A lot has been said about the consumption (or rather the overconsumption) of content on Instagram as well as other platforms. As makers, sharing relevant readings with our community has been a significant topic of discussion at Redo’s makeshift studio. So, last week, we decided to ask you about the ways in which you unwind after a jam-packed day of work. And aren’t we glad we did! Receiving your thoughts on an important aspect of work-life balance turned out to be such a great way of getting to know you! It feels a lot better to write with your inputs rather than guessing what you Redoers are interested in reading.
Some days at work leave us recharged, energized and remind us why we started doing it in the first place. While some days pan out quite different from our expectations and leave us somewhat drained or exhausted. Hence, developing finely tuned self-care rituals becomes essential to navigating the ups and downs of modern work life. Especially for someone who has unpleasant experiences at work much more often than desired.
Unhealthy work cultures, long working hours, burdensome projects etc. can make even the best of us prone to chronic stress, anxiety, disenchantment, and even burnout. Carving a space to rejuvenate helps one to break out of unhealthy patterns. Not only does it assist in releasing everyday emotional buildup but, it also provides the harmony required for maintaining productivity and efficiency in the long run.
Here are the ways in which our community of Redoers decompresses:
There is something about a cup of tea that prompts one to take a moment and slow down. Any warm drink is a super stress soother, and curling up with a cup of aromatic herbal tea can make the whole day go away. But with tea, it’s not just the warmth at work. Skin-friendly tea also has two magic anti-stress ingredients. L-theanine, an amino acid produces a relaxed but alert frame of mind. And catechins, a type of antioxidant that helps lower a particular stress hormone called corticosterone. We, at Redo, our huge fans of caffeine-free jasmine tea. It smells so heavenly that we happily pause the hustle and sit down in awe of the magic unfurling inside the cup! Which one’s your favorite?
-Diksha (Instagram: @dikshagaba), Jazz (Instagram: @jazzmineraine
2. Good book
Reading can reduce stress levels by 68 percent, according to the University of Sussex research. And it works better and faster than other methods to calm frazzled nerves such as listening to music, going for a walk or settling down with a cup of tea. Psychologists believe this is because the human mind has to concentrate on reading and the distraction of being taken into a literary world eases the tensions in muscles and the heart. So many Redoers said that reading is the best way for them to relax and even a few minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels. Our tip: read about something which makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be on the best-seller list necessarily. Indulging in your hobby like traveling, cooking, music, sports, fitness etc. by reading about it can prove to be a double-whammy for stress!
-Diksha (Instagram: @dikshagaba), Rasik (Instagram: @rasikpansare), Deeksha (Instagram: @deeksha.gahlaut), Versha (Instagram: @vershamithra)
3. Green bathing
This one is perhaps our favorite as it is just so effective! Green bathing is a term inspired by the Japanese practice of forest bathing which is proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress hormone production, boost the immune system, and improve the overall feeling of wellbeing. The “tonic of the wilderness” was first prescribed for civilization and its discontents by Henry David Thoreau in his classic 1845 essay Walden: Or, Life in the Woods. Green bathing means just being in the presence of trees. Appreciating nature without trying to accomplish something- hiking, trekking, running etc. can be a form of therapy. A 30-minute forest visit can promote lower concentrations of cortisol, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and mindful breathing. City dwellers can benefit from small doses of nature by visiting parks, lush plant nurseries and gardens as even brief exposures can relieve stress. Being based in an urban area of Delhi, our team escapes to the Kamala Nehru Ridge, Civil Lines or Butterfly Park, Saket in the search of greener pastures from time to time. It’s grounding and we go back to the calm feeling of being there. It’s not like a time capsule, but something we can continually return to. Got a favorite park in the city? Don’t keep it a secret. We would love to know about your find!
-Keerthana (Instagram:@_keerthanap_), Smriti (Instagram: @smritimaurya)
4. Family Time/ Phone Calls with Loved Ones
If you are lucky enough to be sharing the same roof with your loved ones then we hope you all are hugging it out on the regular! If not, stop reading, and give a call to your preferred parent immediately! As much as they would love hearing from you, just the sound of their voice will be enough to let you off the adulting hook for a few seconds. The easiest way to continue feeling warm and fuzzy in life is to make an effort to create meaningful relationships.
-Deepika (Instagram: @deepika.kapoor)
Probably one of the most popular responses in our Q&A session was Netflix! If consumed in moderation then, watching a movie or an episode of your new favorite series can be a great way to unwind. Taking an hour or two out of your schedule to really immerse yourself in a fictional world and leaving your worries behind can be so relaxing. Who cares if it’s unproductive? It’s also nonviolent, unobtrusive and semi-social. Interesting shows and movies make great topics of conversation and an instant way to connect with others. Work/college can be stressful, and unwinding can be hard. No wonder that Netflix is the millennials’ preferred way to chill given that it can be plugged into with just a laptop and Wifi. It’s a great way to rest, forget and calm down when you don’t want to go anywhere. Pro-tip: One of our community members, Sanskriti, recommends Chef’s Table! The show uncovers the stories of some of the best chefs and food in the world by traveling to exquisite locations. And the episodes are mostly under an hour long. It’s the perfect viewing to rejuvenate your senses. But, be warned. You can’t watch Chef’s Table without feeling hungry! So keep something to munch on handy.
-Noopur (Instagram: @noopur.chaturvedi), Rasik (Instagram: @rasikpansare), Afsha (Instagram: @afshagulsher), Sanskriti (Instagram: @sanskritimerchant)
6.Yoga & Meditation
It’s often that we come across studies which further the cause of yoga with practitioners all over the world. While the popular belief is that yoga causes an increase in the overall sense of well-being and it also helps in emotional regulation. Science has proven that yoga seems to help alleviate lower back pain, improve strength and flexibility, and reduce inflammation in the body. Emerging research suggests yoga can increase body awareness or attention to the sensations and things going on inside you. That's no small matter: Researchers think heightened body awareness can improve how well people take care of themselves. Pragya from the Redoers community recommends an app called Headspace which guides users to practice meditation.
-Varsha (Instagram: @moderas.in)
Do we need to say anything about this one? It works like a charm. And for women, it comes with so many health benefits! The list stretches from relieving regular menstrual cramps to potentially protecting you against major disorders like Endometriosis. Apart from improving confidence, it can provide important psychological and emotional benefits. Did you know that the oxytocin hormone released during orgasm can help build empathy, trust, and intimacy in your love relationships? It’s an all-around winner and probably the best on the list!
-Anonymous (on request)
8. Working Outdoors
“Nature deficit disorder” might sound like a new one but all of us can remember feeling stifled by the four walls of the office. Trapping ourselves indoors creates depression or anxiety resulting from too little time spent outside. Getting outdoors can do great things for your health. Reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and improving immune function are among nature’s health benefits. What's more, incorporating elements of nature into your workday can also give your brain a boost, resulting in increased productivity, focus, and creativity. We have a little balcony at Redo’s makeshift studio and we can say with certainty that some of our most creative ideas come to fruition there! So next time you are feeling the blues or when the office gets too intense, pick up your laptop and find a spot outside. We promise, it will like a breath of fresh air, literally and metaphorically!
-Pragya (Instagram: @pragyakale), Team Redo (Instagram: @redoworld.in)
9. Gratitude Journal/Diary
Gratitude is probably one of the most overlooked tools we have access to every day. It’s surprising since it doesn’t cost any money and definitely doesn’t cost much time. If spending just 15 minutes jotting down a few things we are grateful for before bedtime can make us sleep better and longer, then why would we ever not do it? A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sports Psychology found that gratitude increased athlete’s self-esteem, which is an essential component of optimal performance. Other studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs – which is a major factor in reduced self-esteem- grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments. We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude. Simply take a few moments to focus on all that you have – rather than complain about all the things you think you deserve. Developing an "attitude of gratitude" is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.
-Team Redo (Instagram: @redoworld.in)
10. Wandering/Getting Lost with Google Maps
Malls, cafes, amusement parks etc. all get old after a while. On some weekends, when the bug of exploration takes over you, don’t hesitate to get lost a little- literally! When was the last time you just got out of the office/house without a destination in mind and just walked wherever your feet took you? If you have never done this before and are concerned about your safety, we would recommend exploring the nearest monument/library/art gallery etc. with the help of google maps. Pragya, a Redoer who codes for a living, shares that she enjoys her time abroad by wandering around European cities. Isn’t it a great way to find joy in solitude; for someone who is spending their time away from family.
-Pragya (Instagram: @pragyakale)
11. DIY Weekend Projects
It could be something as simple as potting a new plant or building a terrarium from scratch. Rolling your sleeves up and making something with your hands on a weekend for an art project is a definite way to hit pause on the stresses of work life and enjoy your time. The beauty of these DIY projects is that they can be done by yourself or with someone. Either way, you will end up with a small thing which you made for yourself or your loved ones. That’s enough to light up someone’s day! And while you are at it, get creative, rather than purchasing expensive DIY kits online, you can look around the house for materials and upcycle your waste into something beautiful!
-Team Redo (Instagram: @redoworld.in)
We are actually quite overwhelmed by the number of responses we received in our Q&A. We took note of each one of them and while we couldn’t share all, here are some noteworthy mentions. Redoers also suggested these activities to decompress- a warm hug, comfort food, video games (PUB G seems to be the new favorite!), working out, swimming, giving your time to someone who deserves it and, last but in no way, the least, sleeping.
That’s all for now folks. Have a great week and keep redoing!