Last Updated on February 21, 2023
Unwinding after work is an essential and important part of taking care of yourself.
When you’re done with your day, it’s time to find a healthy way to de-stress and relax so that your body and mind can both be in a healthy balance. Going right from work into another task or sitting in front of a screen until late at night isn’t going to do you any favors in the long run – avoiding problems now will save you bigger ones down the road.
Let’s look at 10 healthy ways to unwind after work. These practical tips can help reduce stress levels, get better sleep, and make for a more productive next day. Let’s take some time away from Career mode and get ourselves into Relaxation mode!
Why Is It So Important to Unwind and Destress After Work?
After a long day of working hard and meeting deadlines, you deserve to unwind and destress. Carving out time in the evening to relax is essential to maintaining your physical and mental well-being.
Taking this time to step away from work helps clear your mind, allowing you to become aware of other areas of life that may be neglected while focused on work. Unwinding can help refocus energy on hobbies, friendships, family members, or any other aspects that you find worthwhile or peaceful.
It’s important to take the time to appreciate what life has to offer outside of stress for us to remain content and energized. Enjoying after-work downtime can do wonders for your productivity going forward.
What Can Happen If We Don’t Take the Time to Unwind?
As women, it is easy to push ourselves too hard at work and completely forget to take time for ourselves afterward. Doing this regularly can have severe consequences on our physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Physically, not taking a break can cause us to become run-down and exhausted. We may struggle to stay awake during our days or find ourselves dealing with headaches and body aches more often than usual.
Emotionally, when we’re overworked and out of tune with ourselves, we can sink into sadness or anxiety much faster. It becomes hard to be present with friends and family; instead of enjoying time together, we may feel irritable and unfocused.
Spiritually, not taking the time to wind down can mean that we don’t get moments of stillness where we can just be in our bodies.
It’s So Easy to Take Work Home with Us
It’s all too easy to take our work home with us, either literally or figuratively. The stress of today’s job conditions can make it hard for us to “leave work at work,” even when we’re not physically getting into the car for a long drive.
Our personal life and business life can become so intertwined, it’s hard to separate them in a healthy way.
If you work outside the home:
Does this sound familiar? We think about how the day went – good and bad – as we make the commute home, rehashing everything in agonizing detail. You know what I mean. It can be a snowball effect that can be all-consuming.
Once home, it can become the number one topic of conversation, so the issues and stresses keep on swirling around in our heads and so often, out of our mouths.
We keep our phones close, checking emails more often than we should. We’re answering questions from coworkers after office hours and tackling projects on the weekends.
The result? Unfortunately, it can create a home environment that is anything but relaxing.
If you work from home:
Working from home has the same tendencies – taking conference calls during lunch break and spending late nights checking things off the list.
It’s incredibly easy to work our way into a schedule that begins when we fall out of bed and doesn’t end until we manage to fall asleep.
10 Healthy Ways to Unwind After Work
1 | take a deep, cleansing breath as you leave the office
After a long day at work, it can be hard to relax and find mental clarity. Giving yourself the gift of a few moments of pause at the end of your workday is essential for your well-being and ensuring you can create space to reset.
So next time you leave the office, take a beautiful deep breath in, pause for a moment, and then let it out fully as you start your journey home, whether it is in the car, on the bus, train, or as close as the next room.
This simple act of deep breathing can help clear your mind from the day’s stresses and get you back in the present moment, so that when you reach home, you are free of distractions and ready to refresh.
2 | listen to music you love
After a long day of work, the thought of having to relax may be too much. But taking that short break from reality can give your body and mind what it truly needs.
Take some time for yourself and try turning on the music you love. For those who drive home after work, switch up your regularly scheduled playlist in favor of something a little more upbeat, or pick something peaceful that will help relieve stress.
And if you are working from home, set aside 5 to 10 minutes right before you log out of work for the day, and let your favorite tunes take over. This can give you an extra boost of motivation as you finish off your day and transition away from ‘work mode’ into relaxation mode.
3 | set the phone aside
After a long day of work, it can sometimes be hard to let go and truly relax. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or simply unable to switch off, taking some time out to set your phone aside can really help.
Detaching yourself from the pull of the technology that causes stress is a vital way to unwind. Put the phone in another room, turn it off, or simply put on ‘do not disturb’ mode for half an hour and instead spend that time focusing on yourself and doing something calming like listening to music, going for a walk outside or reading a book.
The benefits of peacefulness and clarity that this pause will bring will make all the difference. You deserve relaxation – take it!
4 | get your body moving
After a long stressful day of work, it’s important to unwind before you tackle the rest of your evening. Why not try getting your body moving?
It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you choose – just pull out the workout clothes and let your body move! Walking in nature or dancing around your living room can be refreshing, calming, and energizing all at once. Taking the time to move your body after a hard day’s work can help shift your perspective. You could feel lighter, more present, and even happier by the end of it.
And if you don’t want to go alone, why not invite some friends; being social and active at the same time can be great for everyone’s mental health. Taking care of yourself both physically and mentally is super important so don’t forget to make time during each day for something that brings you joy, like getting your body moving.
5 | go for a walk and breathe in fresh air
After a long day, a walk can be the perfect way to wind down and let go of stress. There’s nothing quite like breathing in some fresh air, allowing your body to relax and your mind to wander.
This simple, healthy activity can help you clear your head and recenter before you go back home. Going outside is also great for reminding yourself of the beauty of nature, which is often easy to forget when we spend so much time in buildings and in our homes.
6 | write down your to-dos and goals for tomorrow’s work day, then let it go
After a long day of work, it’s sometimes hard to put all your thoughts and to-dos aside and just relax.
Writing down all that you need to do tomorrow is a great way to help with the transition and being to relax after work. It gives you clarity and allows you to mentally let go of your tasks so that you can focus on winding down.
Releasing this mental energy can help bring peace of mind and give you more room to be creative and find joy in your day. So take a few minutes to create a to do list for what needs doing tomorrow, then leave it alone for now – give yourself the space to rest and do something for yourself.
7 | spend some time with the special people in your life
After a long day of work, it’s important to take some time for yourself to relax and refocus. A great way to do that is to spend time with the special people in your life. Family, friends, or even just someone close to you who you can talk candidly with can provide a different type of energy that can be calming in unexpected ways.
It doesn’t have to be anything expensive or complex either – simply hanging out together and enjoying each other’s company can have such a positive impact on your overall well-being, leaving you feeling satisfied and renewed before bedtime.
8 | journal for 10 minutes
After a long day of work, sometimes it can be hard to unwind and get into a relaxed mindset. That’s why journaling is such a great activity.
Taking just ten minutes out of your day to jot down what you are grateful for, or some goals you want to set for yourself can help clear your head and reframe your perspective. Plus, it doesn’t necessarily have to be serious – daydream about your dream vacation or plan how you’ll decorate your home once spring comes around – it’s totally up to you!
Give yourself the time and opportunity for some self-exploration; journaling can be an effective way to unwind and keep up with your personal growth each day.
By the way, is it time for a new journal? Or, perhaps this is the first time you’re committing to this healthy habit. Either way, I’ve created some beautiful options for you to consider:
9| read a good book
One of the most relaxing, simple, and productive ways to unwind after work is by reading a good book. Escaping into another world or revisiting a favorite story not only has the potential to help you forget about your day but also can improve concentration and focus.
So why not take fifteen or twenty minutes each evening, grab your coziest blanket, pour a cup of tea (or glass of wine), find a comfortable spot to sit back and relax, and open the pages of that novel that’s been waiting on your nightstand!
10 | be grateful, anyway
After a long day at work, it can be difficult to unwind. But no matter how tough the workday has been, being thankful for the good and the bad that happened throughout the day is an empowering way to move forward.
Taking two minutes to make mental notes of the things you are grateful for – even those that were challenging – can help lift your spirits and reset your mind after struggling at work.
Striving to stay positive will help you find balance in your hectic life, so take a deep breath and look around: write down at least one thing each evening that reminds you of how blessed you are.
Final Thoughts: Healthy Ways to Unwind After Work
After a long day of work, it’s important to take time for yourself to relax and unwind. It can be hard to find the time or energy after having spent so much of your day at work, but taking small steps each evening toward creating a healthy lifestyle is well worth the effort!
Whether it be writing down tomorrow’s tasks, spending time with loved ones, journaling, reading a book, or simply being grateful – small acts of self-care can help bring peace of mind and joy to your day. So take the time to nurture yourself each evening and create an environment that allows you to relax and reset before bedtime!