As I’ve said in previous posts, I have a full-time job now. I come in to work at 8:30am (technically 8am because I HATE being late) and stare at computer screens until 5pm. Answering phone calls, filling out invoices, and approving projects constantly really takes its toll on my energy levels. By the time I get home, I’m completely exhausted. But of course, there are other things I have to take care of. Cook dinner, go grocery shopping, take my brother to his trumpet lessons. The list goes on and on.
To sum up, I’ve been a big ball of stress lately. But I know that in order to keep up at work, I need to take care of myself. Everyone’s health should be top priority in my book. So I’ve come up with 15 different things like to do when I want to relax. If you’re experiencing the same thing, maybe this could help you!
Leave Work At Work
When I leave to go home, sometimes I’m thinking about what the next day will bring. But I learned that if I really want to relax, I have to stop stressing about tomorrow. Leave any and all work thoughts at work. It’s basically impossible to find peace at home when my mind is stuck at my office desk. So once I leave the building, I lock away those worries in my brain and get ready for the afternoon.
Change Into Comfortable Clothes
I don’t know about you, but I love to slip into a pair of pj pants and an oversized sweatshirt when I get home. It’s like I’m stripping off all of that work stress and diving into a bunch of warm cotton/polyester/flannel. Doing that tells my brain that I’m done thinking about emails and contracts for while.
Take A Bath or Shower
Sometimes I just feel like my work load weighs me down through the whole 40 minute drive home. To ease the tension in my back that I have from sitting all day, I immediately hop into the shower. The warm water washes away the stiffness and leaves me feeling calm. If I really want to take my time, I’ll make up a warm bath and just soak. I have bath bombs on standby just for those special occasions.
Listen To Music
After listening to people talk over the phone all day, I sometimes just don’t want to hear another human voice for a while. That’s when I put on my noise cancelling headphones and turn on some tunes. Not anything too loud or fast, cause that ends up making me feel worse. Slow, gentle songs or even nature sounds get me in the nap time mood.
Woah, ok, you might think this is weird. “Why am I working out when I just finished my actual work?” Hear me out. Exercising is a great way to get rid of your stress. Your body releases endorphins while you’re working out, making you feel a sense of satisfaction. Plus, regular exercise helps you feel happier and more aware later on. So make sure to trade those work shoes for tennis shoes and work off that tension… literally!
My phone has become my life, in a way. My photos, social media, documents, almost everything can be found on my portable device. But staring at my phone screen for too long can give me a headache and/or hurt my eyes, especially after just getting away from a computer. So I’ll leave it in my room while I do something somewhere else in the house. That way I’m not distracted by the constant *ding* of notifications.
Read A Book
I’m an avid book reader. I enjoy curling up in a blanket with a good story and escaping into that world for a few hours. The best genre to really get lost in is either fantasy or adventure. My mind goes from deadlines and statements to dragons and sword fights. I have a ton of novels that I’ve bought and still have yet to get to. So I’ve set a goal for myself; finish 35 books by the end of the year. We’ll see how that goes!
Meditation is a wonderful strategy to stay grounded through tough times. Now I don’t trek my way to a nature setting and sit in the lotus flower pose in order to meditate. I mainly sit on my bedroom floor, close my eyes, and breathe. In and out. In and out. Focusing on each breath and how my body moves with it. That’s all I do for about 10 minutes. Doing this allows me to momentarily forget about the not so pleasant things that might have happened earlier.
This kind of goes along with meditation, but I’m making it its own separate thing. I used to take yoga classes while I was in college, and I was able to focus on my school work better because of it. Now that I’m on my booty all day, I use yoga to stretch away the tension in my lower back and shoulders. There are so many yoga lessons out there on YouTube and other sites that help with certain problem areas. Check ’em out!
Do Something Creative
Now this could cover a lot of different things. Drawing, coloring, and crafting are just a few of the activities that I myself do. It shifts my focus over from work stuff to something calming and not hard to complete. I own multiple adult coloring books, and I’m trying to finish one page every week. Another goal being set, but it’s good to have goals!
Water is your best friend. When you get stressed out by something, that can cause your body to dehydrate quickly. In order to remedy that, I bring a full bottle of water everywhere and I avoid caffeine. I find that I get headaches when I drink soda or coffee, so water and tea are for me. I’m not saying to ban coffee completely; I’d be drawn and quartered! Caffeine isn’t necessarily dehydrating, but I recommend drinking water throughout the evening.
Light A Candle
My family has candles placed in almost every room of the house, but we’d only ever light them when the power shut off. I bought a candle for myself a couple of weeks ago, and I love lighting it when I get home. Not only does it has a wonderful smell (rosewood, cassis, and jasmine blossom. It’s heavenly!), but the flickering flame helps to calm me down. It’s another way to tell my mind to slow down and take a breather.
I HATE coming home to a sea of random stuff lying everywhere. It’s like going from one stressful situation to another. I can’t handle the chaos, so I sometimes tidy up a room or two. I’ll organize bookshelves, take any laundry to the basement, throw trash away, and put dirty dishes in the dishwasher (provided that it’s empty). Cleaning actually gets me in the mindset of “I’m home now, so I just need to care of a little bit of house work, then I can relax.” which makes the time afterwards even more enjoyable.
Leave The House
So this is something I do when the weather decides to cooperate with me (which doesn’t happen often). Having an office job means that you’re stuck indoors for a very long time, and every so often I feel claustrophobic. Remaining inside when I return home isn’t very pleasant when that happens. So I’ll end up going for a walk around town or drive to a park and enjoy the fresh air. Again, this is only if the weather is nice enough for me to do so.
The absolute, number one, best thing to do when I want to relax is to sleep. It’s very important to have a good night’s rest in order to feel fully restored the next morning. I recommend aiming for 8-9 hours and keeping your phone a good distance away so you’re not checking it in the middle of the night. Luckily for me, I sleep in a loft bed, so my phone is on my desk underneath me. Otherwise, I’d be Facebooking all night!
There you go! My 15 ways to relax after a long day. I hope that maybe you found something interesting and/or helpful. See you soon!