After a hard day’s work, we all like to kick back and relax in the evening. However, sometimes that’s easier said than done. Winding down from the focused, high-pressure state you need to be in at the office or the workplace can be harder than you think, and not being able to do so can leave you tired, irritable and less productive in the long run. What are the most effective ways to wind down after a busy day?
Having something enjoyable and non-work related to do in the evenings isn’t just about filling the time and having fun. It’s also an important contributing factor in getting your body and mind ready for sleep. Some form of physical exercise is a great way to end the day in this regard. This could involve going to the gym or to the swimming pool, enjoying a game of squash with a friend, or even just going for a run.
Physical exercise gives your body a workout and keeps you fit and healthy, but it also allows your mind to switch off from work problems. Both are important to making you relaxed enough for a good night’s sleep, especially if your job is largely sedentary – for instance, if you sit working at a desk all day. Give those muscles a good stretch and get the endorphins pumping before going home for a well-earned rest.
Stretch your mind
A great complement or alternative to physical exercise is giving your brain a fun workout with puzzles, crosswords or some other mental discipline. There are plenty of online puzzles that you can use to escape from the stresses of work while keeping your mind limber. Alternatively, an evening class in something like a foreign language can help you switch into a different mode of thinking while also helping you to develop useful life skills for the future.
Read a book
There’s nothing wrong with winding down in front of the TV or watching a film in the evening, but reading a good book is a very satisfying option. If you’ve got out of the habit of reading, then it may seem like too much of an effort. However, if you choose the right book and persevere, then it will soon become an addictive pleasure. The more you put in, the more you get out, and the additional effort will also help you sleep better later on.
Turning off your computer and not looking at your phone after a certain hour is a good idea if you want to really unwind and sleep well. If you’re really having trouble winding down, then you might want to consider meditation or yoga. Diet can also help – avoid late snacking (especially on spicy foods), caffeinated drinks and too much alcohol. If you’re able to take a gentle walk in nature, then this can be a wonderful evening activity – just make sure to stay safe. Otherwise, just find ways to give yourself some space and to enjoy some much-needed “me time” that will leave you relaxed and refreshed for the next morning.