Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Wind down on the weekend

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Have you ever felt the need of Friday evening to appear and its just Monday? Life begins at age two when you are sent to nursery Monday to Friday. The demands of life and the routine of grueling work routines can overwhelm you and throw you off your axis. Stress is an unavoidable part of life and we all experience it from time to time, which is completely normal.

On days when you feel that you cant cope, its important to switch off, just like our devices need to be rebooted once in a while, so do we.

Switching off is easier said than done, that unanswered text message or a buzzing mind is hard to avoid. Caring for yourself, especially if you’ve had a long and stressful week is vital.

You have to teach yourself how to unwind, it doesn’t come naturally to most of us, especially in this day and age. READ THIS SENTENCE TWICE!

Here are some ways to unwind and centre yourself — 

Focus on your breathing

Focusing on your breath and nothing else is an effective way to calm yourself down mentally and physically. Taking slow and deep breaths, with control and concentration, sends signals to your brain to simmer down. You can breathe sitting in a comfortable spot or laying down. Feel each breath going to every cell of your body. Inhale deeply and exhale fully. The way to build concentration is to totally focus on the rise and fall of your belly. Notice how your heart rate slows down and your body relaxes. Deep breathing is so simple yet so effective.


Does meditation really work? The answer is yes! You don’t have to go into a complicated trance-like state to meditate. Simply relaxing your mind and body, focusing on your breath with your eyes closed is all you need to see the effects of meditation. Quite simply anyone can meditate and after a meditation session your body will radiate calmness. Meditating will help you sleep faster and improve your quality of sleep, lower your stress and anxiety levels, reduce your blood pressure and heart rate.

Do absolutely nothing

This one is challenging. Try doing absolutely nothing. It sounds easy but trust me once you try to do it you’ll realise just how difficult it is to put into practice. Just sit or lay down. Think about nothing, do nothing. Space out! Be content to do nothing. Let your mind and body just be. Take an hour, a few hours or even a day to just be a couch potato. Once in a while.


There’s nothing a good page turner can’t fix. Escaping from reality into the world of words is a wonderful way to unwind. Give it a try! Curl up on the couch with a warm cup of tea, blanket and good book. Trust me, that’s all you need to destress.

 Take a hot bath

Sometimes standing under a hot waterfall or soaking in a warm bathtub surrounded by scented candles is what your nervous system needs to go into standby mode. A hot shower activates your parasympathetic nervous system, relaxes your muscles and relieves all your pent up stress. Hot water is like a tranquiliser for the body.


Regularly exercising has harmed no one. Staying healthy, mentally and physically can be accomplished through exercising. On a tough day, a brisk walk, long run or intense dance session can get your blood pumping with endorphins and bust away all the stress. Try to get some form of exercise into your routine. Yoga, walking, going to the gym, a group workout class or even dancing. Just get your body moving.

 Have sex

One of the all-time greats, just ask your great grandparents. There’s nothing like an eruption to calm all those nerves and wash away the stress of the past week. Sex works like a charm and probably one of the most foolproof ways to calm down (if done right).

Listen to music

Music therapy is a very powerful tool. Especially when you need to calm down. There is a song for every mood. Relax, unplug and jam to some tunes.


Sometimes writing down your thoughts and feelings is a game changer. Seeing everything right in front of you can help you sort through it in a positive way. Even the act of writing is calming in itself. Journaling allows you to clear your mind and process your thoughts and emotions. Gratitude journaling is another way to appreciate the good in your life. It helps you focus on the positive.

Set a sleep schedule

Going to sleep on time, getting enough sleep, getting good quality sleep and waking up fresh is so important especially if you lead a hectic life. That is why a set sleep schedule is a must. Sleep is a powerful stress reducer.

Progressive muscle relaxation

When you are stressed your body responds to it by tensing its muscles. Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a method to help release the built up tension in your muscles.

  • Start by lying on your back and stretching out comfortably.
  • Breathe in and focus on tensing one muscle group, then breathe out and completely relax that group of muscles. Repeat this for every group of muscles in your body.

Create a calm and safe space for yourself

When you need to unwind and destress, it’s important to do it in an environment that makes you feel happy, calm and serene. The colours in your environment, artwork in your space, linen, temperature, lighting and sounds all affect your state of mind.

Enjoy some alone time and practice selfcare

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to spend time with yourself. Disconnecting from everyone and everything might just be what you need to refresh. A night to yourself to destress through selfcare might just be exactly what you need to recharge your battery.

 Be kind to yourself

Most important thing if all- allow yourself to break down and fail, feel everything you’re going through and most importantly be kind to yourself. It is humanly impossible to be perfect all the time. Falling and being stressed is part of life. Be kind and love yourself.

 Hope these tips help you unwind!

Vinita Alvares Fernandes
Vinita Alvares Fernandes is an Economics graduate, a writer and a Trinity College certified public speaker and communicator

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