11 healthy ways to de-stress and unwind from a long work week

In order to be the best you can be at work (and at home), you need to chill. Work is stressful and so is life.

Are you taking enough time to let your mind and body unwind after a long day or an even longer work week?

We’ll make it at least a little bit easier for youHere are some quick, creative ways to rejuvenate your body and soul especially when you’re coming out of a long work week feeling really beat:

#1: Nourish your body.

Fast food is a good solution on those uber-busy days that don’t have a window for food prep, but fueling your body with fresh, nutrient-rich ingredients is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Choose bright, colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Even the preparation can be relaxing and satisfying.

#2: Give your muscles a break.

Take a moment at work, at home, or even on your commute to relax your shoulders, let your belly out (quit sucking in! did you even know you were doing that?), and drop your shoulders down. Imagine every muscle in your body turning to “mush” underneath you.

#3: Laugh.

Laughter is the best medicine for stress. Whether you watch your favorite sitcom, read the funnies, or spend time with a friend who knows all the best jokes, make time for laughter every day.

#4: Create something.

Draw a picture, write in a journal, decorate a room in your house, or take some photos outside. Releasing creative energy can be therapeutic and rejuvenating, especially when you have no specific agenda around except for being creative and letting you mind run free.

#5: Feel the wind on your face.

Take a bike ride in the evening or an early morning jog. Listen to the leaves rustling in the trees, the sound of rubber on the pavement…take in the smells around you and feel the wind on your face.

#6: Make long-term goals and plans.

Having control over your finances – and never spending more than you earn and have available in cash – is a great way to find peace of mind and unwind.

#7: Disconnect.

Turn off electronics and put them away for a least an hour a day – more if you can! Disconnecting encourages you to spend time on what really matters: people, experiences, and well-being.

#8: Expand your horizons.

Seek out opportunities to learn and experience new things in your free time. Take a ceramics class, go tent camping, enroll in a college course, or try sky-diving (if that’s your thing). Find ways to expand your horizons and chase adventure during your time away from work.

#9: Do something kind.

Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, domestic violence shelter, or animal rescue; send a thoughtful card to someone you love; or do a random act of kindness for a stranger.

#10: Snuggle a pet.

And if you don’t have one of your own, visit the pet store often. Hold the puppies, watch the guinea pigs, love up the kittens, and dream about taking one home.

#11: Put people first.

Spend time with those you love the most. Give them your undivided attention. Enjoy their company and stay in it for as long as you can (Texting or DMing them on Instagram doesn’t count).

If these measures don’t make Monday morning a little more enjoyable, it might be time to really think hard about whether you’re in the right role – a role that fits your interests and values and personal mission.

If that’s the case, perhaps it’s time to find something new.

This article first appeared on Kununu.