Autumn is always great because the leaves are changing, the weather is getting cooler, and there is pumpkin flavored everything. On the contrary, autumn also always brings stress, homework, and deadlines. With the chaos of your job, homework, internships, and all your other extracurricular activities, the day can seem never ending. When all is said and done, taking a bit of time for yourself to relax and distress can actually help you to become more productive, sleep better, and be more focused on your tasks. Here are five ways to distress after a long day.

Drink tea

Before going to bed, try making a cup of caffeine-free tea. This helps to relax the body, and the chamomile can help to calm you down before heading to bed. Often, when you have a million things going on, it can become difficult to quiet your mind and sleep. Next time your mind is buzzing before bed, try some tea.

Read 

Try reading a novel for pleasure, and see how that shifts your mindset. Often, taking just 10-15 minutes to read for fun before bed can be very relaxing, and a lot of fun. This is a good way to keep your creative mind active after spending all day thinking critically and analyzing facts and data.

Call your parents

While you’re having the time of your life in college, living in your first apartment, or killing it at your job, your parents are thinking about you. They worry, and they want to know about your day. Carve out a few minutes and talk to them. Texts are nice, but a phone call is so much better. This gives you a chance to catch up. It also brings you a little piece of home. Calling your parents also allows you to reflect on your day, and talk about the high points and the lows. This is important to do because it really helps put things in perspective.

Meditate

By taking just three to five minutes of your day to sit down and reflect can be extremely beneficial to your brain. Take this opportunity to get comfortable, and just to sit and relax. Try and clear your mind of everything that stressed you out during that day. Think about something happy, or try not to think of anything at all. Sit and concentrate on your breathing. By forcing your mind to take this short break, you’ll be able to better prioritize for the next day. 

Plan for the next day

This tip may seem a bit counterintuitive, but by planning out your next day can truly help calm your stress levels and help put things in perspective. By planning out your day, from your schedule, to what you’re going to wear, it will cut down on the stresses you might feel in the morning. There is a phenomenon called decision fatigue, which claims that as you make more decisions throughout the day, the quality of those decisions depreciates. This can cause you to make rash decisions or even make you not want to make decisions at all. By reducing the number of decisions one has to make in the day, the clearer your mind will be. You will be able to make better decisions throughout the day.

Young adulthood is often hard because we are straddling the line of being expected to know everything, while simultaneously feeling like we know nothing. Taking just a few minutes of your day to relax and reflect can make a world of difference whether you’re still in school, or just starting your first adult job. Everyone gets stressed out, it’s completely normal, but the important part is how you handle it.

Joleen T
FFL Contributor
Joleen is a Contributor at FFL. She enjoys reading, going to Chipotle, and drinking copious amounts of coffee. You can find her at the library, or studying for the LSAT. Her goal is to become a lawyer, and eventually run for public office. Her role models are Nikki Haley and Sandra Day O’Connor.

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