During the week, most of us spend at least 8 hours a day at work. Whether you keep nine to five or different hours, after eight hours of sleep and a minimum of transportation, you’re usually left with seven hours or less to yourself. When I used to work retail, I probably had around three hours from getting home until crashing in bed and those were usually spent eating, drinking wine and bitching about my day and how tired I was.
I hope your work situation is not the same as mine was. But if it – looking back at that time and thinking about what I would have done different, is that I should have lived more in the moment. Because life is short, is not worth the time to worry about things that happened or will happen at work, when you are finally off and can enjoy your free time. Not only that, by thinking of something else or doing something to make your day worth it, the next day you will feel more relaxed and have more energy to do things right. Don’t get me wrong I think it’s great if you are working your ass off, earning extra money and killing it at work but there is a difference between killing it at work as a successful woman and not having a life on the side. Are you with me? Are you experiencing this situation right now?
Eating and drinking after work might sound just like what you need, but your body will feel more rewarded if you try some of these activities and create your own boundaries. I am talking about boundaries that help you separate work and free time.
Hit the gym or other exercise
After a busy day at work are you really in the mood to go kick ass at the gym? Probably, not. But good things come when you are willing to get out of your comfort zone. Yes, it might be hard in the beginning but a good exercise session will freshen your brain and help prepare you for a good night’s sleep.
Running has been proven to help you unwind from your problems and at the same time you keep yourself in shape and burn calories. Don’t do it everyday but plan some fixed days and times during the week and stick to them, it’ll soon be a habit.. Recently, I just posted an article about how to get started on an exercise regime that I really think you will enjoy. If running is not your thing, be part of a class that meets regularly, for example a spinning or cycling class. There will be a teacher to push you hard and music to keep the energy up together with the rest of the class.
You don’t have to be go out every night with friends in other to socialise, a simple call to your parents or skype call with your friends will teach your brain to think of something differently.
You don’t have to be a professional or be in a yoga class (although that would be another good idea) but when you get home, wear something comfortable, dim the lights and try to sit in a meditative position. Think of your day for a little and then associate it with something nice that comes to your mind. For me, relaxing music that I usually find on Youtube helps me leave my thoughts behind and see them from very far away and focus on the present. Tip: I once read that when you are stressed or your mind is overwhelmed with bad thoughts, think of a pink elephant. I don’t understand how but this actually works for me. Maybe try it too?
Cleaning and organising
This might just be me, but another way to release the stress from work was organizing. I am sure there is some part of your closet or kitchen that needs some organizing. If you are looking for tips to organize try this.
I might be a little bit of a clean freak (like my boyfriend says) but I think that everyone has their own little “cuckoo” things that they like doing. Some men like to work on heavy mechanical stuff, or some women like to sew which is actually another good hobby to start doing to unwind from work. Personally, I even have 2 male friends that are knitting crazy cool sweaters and scarfs. The whole point is to get your brain focus on something else.
A long hot bath?
A long hot bath, wine and a good book. I wish I had a bathtub, I would be laying in it all day, everyday. I am dreaming of the time when I will have one. I will make it like a little spa with lots of nice bath salts, soaps, small towels and a place to put my head and my glass of wine. Isn’t this a great idea? Meanwhile, read a book recently? That will definitely take your mind off anything you’ve gone through that day. At the moment I am reading the universe has your back on “how to feel safe and trust your life no matter what” if you are looking for book inspirations, you can find them here.
Learn to say “NO”
We all have that co-worker that has a very active social life and invites you out for drinks and dinners all the time, right? Especially, when you live in a big city, you feel the need to hang out all the time, live the moment and always have fun. But there are times when saying “no” is in fact the best idea. If you are in this situation, save the going outs and parties for the weekend and take the time you have after work for be “me-time”.
Listen to music
Are you a music person? Do you listen to music regularly? Music for me is my way of dreaming or thinking of something. I have different types of songs that I listen to when I am happy, sad, tired or unmotivated. Listening to music has the power to change your mood, help you forget about your work day and even give you energy. Music is also a good way to make you think about different moments in life, situations or people. Sometimes when I listen to a song that I used to listen to 15 years ago, I find myself in the house I grew up with my parents and thinking I was still a child with no worries or obligations. Crazy, right?
Why is it so important to relax after work? It’s not just for fun, our bodies need it both mentally and psychically. I find the best way to relax from all your worries is going on a holiday, but a few weeks per year is not enough for your body to accumulate the positive energy for the whole year. This is why I think having your own ways to relax after work, is the way to go. Reach.out explains why is it important to relax, the benefits of it and ways to do it.
I would like to know from you, which ways do you find are the best for you to relax after work? And do you feel like you don’t give enough time to yourself?