Taking some time to destress in positive ways after a stressful day at work can improve your mood, productivity, and health.

Although, it’s definitely not the first thing that comes to mind for most of us. Eating comfort food, venting, or being irritable is more likely. Sadly, we can all agree those are not healthy ways of coping with stress.

Working in the food and beverage industry can be cutthroat, to say the least. We have all seen Hell’s Kitchen. It gets heated! No pun intended… maybe a little. So self-care is a must.

No matter, we work in the industry alongside you, as an ally. Knowing that a stressful day or even just a busy day at the restaurant can be draining, we have created a list of ways to destress that everyone should try.

1. Write it out

Although we would wager most people are not active journalers, it’s a great practice to keep. It lets you get the thoughts out of your head and onto paper; good, bad, and ugly. It’s a tool to vent but in a way that doesn’t continue to elevate your mood or those of the ones around you.

Give this a try: When you wake up in the morning and are having some coffee or still sitting in bed, write down 5 things you are grateful for about yourself. Before you go to sleep, write another 5 things you are grateful for about others. It’s a great way to destress and gain perspective after a hard day and to remember that there is always something or someone in our lives that we can be grateful for.

If you need some more topic ideas, check out this list of journaling topics.

2. Turn your devices off and go for a walk.

Give yourself the gift of some exercise, fresh air, and room to breathe. In fact, if you want to take this a step further, go on your breaks at work. Take the break to go outside, reset, and come back refreshed.

A walk is an important tool to destress, but so is turning your device off. Forbes posted an interesting article with some staggering statistic results with reasons we should be looking at our phones less. Check out what they discovered after doing a survey.

3. Do some deep breathing, meditation & yoga

Before you disregard the idea simply because yoga has unfortunately adopted a “lifestyle” image that does not apply to most people, give it a try. Yoga is an old Hindu practice that combines focused breathing, meditation, and physical poses that are restorative and engaging to help your health and relaxation. Working in a restaurant means you are on your feet all day, and if you add a hard day to that as well, your body will be full of tension, so give your body what it needs to stretch out and destress.

So, throw on some basketball shorts or sweatpants and an old tee-shirt, find a small space on the floor in your home, and find a guided meditation that you enjoy. Not sure where to start? Check out these relaxation and breathing techniques from Harvard medical school. Do this every day for a week when you have some time, and I bet you will start to look forward to your meditation time.

4. Drink some tea & watch a movie

A warm cup of tea curled up on the couch with a favorite movie is a great way to take your mind off of the day and sit back and relax. Although it seems easy, image distraction can help you destress and leave you in a better mood.

We know that time is always of the essence in the restaurant industry, and spending it doing what you want to do after a hard day is always the go-to. But make sure that you remember to take care of yourself, make healthy choices, and not only give love to those close to you but leave some for yourself as well.

At the end of the day, we want you to be able to go home and have some tools to destress after work. Looking to change jobs or get a promotion this year? Check out our blog post on 5 ways to level up your career.

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