After a hard day of working at the grindstone, it’s important to take time for you. Life has to be about more than just work, so why wait until the weekend to unwind? I try to do a little something every day after work to relax, and it certainly makes the harder weeks seem a lot less draining. There are loads of different ways to do this, and the trick is finding what is best for you – I like to do a combination of them all, especially when things get super tough!
Whether you go out for a nice meal, or just eat take out in your PJs, food has the power to make anyone feel better. As the winter months approach, I like to leave a stew in my slow cooker during the day so that when I come to eat it, the whole house smells delicious and it just needs putting in a bowl and enjoying! I also try to keep a few sweet treats in the house for those days when nothing but chocolate or ice cream will do. Food doesn’t just have to be about fueling your body for the next day; it can be a celebration and a social event and a great way to unwind.
Choose your poison. Whether it’s a hot, sweet cup of tea, or something much stronger, keep emergency supplies in the house. The cheap wine in our house is for average days, but if the day has been extra stressful, or we have something to celebrate, a pricier bottle comes out. You could always rustle up a cocktail if you’re feeling fancy.
If you’re a gym bunny, sign up to classes for after work, or if you’re a film buff, make a date to see the latest film. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, you could even just go for a walk or a bike ride, but sometimes just doing something a little different, and breaking up the routine is a great release. It’s easy to get into a habit where you come in from work, eat your dinner and watch TV until bedtime. Every night. This is a recipe for feeling like all you do is work and can be quite disheartening. At least a few nights a week, I try to do something a little different, although of course there is pleasure in doing nothing sometimes too! Balance!
There’s nothing more relaxing than the sanctity of your own home. Turn on the heating, take a hot bubble bath, cover the place in candles (don’t forget to blow them out!), and give yourself a pamper! Use those bath sets that you were saving for a “special occasion”, and go all out – you deserve it! I find fresh bedding, and new pyjamas are the dream and easily turns a frown upside down.
The most important thing is to avoid thinking about/doing work if you can help it. Bringing your work home with you, while often unavoidable, is not healthy and will make you feel like you are always working. Take up a new hobby, reinvigorate your social life or just enjoy some self-indulgence.