It can take a lot of work to calm down after work. I have worked inside and outside of my home for several years and have collected a list of actions, which have helped me to let go of the day and enjoy my evening.
Put on slippers
At work, our uniform usually consists of uncomfortable clothes and shoes. Treating your feet with supportive slippers, a clean pair of socks, and a quick massage can take the kink out of a long day at work.
Eat a healthy meal
Breakfast is hailed as the most important meal of the day, but a healthy dinner can give you something to look forward to and give your body the nutrients and energy it needs.
Take a walk
Keep a pair of tennis shoes and umbrella in your car and stop off at a local park to take a walk. The walk will improve circulation, attitude, and relieve pent-up stress. Taking a walk can drum up a healthy appetite and give you the opportunity to see children playing, both good ways to relax.
Sit quietly for ten minutes
If you live alone finding ten minutes of quiet is rather easy, but if you have a family, ten minutes of quiet is a foreign concept. You must think outside the box and find ten minutes of quiet sitting in your car after leaving your job, or parking a block away from your home and sitting quietly, or as a last resort spend ten minutes alone in the lavatory.
Look at cute pictures
Looking at pictures of babies, animals, or the double-whammy baby animals can lift your spirits and give you a warm, cozy feeling. The Internet is flooded with cute images that can reduce stress and make you feel good.
List five things you are grateful for
When the end of the workday comes it can feel like there is nothing to be thankful for, this is the time to start listing things you are grateful for. Start off with basic things like the car you get to drive to work, how the commute allows you to listen to your favorite music, or how easy it is to pay your bills every month because of your job. The more appreciative you are the more things there are to be thankful for.
Have a cup of tea
The most comforting drinks tend to be warm, and this includes my favorite beverage, tea. Be careful to select decaffeinated or caffeine-free tea to relax you. There are several teas to choose from, but I recommend chamomile or a chamomile blend to take the tension out of the day.
Take a bath
You may not be able to take a bath every day after work, but if you have had a particularly rough day, a bath can soothe tight muscles, deepen your breathing, and lubricate the nasal passages making it easier to breathe and easier to relax. I like to add bath salts and light candles to invite a calm ambiance. If I really want to pamper myself, I will apply a face mask and soak the day away.
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Put your pajamas in the dryer
There is nothing like pulling on a warm set of pajamas. The trick is to put them in the dryer for ten minutes and put them on straight away. If you don’t have access to a dryer, then you can fill a hot-water bottle and wrap your night clothes around it. The idea is to make your clothes feel like a warm hug.
Talk with someone who loves you
It is wonderful to hear all the marvelous things about you from someone who loves you. Call, email, or write to someone who loves you and share your troubles. Sometimes it is just the act of putting your thoughts out to the world which allows you to let go and relax.
Watch or read something funny
Laughter is the best medicine and the key to a happy calm state. There are several ways you can invite humor into your life. You can watch a funny movie or read a silly book, but my favorite way to laugh is through live comedy. In a live performance, I am free to react and interact to the comedian on stage. It is a fun and easy way to release tension and to get deep belly breathing.
Cuddle with your pet(s)
The mere act of stroking a cat, playing fetch with your dog, or cooing at your pet parakeet will lower your blood pressure and raise your spirits. I have three cats of my own whom I love dearly, and I often take time to enjoy their antics and enjoy a cuddle when they jump up on my office chair. They ask very little and give so much in return.
Do something kind
Realizing you can be of service to someone, whether they are related or a stranger, allows you to put your life in perspective. Kindness comes in all forms, so you can let a car in on the freeway or bring home flowers for your companion. Doing something kind gives you a great feeling despite what response you may or may not receive.
Play an instrument
Playing an instrument is like painting, you can express how you feel without words. I often play the piano to rid myself of an emotion I do not want or to encourage the feelings I prefer to grow. Music has a wonderful ability to enhance our moods. Try singing along with the radio if you do not play an instrument. You may find the release you have been looking for.
I love to dance, but I am certainly no professional. I dance for the fun and sheer joy of it. When I feel stuck, lonely, or afraid I play my favorite dance music and my outlook shift dramatically. Dancing will help you breathe, exercise, and feel good. If you invite others to dance with you, it is even more fun.
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The more imagination I put into relaxation techniques the more I benefit the following day. Try a few of my suggestions or think of some of your own. Please let me know of your success in a comment below.