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- Why relaxation is important
- How to relax after a long day
- Author bio
We all have one of those stressful days that seem to last an eternity from time to time! With an endless to-do list of tasks to complete, and one hurdle after another to overcome! You probably find that it seems near impossible to properly relax and wind-down after one of these days. You’ve tried everything you can to forget about the day and rest, but nothing works. You’re stuck in a rut.
However, relaxation and rest are extremely important in order to live a positive, productive and healthy lifestyle. Therefore with that in mind, I’m going to be sharing my top tips and preferred methods for how to relax after a long day. So let’s get right into it!
Why is relaxation important?
Before I reveal how to relax after a long day, I’m going to quickly explain why relaxation is so important. In fact, there’s an endless list of reasons as to why it’s vital to learn how to relax effectively. So I’m going to list a few of the most key reasons below.
Mental health benefits
One of the most obvious reasons relaxation is important, is the mental health benefits. If you’re constantly feeling stressed and unable to relax this can increase anxiety, paranoia and contribute to unhealthy levels of stress. It’s important to give your mind a break.
Better sleep quality
Again, if you’re unable to relax properly it probably means you’re not sleeping very well either. Lack of sleep leaves you feeling drained, contributing to mental health issues, physical illnesses and a decrease in performance.
Increase in motivation & productivity
If you’re able to relax after a long day, you’ll probably find that you see an increase in your motivation and productivity in day-to-day life. Whereas if you’re not relaxing, you’ll probably find you feel less motivated and therefore less productive.
An inability to relax might make you grouchy and irritable. Which if not dealt with long-term, can put a series strain on relationships and friendships.
Work & personal life separation
Effective relaxation makes it easier to separate your work life from your personal life. If you can’t relax, you’re probably spending a lot of your free time thinking about work.
You deserve it!
To put it simply, relaxation is important because you deserve it. You’re working so hard to perform well at your job, keep on top of your hobbies and other commitments, find time to socialise/do chores/workout, look after your mental health… the list goes on! So you deserve that time to properly disconnect and relax your mind.
How to relax after a long day
So now we know why relaxation is important, let’s get into how to relax after a long day!
Finish work on time
This probably sounds like an obvious tip – but it’s so often ignored! Overworking has been normalised and so many of us have a tendency to do more than our contracted hours on a day-to-basis. To the point where working extra hours is celebrated, and we actually feel guilty or “wrong” for signing out at the time we actually finish.
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So if you’re having trouble relaxing, challenge yourself to finish work on time for an entire week. I know it can be tough if work is really busy or you have a lot of deadlines to meet etc. But at the end of the day you’re getting paid for a set amount of time that you agreed to do – you don’t always need to be doing more.
Set yourself a time to switch off – and stick to it!
Likewise, you should set yourself a time to switch off from everything. So you should say to yourself I’ll be done with work, chores, blogging, working out.. or whatever it may be by x time. And try your best to stick to it! Even if you don’t quite get that blog post finished.
Put your phone on do not disturb / aeroplane mode
Another great way to disconnect and relax is to either turn your phone off completely or put it on do not disturb or aeroplane mode. Notifications popping up on your phone constantly makes it very hard to switch off from work and social media! I’ve tried to get in the habit of having my phone on do not disturb as much as possible, especially in the evenings.
Try yoga / stretching
Yoga or stretching is an excellent way to relax your muscles and let out tension. Releasing stress physically will also help you to clear your mind as well! I find that full-body stretching helps me to sleep a lot better as well.
If you’ve tried yoga but you need something to make you feel even more zen then give meditation a shot. It can feel unnatural and challenging at first, but stick with it. After a few tries, you will start to feel the benefits of bringing the mind and body together, totally focusing on your physical being and letting your mind be free from all thoughts even if it’s just for 10 minutes a day. I’d recommend the app Headspace as a good place to start with this!
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Go for a run
On the other hand, you might feel like you need something a bit more high-impact to exert some extra energy in order to relax. I’d suggest going for a run. I find running a great stress reliever as well as a way to distract my thoughts and clear my mind.
Take some time for self-care
In addition, make sure you’re taking time to pamper and look after yourself. Whether that’s by having a bubble bath, doing a face mask, painting your nails or doing some hair care!
Light a candle
After you’ve done your yoga or meditation, and while you’re doing your self-care why not light a candle! There is something so soothing about a darkened room with a lit candle – especially one that smells amazing!
Sometimes the best way to clear your head and relax your mind is by writing everything down! Get yourself a journal and make it a priority to spend a quiet 5-10 minutes a day writing down everything that’s preoccupying your mind or causing you to feel stressed or unable to relax. Getting everything that’s in your head out on paper will help you to put things into perspective as well.
Similarly if you’re a writer (or not) you could try free-hand writing. Whether it’s a fictional story, poetry, a blog post, or whatever comes to mind! Sometimes writing freely can be a great way to distract yourself from other things going on.
On the other hand if you prefer art to writing, why not try some free-hand painting or drawing! Try not to think too much about what it is you’re doing, rather just let your mind go where it wants to go.
Watch something that doesn’t require much focus
If you’re trying to relax, but still want something on in the background then opt for a series or movie that doesn’t require too much focus. Watching something really complex or high in action is likely to make your brain feel more wired and active! Put something that’s easy to consume on instead.
Tidy your room
Finally, I know this sounds like a bit of a weird one! But honestly I think it’s so much easier to relax if the space around you is clean and tidy. Plus tidying and organising a space can actually be quite therapeutic if done in the right way. Put on some music and take your time!
Kat is a lifestyle and wellness blogger based in Surrey, UK! She graduated in 2019 with a 2:1 in English Literature from The University of Exeter, and has worked in technology marketing since. When she isn’t working, Kat blogs about a little bit of everything lifestyle-related, from mindset and fitness to blogging advice and productivity tips! Her goal is to help her readers to live a more positive lifestyle.
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