Happy hour can be a fantastic way to unwind after a stressful day at work. It’s a great opportunity to get to know your coworkers, chat about your day, and listen to some terrific music.
On the other hand, if you partake of these happy hour activities on a regular basis, you could be consuming more alcohol and empty calories than you even realize.
In addition, you may be training your brain to believe that consumption is the only way to relax.
You can’t remove stress from daily life, but you can absolutely learn to deal with it without creating bad habits. Check out these tips to relax without food or alcohol to start making healthier choices today.
14 Tips to Relax Without Food or Alcohol
Calorie-Free Ways to Relax on Your Own
1. Breathe deeply. Pause and take a few calming breaths. Inhale from down in your diaphragm instead of up in your chest. Lengthen your exhalations to match your inhalations. Focus on the air as it moves in and out of your nostrils.
2. Meditate and pray. Sit down for a few moments and connect with yourself and something that is greater. Observe your thoughts without judging them. Give thanks for your blessings.
3. Engage in visualization. Close your eyes and imagine something that makes you feel happy and inspired. Picture yourself surrounded by family and friends or excelling at a task that you find fulfilling.
4. Draw a bath. Fill your tub with warm water and enjoy a luxurious soak. Use fragrant bath salts to engage your senses. Set out fluffy towels, candles, and other items that make you feel pampered and relaxed.
5. Stretch your body. Make it a habit to stand up every half hour or so when you’re working at your desk. Place your hands on your lower spine for support, and do a slight backbend. Rise up tall, and reach your hands down to the floor, bending your knees if necessary.
6. Take a walk. Stroll around the block or hike the trails at your local park. Pick a quiet time of day and explore new routes.
7. Appreciate nature. Scientific studies prove that nature has the power to soothe us. Head outdoors or watch videos about sandy beaches and ancient forests.
8. Learn progressive relaxation. Experiment with progressive muscle relaxation. Start with your hands, squeezing each muscle group as you breathe in, and releasing as you breathe out. Continue across the rest of your body.
Calorie-Free Ways to Relax with Others
1. Practice yoga.Yoga cultivates community as well as stress relief and physical fitness. Bring a friend with you to your next class. Invite others to join you for breakfast afterwards.
2. Play sports. As long as you avoid extreme competition, sports can be very relaxing. Schedule a game of tennis or darts with a friend.
3. Go dancing. Take listening to music a step further by getting out on the dance floor. Sign up for rumba lessons or spend your next date night at a club with a live band.
4. Pet your dog. Time spent with dogs is never wasted. There are so many ways that living with a dog makes your life better, and better health is just one of them.
5. Talk it over. On the other hand, your fellow humans are probably going to have more insights into how to deal with your love life or conflicts at work. Call a friend when you need to vent or discover a different perspective on whatever is on your mind.
6. Laugh it up. Humor makes our struggles easier to bear. Spend time with others who encourage you to see the funny aspects of life that might otherwise bring you down.
Whether you’re on your own or surrounded by friends, you can banish stress safely and effectively without food or alcohol. Learning to relax without those empty calories will help you stay healthy and feel peaceful.
What are your favorite ways to relax?
Let me know how you relax without food or alcohol in a comment below, or stop by my Facebook page and join in the conversation there!