After a long day at work, it’s important to take some time to unwind and relax. Unfortunately, too few people know how to do this effectively. If you’re one of those people who struggle to relax after a long day, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll share some of our favorite strategies for unwinding after work.
From learning how to replace unhealthy habits to just taking time to breathe, these tips will assist you in relaxing and de-stressing in no time. So, if you’re ready to make a much-needed change in your life and get rid of the stress, keep reading.
Table of Contents
Get Some Exercise
An excellent way to unwind after work is to get some exercise. Not only will this help you physically release any tension or stress that you may be feeling, but it will also boost your endorphins, which can help to improve your mood.
“The body tends to hold onto stress, so it’s important to find a way to physically release it,” says Cody Candee, Founder and CEO of Bounce Luggage Storage. “Exercise is an effective way to do this because it helps to increase endorphins—the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.”
So whether you go for a run, hit the gym, or do yoga, make sure to get some exercise in after work to help you unwind.
Spend Time Outdoors
Spending time outdoors is another great way to unwind after a long day. Not only will you get some essential fresh air, but it’ll also help clear your mind and reset your body clock.
“Being in nature has been shown to have a calming effect on the mind and body,” says Patricio Paucar, Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer of Navi. “So spending some time outdoors can really go a long way in helping you to unwind after a busy day.”
How often do you spend time outdoors? If you find that you’re spending most of your time indoors, make an effort to get outside more often—you’ll be glad you did.
Connect with Loved Ones
If you want to unwind after work, try connecting with loved ones. Whether you give them a call, send them a text, or meet up with them in person, spending time with people you care about can help to reduce stress and improve your mood.
“When we’re feeling stressed, it’s often because we’re disconnected from the people we love,” says Jesse DeBear, Fractional CMO of Renew Anchored Dentures. “But most of the time, we don’t realize it. Making an effort to connect with loved ones—even if it’s just for a few minutes—can really help to reduce stress and improve our mood.”
Even if you do not have any immediate family or friends, you can always use the phone to send a quick text or email to someone you care about. Just a few words can make all the difference.
Break Free from Technology
Today’s world makes it all too simple to get stuck in a constant cycle of work, eat, sleep, repeat. But if you want to unwind after work, breaking free from technology should be on your list.
“Technology is a wonderful thing. But too much of it can rob us of the face-to-face interactions that are so important for our mental and emotional well-being,” says Karim Hachem, VP of eCommerce at Sunshine 79. “If you’re looking to unwind after work, try taking a break away from all your screens and spend some time talking to a loved one or enjoying a hobby.”
You may find that you enjoy your break from all the technology in your life more than you thought you would. And who knows, you might even start to feel more connected to the people and things around you.
Make Time for Yourself
In our busy lives, it’s easy to forget about our own needs. But if you want to unwind after work, it’s important to make time for yourself.
“A great thing you can do for your mental health is to schedule some ‘me’ time into your day,” says Dr. Minhas, Founder and CEO of GerdLi. “Whether it’s spending 20 minutes reading a book, going for a walk, or taking a yoga class, making time for yourself can give you the peace and serenity you need to unwind after a long day.”
If you find that you do not have much time for yourself, try setting aside just 20 minutes each day to do an activity you enjoy. You may be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.
Get Plenty of Sleep
If you want to unwind after work, one healthy thing you can do is get plenty of sleep.
“Most people need around eight hours of sleep per night,” says Max Schwartzapfel, CMO of Fighting For You. “But if you’re not getting enough sleep, your body is going to be out of whack, and it will likely be very difficult to unwind after work.”
If you find that you’re having trouble sleeping, there are a few things you can try. First, limit your caffeine intake and make sure don’t drink it too close to bedtime. Second, make it a point to get into a normal sleep schedule.
Then, be sure to stick to it as much as possible. And finally, create a bedtime routine that’s both calming and relaxing. Doing so will help your mind and body wind down before going to sleep.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
While it may be tempting to reach for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine after a long day, doing so can actually make it harder to unwind.
“Caffeine and alcohol are two of the worst things you can consume if you’re trying to unwind after work,” says Susan K. Shaffer, President of Pneuma Nitric Oxide. “They may help you relax at the moment, but they can also lead to insomnia and other sleep problems.”
It will probably take time, but try replacing caffeine and alcohol with a beverage that doesn’t contain either of those ingredients. You may find that it’s easier to unwind—and you’ll likely sleep better, too.
Read a Book
It might sound simple, but reading a book can be a great way to unwind after work. Whether it’s a fiction novel, a biography, or even a cookbook, reading can help your mind relax and escape from your everyday life.
“There’s nothing like getting lost in a good book to help you unwind after a long day,” says Kyle Clements, CEO of Quipli. “Not only does reading provide a much-needed distraction from your work life, but it can also help to reduce anxiety and stress.”
So next time you’re looking for a way to unwind, consider reaching for a book instead of the TV remote. You might just be surprised at how much better you feel.
Soak in a Hot Bath or Shower
Another great way to relax after work is to take a hot bath or shower. The heat from the water will help to loosen any tight muscles, and the act of showering or bathing can be very calming and relaxing.
“There’s nothing like a hot bath or shower to help you unwind after a long day,” says Asker A Ahmed, Director of iProcess Global Research. “Starting this habit now can made a world of difference down the road. Not only will you feel more relaxed after a hot bath, but you can also sleep infinitely better from it.”
Many people work physically demanding jobs that leave their bodies feeling tense and sore. Suppose this sounds like you; consider adding a hot bath or shower to your nightly routine. It just might be the key to unwinding after a long day.
Practice Some Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is a simple yet effective method to unwind after work. Due to the stress of modern life, we tend to take shallow breaths that don’t fully oxygenate our blood. This can lead to feelings of anxiety and stress.
“When you feel stressed, your breathing gets shallower, and your heart rate increases,” says Carrie Shaltz Haslup, Founder and CEO of Tabeeze. “By taking some deep breaths, you can help to slow your heart rate, which will calm your nerves.”
There are a number of different deep breathing exercises you can try. One simple one is to inhale deeply in your nose, hold it for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly out your mouth. Try doing this for a few minutes each day, and you may find that it helps to reduce your stress levels.
We all know how tough it can be to unwind after a long day at work. But with a little effort, it is possible to find ways to relax and de-stress. So next time you feel tense, try one of these strategies to unwind after work.
There’s no question that most people feel tired, stressed, and burnt out after a long day at work. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to unwind and relax so you can enjoy your evenings and weekends.
The tips outlined above are all designed to help you decompress after a long day. But ultimately, the best strategy is finding what works for you and sticking with it. Experiment until you find a routine that helps you relax and feel recharged. And don’t forget to have some fun along the way!
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.