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Dream Gates

America is ranked 12th on the list of developed countries that work for excessive hours. With the continual spread of startups and tech culture, we’re all more than likely to creep higher on that list.

As it stands, Americans work 20 more hours than the worldwide average. About a third of Americans work 45 or more hours a week, and about 10 million more work 60+ hours.

Regardless of the kind of information that continues to be peddled about having less sleep and doing more work, productivity is boosted greatly by adequate rest. After a particularly rough day at the office, there’s no better way to get your headspace back in check as finding ways to relax.

No matter how busy you are, you should be able to spare about five minutes a day to carry out one of the following activities.

Spend some time outside

Spending time in the great outdoors can be incredibly therapeutic. It’s a feeling that can be difficult to explain, but the feeling of fresh air in your skin and seeing the world helps to put things into perspective.

Therapists often explain this concept as ‘your problem is only as big as the four walls that surround you.’ Going outside clearly gets rid of the walls surrounding you, preventing you from spending too much time in your hide.

To compound this, light exercise, like taking a short stroll in the park, is incredibly beneficial for your physical and mental health.

Do some light workouts

As previously mentioned, there is a direct relationship between working out and better mental health. When people hear the word ‘gym,’ the first thing to rush to their minds is heavy weights that are going to give them more muscles than necessary. Oh yes, and a lot of effort, too.

The gym doesn’t have to be used for building muscle. You can stick to light equipment, do cardio and improve your flexibility. If the goal is to take care of your headspace rather than burning calories, a light workout will do.

Once you’ve incorporated it into your daily routine, a foot massage machine might be just the excuse you need to get started. Nothing is as relaxing as a post-workout massage.

Turn off your phone

No, seriously. Turn off your phone once you get home and get doing literally anything else. Once you get home, a lot of people get comfy in bed and turn on their phones and spend the rest of the night on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook or whichever other social media site you prefer to waste your days away on.

Social media is a great contributor to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and even depression. This is especially true if you prefer to use sites like Instagram, where it seems everyone has their life together but you. Visiting news sites and exploring the vitriolic comment sections doesn’t do much for your mental, either.

Find an emotional outlet

One of the best ways to get rid of stress is to have something to do outside your job. If whatever hobby you develop helps you to express yourself, the better.

You can take up hobbies such as drawing, taking dance classes or even cooking. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to get two people’s food to taste the same, despite having the exact same ingredients? Cooking is also a way of self-expression.

Meditate

There’s a saying in the meditation community that goes, ‘you never know how important meditation is until you stop meditating.’ Meditation requires little to no effort on your part. The beauty in it lies in the incredibly low barrier for entry.

You don’t need to buy anything and will still experience less stress, lower blood pressure and a boosted mood. Don’t know how to get started? Grab an app like Headspace or Stop, Breathe and Think and you’re virtually a pro.

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