by Nick Marshall
Those precious hours at the end of the day, after work is done, are meant for recharging. Even if other tasks on the “To Do” list have a habit of cutting in on our downtime, it’s still important to clear some space in the schedule for nothing other than relaxing. But let’s be real — figuring out exactly how to chill out after squeezing what feels like a million things into your day can be a challenge. And if you find yourself collapsing into bed stressed and agitated, you’re not alone.
So instead of rushing around until it’s time to hit the lights, try these simple ways to reset the balance. Each will help you carve out a little time to take care of yourself without feeling like too much of a chore. Chill never felt so good.
Take Time to Cook
There’s a better way to save time in your evenings than grabbing a ready-cook microwave meal from the grocery store. If you meal prep ahead of time, everything will be ready and waiting for you at home, so you avoid the stress of rushing to grab ingredients and figuring out what to buy. Learn to savor the process of preparing dinner and enjoying it with friends or family away from the TV, not to mention the satisfaction of finessing your signature dishes with healthy ingredients.
Soak in a Deep Bath
A long soak in a warm bath heavy with the aroma of essential oils will draw stress out of the body. Raising your core body temperature will also set you up for a good night’s sleep, so save some bath “me time” for the hour or so before bed. Set the mood with some scented candles, add a few drops of essential oils to your soap suds and pamper yourself afterward with a muscle-soothing balm. Some people like to take a book to the tub, while others choose the company of a glass of wine. Whatever works for you, a warm bath is a great way to chill out.
Crack Open a Book
Just six minutes of reading can reduce stress by up to 68 percent. Let that sink in for a minute. If you spend the same amount of time reading as you do checking for the latest memes on twitter, you can cut your feelings of stress by over half. And while you don’t have to plow through War and Peace to feel the benefits, we would recommend making sure whatever you choose to read is something physical - whether it be your favorite glossy magazine, book, or newspaper. That’s because the blue light you expose yourself to when reading the New York Times on your phone or scrolling through social media can actually prime your brain to stay awake and suppress the production of melatonin. So make it a point in your nighttime routine to settle into your favorite chair and spend your last hour of the day with your nose in a book - instead of in your emails.
Stretch the Stress Away
You might think that flopping onto the couch with a big bowl of chips is peak relaxation, but you can take chilling out even further, leaving you healthier in the process. Even some light stretching and deep breathing will slow down your heart rate, decrease blood pressure, and reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. You can still follow your favorite TV series but slide off the couch and onto a yoga mat to watch it, working through a selection of easy-to-learn poses and stretches. You’ll find your muscles more supple, your mind more focused and your body less prone to the aches and inflammation that can interrupt sleep.
Still not sure how to chill out? Start by trying just one of the suggestions above, just one night this week. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to incorporate these simple habits into even the busiest evening routines. You can also incorporate a CBD tincture like FOCL Premium Drops, which are full of American-grown Hemp CBD and ultra-pure MCT Oil to help you chill out. Before you know it, you’ll be the most zen person you know.