Self-care is integral to staying happy and healthy, but work can overwhelm you to the point where you forget about it.
While jobs are an essential part of life for most people, they can come with stressors that stop you from enjoying your time off with family and friends.
Here are nine self-care ideas and habits you can do to relieve stress and enjoy your evening after work.
1. Take a Walk
Some gentle exercise can help your mind and body reset after a long workday.
If you’re stuck in an office all day, consider walking outside in your neighborhood or on a local trail to get some much-needed vitamin D and fresh air.
Even a few minutes of exercise can release feel-good endorphins into your body, helping you relax and feel happier.
Walking before going inside could make the perfect transition from work to home.
2. Listen to Music
Music can soothe the soul, helping your mind to relax and drift away from any work worries.
Research shows songs at 60 beats per minute can induce alpha wave production, indicating your brain is relaxed and centered.
These songs come in various genres and you can create a playlist to listen to on the way home or once you get in your favorite chair.
3. Water Your Plants
Houseplants have a relaxing impact on the mind and caring for them is a large part.
Watering and pruning plants can be an effective mindfulness activity.
The sensory experience plants provide is a large part of this — live plants have different textures, scents and colors, serving as an excellent grounding tool.
Having greenery throughout the home can help you feel relaxed and rejuvenated since earth tones positively affect the brain.
They can also clean the air, creating a healthier environment for you to enjoy.
Reading a lighthearted book is an excellent way to destress after a long day.
The stories can transport your mind away from workday events.
Plan to read a set number of chapters after work to get into a routine of using it to relax when you get home.
Don’t plan to read anything too serious or high-energy, as those books could have the opposite effect.
5. Take a Bath
A relaxing bath is an excellent way to unwind after a stressful day at the office.
Make it a sensual experience by lighting your favorite candles or drinking a glass of wine.
Bubble baths aren’t just for kids — relaxing in the warm suds can help your body and mind get calmer.
A warm shower is also an option if you don’t have time to fill the tub.
6. Engage in Some Aromatherapy
Different scents can affect the mind and body.
For example, citrus can help you feel energized, while ginger and peppermint can help relieve minor stomach aches.
Lavender and eucalyptus are some of the most relaxing scents and you can use their essential oils in diffusers, body sprays or roll-on fragrances to calm you after a stressful day.
Be sure to take it slow if you’re not used to using oils and speak with your doctor about any potential side effects.
7. Eat a Healthy Snack
Self-care involves your mental and physical health — fueling your body for the rest of the day is part of that.
Treat yourself to a healthy snack after work to serve as a transition point from your workday to your time at home.
Whether it’s carrots and hummus, some pretzels or your favorite fruit, an afternoon snack can help keep your energy levels up and keep you feeling well as you get ready for time with family and friends.
Journaling is an excellent way to get the things bothering you off your mind.
If you feel overwhelmed from the day, write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal so you can process them and put them aside for your evening.
Keeping a gratefulness journal is also a way to relieve stress.
You can stay mindful and feel happier by writing down a few things you appreciate as you enter the evening.
It doesn’t have to be a fancy journal, but something you can privately write your thoughts in before closing to enjoy the rest of the day.
9. Take a Nap
It might sound obvious, but a short nap after work can rejuvenate your mind for a relaxing evening.
Research shows a 20-minute mid-day nap can help you recharge without making you too awake to sleep at night.
Rest can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, making you feel better after an overwhelming day at work.
Whether in bed or on a comfortable couch, an afternoon nap could be an excellent way to prepare for a night out.
Keeping Your Evenings Stress-Free
After a long day at work, it’s hard to unwind.
Thoughts from the day can linger while you try to enjoy time with family and friends.
You can clear your mind and have a better evening with a bit of self-care.