Most of us work very hard each day, usually in a high competitive environment. Times are tough. As a result, each day we expose ourselves to extreme stress and, sometimes, it’s very hard to relax even after leaving our workplace. As a result, we are carrying all that stress and all the negative feelings back home with us. All this stress takes its toll on us eventually. We can’t enjoy life after work, because our work is still on our minds. It haunts us. Even a sound sleep is most of the times out of the question. We are increasing the risks of developing serious medical conditions and eventually burnout. So, it’s essential to learn how to relax after work, how to unwind. Here are some helpful tips.
1. Before leaving work, debrief your day and schedule the next.
This is the most important step. Most of the times we can’t get out of the door fast enough at the end of a working day, but this means that our body leaves the workplace. What about our mind? So, always take 10 more minutes to debrief your day before leaving. See what tasks were completed and what is left for the next day. What may have gone wrong and how can you fix it. Don’t take too long. There is always another day. Make a list with all the things you need to do tomorrow. Writing everything down will help ease your mind. Once you have done this, switch your mind off work and leave. Convince yourself that there is nothing more you can do now. Your work will be there, waiting, tomorrow.
2. Relax with music on your way home.
Music can work wonders! On your way home, choose some kind of relaxing music to listen. Whether you are driving, or you are using public transportation (put your headphones on), take advantage of this journey and allow yourself to calm down through music. Music will help you relax without effort.
3. Hit the gym.
If you love exercising, there is nothing better to help you unwind after a long day at work. So, instead of going straight home, head to the gym. Enjoy your workout and let your body release all those endorphins that will send you to heaven!
4. Get home and get comfortable.
Once you get home, take off your shoes, your work clothes, your makeup, take a quick shower or a long bath, if you wish, and get into something comfortable. Always choose soft fabrics and comfortable clothes to wear.
5. Deal with your domestic chores quickly.
If there are things you need to do, like cooking dinner, or cleaning or whatever else you need to do, get it over the soonest possible, once you get home, so that you can have the rest of the evening free. If you are too tired, allow yourself a break and deal only with the things that are absolutely necessary.
6. Create your personal routine that will help you unwind.
Depending on your work and on your character, you may need some time of complete silence to relax. Or you may need someone to talk to about the day you had. Whatever makes you feel better and relieved. If you are living alone, it’s easier to create your routine and you can choose whatever you like. But if you have family, it’s harder. So, you have to create your routine and you have to explain to your family that they need to respect this. They have to give you a little time, so that you can get rid of the work load and then you can become the “family person” they love. It’s not easy to switch between roles.
7. Stretch, do some yoga or meditate.
If you are very tired and very stressed, try some stretching exercises, or some yoga or even meditation. Even just some breathing exercises will help you a lot. You need to relax both your body and your mind.
8. Read a book.
When we are tired and stressed, we usually choose to spend our evening in front of the TV or our PC or smartphone. But this may put extra tension on your body. It’s better to choose a book you like, take a glass of wine or a cup of calming herbal tea (like chamomile) and start reading. This will calm you down and will prepare your body and mind for a sound sleep.
You shouldn’t feel guilty when you are spending time taking care of yourself. Even if your work is very demanding and even if you feel like you are wasting valuable time when you are not working or not thinking about work related things (that, my friend, means that you are a workaholic – I’ve been there), you should always remind yourself that you can achieve greater things, if you take good care of your body and your mind. See it as an investment, if it’s difficult for you to do it otherwise. You are investing in a sound and healthy mind and body, which is absolutely necessary on your way to success!
What is your favorite way to relax after work? Do you have any other suggestions? I can’t wait to read your comments!