Sometimes, after you’ve tackled challenges at the office, miserable rush hour traffic, and long lines at the grocery store, the end of the day can’t come quickly enough for you!

With all the frustrations you deal with in a typical day, it’s only fair that you allow yourself to unwind. Plus, relaxing and rejuvenating yourself is the best way to ensure a tranquil night’s sleep and be prepared for another day.

Try these ideas to unwind after a long day:

1. Get a good laugh. Any doctor will attest to the remarkable benefits of laughter as a method of stress release and relief! Laughter is like exercise in that it encourages release of the feel-good hormones, endorphins. Here are some easy ways to get a laugh:

* Watch re-runs of your favorite childhood comedy.

* Invite your most free-spirited friends over to talk about the events of their day. They’ll have you laughing hysterically when you share stories over a glass of wine or a bowl of chips.

* Jump in the car and visit the movie theater to watch a funny film. The ambiance of the movie theater would also be a great change from your regular scenery at home.

2. Soak in a lavender bath. Soaking in the tub is a therapeutic, calming activity in itself, but it’s even more effective when you put a few drops of lavender essence in the bath water. It’s a great accompaniment if you want to use your bath time to meditate.

* For centuries, this herb has been used as a remedy for a range of ailments, from insomnia and anxiety to depression and fatigue.

* Further research has proven that gently inhaling lavender results in calming, soothing, and sedative effects.

3. Do some Pilates stretches. You can benefit from doing a few of the stretches to unwind your mind and body. Most of them are pretty easy and doable in a short space of time.

* Stretching in each position for a minute or two can really allow your mind to release the frustration so you feel at ease.

* You can also benefit physically by loosening your tense, tight muscles.

4. Read a novel. You’d be surprised at how easily you can let go of your burdens by allowing yourself to slip into the storyline of a good book. Reading is a great way to escape life’s realities and become part of a fantasy, if even for a moment in time!

* Funny novels are great because they make you laugh while you become familiar with the characters’ quirks.

* Thrillers are great books for stress relief as well. The suspense in every turn of the page takes you to a completely different world than the one that stressed you out all day.

You deserve to be relaxed, calm and happy. Even though things happen each day to affect your peace of mind, it’s important to keep the unwelcome state of being from taking over. Use these strategies to give yourself the opportunity to unwind, rest, and rejuvenate. You’ll see life from a whole new perspective!