Seven Ways to Unwind After a Long Week

After a stressful work week, there’s nothing you want more than to relax. But sometimes we end up choosing activities that drain us even more. Follow our guide to learn how to unwind—the healthy way.

By Adarsh Soni
03 July 2021


1. Take a long hot bath



This might sound really basic but after a gruelling day at work, there’s nothing as relaxing as a hot bath. When it comes to the weekend, you should try to make it even more special. According to research by Dr Cynthia M Dorsey, Sleep Disorders Center Alcohol McLean Hospital, Massachusetts, USA, a hot bath can significantly improve sleep quality. So light some aromatherapy candles, use that fancy handmade soap you’ve been saving, and play a soothing soundtrack while you soak the stress away.


2. Read a good book



The difference between binge watching a TV show and reading a book is that the latter can spark your imagination while also calming your mind. Another plus point is that it doesn’t involve any technology. If you find just the right book, it can transport you to a world entirely outside of your own, and if you’re looking to destress there’s nothing like leaving your life behind for a while.


3. Cook your favourite meal



Craving comfort food? Don’t reach for your phone to order in just yet. How about you cook it for yourself this weekend? A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology suggests that people who frequently take a turn at small, creative projects like cooking or baking report feeling more relaxed and happier in their everyday lives. Another benefit of eating home-cooked meals is that they tend to have a much lower sodium content, which can further help control high blood pressure.


4. Get a good night’s sleep



A good night’s sleep is just as important as exercising or eating well. A research paper by Dr Jeffrey M Ellenbogen, Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA, states that sleep is vital for various aspects of brain function like cognition, concentration, and performance and can boost your productivity levels in many ways. Make sure that your bedding is comfortable, the temperature is set according to your preference, the lights are completely shut out and there’s nothing that’s troubling your mind. Treat your bedroom like a sanctuary where you can regain your strength for the next day.


5. Spend some time out in the open



This doesn’t need to be a rigorous hike or a marathon. Just a little walk in the neighbourhood park will do. And if you’re lucky enough to live near the mountains or the beach, that’s even better. Try to wake up a little early so that you don’t run into a lot of people during your walk. Forget about whatever projects are due on Monday, or that meeting you have to prepare for, and learn how to live in the moment. You can practice stress-releasing techniques like meditation or simply breathe in and breathe out while you enjoy the pleasant morning breeze.


6. Try aromatherapy



Our sense of smell is a very powerful way of harnessing positivity and relaxation and it’s backed by science. According to research by Dr T Komori, Department of Psychiatry, Mie University School of Medicine, Japan, fragrance comforts through simulation of the olfactory system and citrus scents in particular can normalise neuroendocrine hormone levels and immune function as norepinephrine has been shown to play an important role in our ability to concentrate. You can indulge in aromatherapy in multiple ways but an essential oil diffuser is the easiest and most effective way to go about it. You can also experiment with bath oils or just get a set of candles that will make your house smell great.


7. Sweat it out



A workout plan might be just what you need to relieve your week-long stress. According to research by Dr Julia C. Basso, Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York, USA, regular exercise can increase brain sensitivity for the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which relieve feelings of depression. Additionally, exercise can increase the production of endorphins, which are known to help produce positive thoughts while keeping your stress levels in check. And at the end, it doesn’t matter how intense your workout is, the key is to engage in some form of regular physical activity.


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