It may seem silly to say “use your vacation to relax” since it seems like the most obvious thing, but it is not. If you use your time off from work to binge lounge around the home and binge watch movies and series you are relaxing to a certain extent, but that can quickly get old. What happens after you finish catching up on the things you missed? How will you spend the rest of the week? Surfing the internet with no specific purpose other than to occupy time is doing nothing; and doing nothing is not de-stressing.
Stress has visible signs: dull skin, dark circles under your eyes, acne, hair loss, and tension in your muscles. These are just the surface level issues relating to stress because it can affect your mental and emotional well-being. The proper way to de-stress is to touch on your problem areas. Here are some ways you can do that:
- Go to an unfamiliar place
Staying at home for long periods, without an active schedule, can make you notice details you have otherwise overlooked. A pile of laundry, open mail, and dirty dishes are all ‘jobs’ you have to do but never had time to accomplish. Unfinished painted walls or a faulty shower are other examples of work that you need to take care of in your downtime. Instead of relaxing, you find yourself trapped with other obligations. If the needs are not immediate, consider saving those projects for another time. You can look for large country houses to rent for weekends and spend time in a different space.
Taking the first weekend off to go to a peaceful neighbourhood can help enforce that ‘reset’ button in your head. It is not about running away from your problems; it is about reminding yourself about your needs and giving yourself a space to address them with no distractions.
- Participate in creative or physical activities
There is a reason why people say, “get a hobby”. Participating in creative or athletic activities can help you get rid of any pent-up emotion or aggression. For creative pursuits, the process can help you come to terms with what is weighing on your mind. Any fear or anxiety can become a tangible output. It is cathartic.
For sports and other physical activities, they can help you release any suppressed energy left from work. Long jogs, boxing, and swimming are activities that can help you convert that negative energy into positive gains by getting a fit body.
- Indulge yourself with extra steps in your daily skin or hair routine
To address your visible signs, you can indulge yourself with routines and treatments to compensate for the lack of care. Take a long warm bath with salts that help treat sore muscles. Light aromatic candles before you go to sleep. Give yourself a facial massage with an oil or moisturiser. Use a mask, face masks or hair masks, to hydrate. These steps may not completely erase your stress-induced issues, but they do help you improve the state of your skin and hair.
De-stressing is work, but work directed at your overall wellbeing. The list could go on and on, but this is the bare minimum.