Happy Chatty Tuesday everyone! Believe it or not, today’s blog post came about whilst I was sat at my desk at work, thinking about how I can unwind as much as possible when the clock ticks past 17:30. Sitting on my bum for 40 hours a week doesn’t sound like a strenuous job, but it’s mentally rather taxing. I’m not one for wishing precious time away, but I do find myself daydreaming about all of the things I’d much rather be doing. Winding down after a long day at work or even university can be quite difficult, so I wanted to compile a doable list of things you can try to relax that extra bit more.
I’m not currently at university and never have been. I chose to work full time instead, so I can’t speak personally from a student’s perspective so this post will be aimed more at those in work with a bit less free time. As a bit of context, I currently work full time in an office. I leave the house at 8am every day and get home around 17:50. So, before bed that gives me around 5 hours to “unwind” in. This is the tricky part. When you have to wedge relaxing and me-time around doing the washing, cooking, cleaning, washing yourself or even putting the kids to bed, it can be difficult to know what winding down even means when before you know it you’re up and on the go again. Here’s 5 ways to unwind.
synonyms: relax, loosen up, ease up/off, let up, slow down, de-stress, unbend, rest, repose
- Leave it at the door. Much easier said than done, I know. If you have a job that you don’t have to take home with you – do exactly that. Irrespective of where you work, you shouldn’t have to take the weight of the work day home with you. Feeling tired is inevitable most days and talking about your day is normal – and great if you enjoy your job! But I believe there should be more separation between our work and home lives. Maybe set a goal of only talking about work for half an hour, before leaving it until you have to face it again the next day. Your work is your work and your home is your home. Don’t let the work bug invade your personal space.
- Check off your to-list. I don’t know about you, but until I know the things that need to be done are done, I simply cannot relax. I know I annoy my other half about this sometimes because he’s often telling me to just sit down and chill. But you might be like me and sit there thinking “I need to make dinner, then washup, then have a shower, then make lunch for tomorrow” etc. I don’t think this is all bad. Relaxing is much more enjoyable when you can mentally take a bit of a break too. Try removing as many things as possible that could be preventing you from unwinding. Plus what better feeling than sitting down after a long day knowing you have unsolicited you time! Plus the future you will be thankful for getting that load of washing done.
- Investing any time into relaxing is better than none at all. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. I’d seem quite naive to say we all have a few hours spare each day strictly for ourselves just to unwind because it’s simply not true. However, life can take a back seat sometimes because we need to make ourselves a priority. I think there’s a stereotype of self-care that says we have to spend hours in the bath with a face mask on drinking fruit tea to make it feel like we’re relaxing properly. Balls to that. Remove that social pressure that you’re not treating yourself enough. If taking 10 minutes out to read the news on the loo is what helps you unwind after a long day, then you do you. It’s all relative.
- Plan ahead/schedule time to relax. This may sound silly at first, but it’s difficult to pencil in time to relax sometimes, so perhaps literally pencil it in before anything else can squeeze itself into your schedule. If you already have plans with yourself on Friday night, it gives you unwinding time to look forward to. Even if that’s just 30 minutes of reading before bed to finally dust that book off you got for Christmas or taking your dog for a walk. There’s nothing wrong with putting your chores aside for the night and just doing what you want because you can.
- Switch off. When my mind is ticking or I feel particularly anxious, I find being on my phone and social media can worsen this feeling. Putting your phone down whilst in the bath or making dinner rather than aimlessly scrolling, can snap you back into reality and allow you to immerse yourself in what’s in front of you. Turning the music on, pouring a glass of rosé and actually enjoying your “chores” may allow you to see things in a different light. I’m being a little bit contradictory here because I’m unwinding in front of a screen typing away, but soon enough I’m going to shut my laptop down and shut my eyes too.
So there we have just 5 ways to help you unwind after your day. I think the takeaway message is to do what relaxes you, which could be completely opposite to the next person, but that’s okay. There’s no right or wrong way to unwind – just as long as you utilise some time in your day to escape for a bit. Thank you so much for reading – let me know in the comments what your favourite way to unwind is.
And like the anon Pinterest quote says; “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first”.
Until next time,