partaking in group dance classes, one can confidently socialize with others, especially if you are a shy person.  It’ll help you come out of your shell and make successful social connections.  Choreographed dancing increases memory power since you have to remember dance steps.

5. Hiking

Go hiking
Hiking to unwind; Premnath Thirumalaisamy

Hiking isn’t always as strenuous as you think it is.  It allows you to bond with nature and forget about the worries of life.  Being in close contact with nature has a relaxing effect on the mind.  The physical activity also promotes increased circulation, making it a feel-good workout.

6. Yoga class

Take part in yoga classes
Take part in yoga classes; Matt Madd

In addition to burning calories and toning muscles, yoga helps in the relaxation of the mind and body.  It eases migraines and helps you sleep better at night.  Going for a yoga class will help beginners get an idea of what doing yoga feels like.  With a few manuals that are available online, it is an activity that you can easily take up and make a part of your life.

7. Massage and reflexology

Full body massages are known to decrease stress, anxiety, and depression.  It also provides relief from stiffness due to reduced bodily movements associated with long hours of desk jobs.  Foot reflexology puts you in a state of relaxation that everybody needs once in a while.  It stimulates the functioning of the nervous system and has many other health benefits.  Every hard-working professional should take a day off and treat themselves to a session of massage to feel brand new.

8. Star-gazing

Look at the stars; Benjamin Davidson

When you take time off your busy schedule and set aside some time to go star-gazing, not only are you briefly forgetting about deadlines and projects but also getting a better perspective on life, the universe, and everything.  The solitude may be deafening in the beginning, but you will slowly ease into it and adjust with it.  It can also be turned into a romantic outing with your significant other.  Make sure the site you choose is far from the madding crowd so that you can completely relax.

9. Sailing

If you love water, what better way to unwind than by heading to the sea?  Let it be a day of relaxation with nothing but the ocean, sea gulls, and lots of fresh air for company.  You can take this time to relax, read a book, or contemplate on your future plans.

10. Take a cooking class

Whether you are living with your family or not, learning a few cooking skills will always come in handy.  If you don’t look at it as a chore, cooking can be a therapeutic and fun way to break away from the monotony of work life.  You can learn easy recipes, particular techniques, and make new friends by enrolling in a cooking class.

*Featured image by Wikimedia Commons.

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