How to Relax After Work
After a long day at work many of us feel drained but, our day does not stop when we leave work. We have a job to do at home as well. It sometimes seems all we do is work. In this blog I want to share some ways to help you relax after work. Even if it is a few minutes a day it can keep us motivated to keep going.
We MUST take care of ourselves every chance we get. If we do not take time for ourselves then we can get burned out. When we get out it can lead to moodiness, anger and depression. The ways listed are easy, free or cheap ways you can take a few minutes for yourself to recharge your mind and body. Life in today’s world is often all work and no play so, turn the work into play!
1. Relax in your car
When you get home from work and you're parked in your driveway take a few minutes to listen to a song that motivates you. Listen to inspirational quotes or speakers. Sit in your car with the engine running, lean the seat back, close your eyes and clear your mind before going inside. We all know that when you enter the house work begins again. Take a few minutes before going inside to give you the energy to tackle everything before you go to bed.
2. Cook DinnerFor some cooking is relaxing. The preparation of the foods can be relaxing. Think about the therapeutic nature of chopping some vegetables. Chopping veggies can help you take out some of the frustration of the day. Stirring a pot can be a mesmerizing action if you focus on the stirring and swirling of the food in the pan. Look at how the food moves. Close your eyes and listen to the sound of the food sizzling, smell the aromas of the ingredients. If we can turn the mundane tasks we do every day into a focal point it can help us relax and unwind from the day.
3. Do the laundryI know your thinking do the laundry how is that relaxing or how can I unwind doing the laundry?! Think about it this way. You place your laundry in the washing machine start it up and you know that in 30 minutes to relax. While the laundry is going the motion of the machine can be relaxing. If you have a front load machine you can sit in front of it and watch the machine go around. Look at the colors swirl together, watch the water cascade down the glass, and listen to the sound of the water. If you don’t have a front load machine then start the machine and sit on the machine. Close your eyes, feel the motion of the machine, listen to the rhythm of the machine washing the clothes. Rhythms can be relaxing and calming. The dryer can also provide the same benefits the sounds, the smells, the motions can all be calming. Try it see what I mean.
4. Vacuum the floorI know you guys think I am crazy but hear me out. Put in your ear buds find a song that energizes you, pull out that vacuum and have fun. Imagine you are dancing at your favorite club. You're dressed up, your hair and makeup look amazing and you are feeling yourself! If nothing else it will make you smile which is good for the soul.
I know these first four things may sound crazy or even hard to believe. They can be relaxing it's all about perception. If you change the way you think about things it can turn the mundane into amazing!
These next 4 will likely be more what you have heard before and a little boring to some but it will be worth your time.
5. Go for a walkMost of you have heard that exercise is good for the body and the mind. It is true. Exercise releases endorphins which make us happy. When you are on your walk you have to clear your mind. Do not think about the things you must do when you get home, or work tomorrow or the walk will be pointless. While walking look at your surroundings. The plants you pass are they colorful? Do they smell nice? Do they remind you of something or trigger a memory? The buildings around you what patterns do you see in their structure? Look at the sky do you see clouds? What colors are they? What shapes can you see? What I am saying is we live in an amazing world but we do not take the time see it. We have to make the most of every minute and take in the world around us.
6. Pet your dog or catScience has proven that petting an animal can be therapeutic. Sitting with your dog on the couch running your hand along their fur is something you have done a million times. This time though think about it. Feel the sensation of the fur on your palm as you run your hand down their back. Does it feel soft and fluffy? Or short and course? Think about how that feels on your hand. What sensation is it, how does it make you feel? When your dog or cat is laying in your lap place your hand on them feel their breathing, the rhythm of it. Lay your head back, close your eyes and focus on that rhythm. Our dogs and cats have a higher body temperature than humans. The warmth can be relaxing as well, like having a warm blanket over you snuggled in and feeling safe.
7. Take a bathTaking a bath is a functional and necessary part of our daily routine. So why not make it a more relaxing part of the day. Try this. Run your bath get a scented candle or two. Light them and place them around your bathtub. You can place them in the bathroom if you don’t have space around your tub. Get a bath pillow, lock the door, turn down the lights, Climb in the tub and relax. Clear your mind. Feel the water on your skin. Feel the warmth of the water. Smell the fragrance from the candle, (our wooden wick Candle line will add the sound of a crackling fire) and focus on relaxing your body. Start at your toes relax them, your ankles, your calves, and work your way up to your head. Float in the water enjoying all the sensations, sounds and feelings. You will emerge from the bath refreshed and ready for anything.
8. Read a bookMany people love to read a book but others do not. I was one of the ones who did not enjoy reading for pleasure until a few years ago. I used to feel reading was for learning only I guess because I spent 17 years in college… Story for another day. Then I won a kindle at a Healthcare conference and my view was forever changed! Now I read every night before going to sleep. I will share with you what I learned. Reading a book can take you away from all the things making you stressed. You get so into the story and the characters that you forget about all the problems you had on your mind. You may be rooting for the underdog, or hoping the romance turns into a fairytale ending. You keep reading to see what happens next in that mystery novel, you MUST know who did it! Now a warning. I have on many occasion hit myself in the face with my kindle because I read until I fell asleep. Let me tell you it is a rude awakening. All this to say reading is relaxing. It helps you fall asleep because you have relaxed all the tension from your day.
My goal with these ways to relax is to help each one of you distress. Take a few minutes each day to care for yourself. I see the effects of our ever changing, and uncertain world every day in my clinic and I want you to take care of yourself. I hope you find some of these things helpful and I hope you put some them in practice to keep you happy and healthy.
Let me know in the comments if you try any of these things and how they work for you. If you have ways you relax and unwind put that in the comments as well so others can try them.
Thank you for spending some of your precious time with me.