5 steps to Relax after a hard day of Work

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Do you find it difficult to relax and unwind after a busy day? I get it, we often get stressed and exhausted after work with no energy to live our personal life. But I have got you covered, in this post, I am sharing 5 steps to Relax after a hard day of work, these are not just things to do but the steps that you can use to build a routine to unwind and destress after work that will be sustainable for you.


I was in the same place as you stressed and tired after work finding it difficult to relax, unwind and get out of work mode.

But after some research and careful observations, I found a perfect approach to destress and wind down after a busy, stressful day.

We all want a perfect work-life balance but most of our time is spent at work and after work, at the end of the day we are often tired, drained, and emotionally carried away by the way our day is spent at work, this does not allow us to enjoy the personal time or spend quality time with our loved ones.

Why is relaxing and unwinding important?

I feel a critical step to achieving a perfect work-life balance is to have a system that will help you relax and unwind at the end of the day so that you can enjoy your life, spend some quality time, and get rejuvenated for the next day to be more productive and better at work.

To help you Relax after a hard day of work, you just don’t need the typical advice of meditating, having a cup of tea, or going for a walk. I mean you know best what to do with your time, but the issue at hand is how to destress and wind down. You can be doing these activities with your mind running with 100 thoughts of work.

So the solution that I needed was how to get my mind off work and spend the little time I have at hand more intentionally, as I said after some research and observation I came up with this system and it works perfectly well for me and I am sure it will work for you too.

How to relax and unwind after a busy day

Simple ways to relax after long day at work

Step 1: End work the right way

The essential to unwind after work is to wind up your work rightly, done the right way and on time is the best foot set on the path of relaxing after a busy day.

  • End your work at a fixed time. I understand occasionally staying up late for important work but it should not be your habit to stay late. Work expands to fill up the available time, so the more time you give it, the more it takes. Be productive at work and make the most of your time. Here are 12 tips to boost your productivity at work.
  • Before you end your work make sure you plan things to be done the next day and review the work done on the day. This gives your mind clarity, helps to not get stressed about the work that needs to be done, and makes you feel good about the task accomplished on the day.

P.S. You may like to read How to plan a productive day.

I find these very helpful as often after work I would find myself with thoughts about the work to be done. But when you have a schedule for the next day, these thoughts reduce, and at times when they come to your mind you know the answer to shut them down.

Step 2. The transition from work to personal life

We spend around 8-9 hours at work and suddenly at the end of the day we expect the mind to stop thinking of work, well that’s pretty unreasonable, your mind will take time to leave the momentum. So rather than blaming your mind for thinking about work, you should help it transition from work to personal life.

Transitioning is simply telling yourself “The day at work has ended and now is the time for you to relax and enjoy the rest of the day”.

This can be done by mindfully thinking of the same while:

  • Driving back home
  • Changing to comfortable clothes when you get back home
  • Sipping tea at the end of the day, etc.

It is more of setting an intention to live the time after work for yourself.

The best way to transition is to build an evening routine, a well thought routine, personal to your likes and dislikes when done consistently will indicate to your brain that now is the time to move from “work time” to “personnel time”. Here is a Simple After work evening routine to keep you sane. In case you are a working mom I have a Working Mom evening routine: 12 things to do. These things in the long run help you get out of the habit of thinking of work after the work hour.

It will not only help with your chores and leisure time but also reduce the effort you need to spend on making decisions at the end of the day when you are already exhausted. Also, building a routine with activities that you enjoy will make you look forward to personal time and positively distract your mind from thinking about work.

Step 3. Cut off negative work thoughts

I am sure you have been here as I have been. At the end of the work when you want to spend quality time with your loved ones or just enjoy some time with yourself, you keep getting all the thoughts about work in your head; the pending work, the rude comments, the nasty emails. So even though you are in your personal life, the work-life keeps haunting you.

You don’t even realize when you get drifted with the thoughts. You often try to tell your mind “stop thinking about work”, well the better way is to acknowledge the thought you get and try to understand.

If the thought is about a pending task remind yourself of the schedule you have to take care of it. If it’s an irrational thought or a carryover of the way your day was spent, explain to yourself thinking about it is not worth your time and distract yourself with pleasant activities to uplift your mood.

P.S. If you are facing negative coworkers, here are 12 effective strategies to deal with negative coworkers

Step 4. Create the right environment

Creating the right environment to relax and unwind after a busy day is a very small but significant act. You may create a happy corner at your home, that is comfortable, crafted to your liking, and has things that inspire you and makes you feel relaxed. It will instantly lift your mood and make you feel calm.

A calm environment can also be created by dim lights or candles, essential oils, and soft music. As per studies, soft light reduces the excessive stimuli to our brain helping it to calm down and also induces melatonin, a hormone required for sleep, ensuring you get good sleep. Soft music is effective in reducing stress.

Step 5. Express Gratitude

Gratitude makes you feel positive and content. Often, at the end of the day when you feel spent and realize how little time you have to spend on yourself, you feel more stressed and complain. Being grateful causes a major shift in mindset, you feel more thankful and privileged for the things you have, and a sense of gratitude not only relaxes you but also gives a positivity and zeal to do more work in the coming day. The positivity gratitude brings is infectious.

So, spend some minutes journaling gratitude or expressing the same to your loved ones. It is a perfect way to wind down your day and feel relaxed.

5 simple ways to unwind after work

After-work activities to relax after a hard day of work

Here are some of the activities that you can include in your evening routine. All of these help release “happy hormones” that boost your mood, and help you relax and destress after a busy day. Also, some of the activities are suggested by The American Psychological Association to manage stress.

1. Meditate

Just sitting in a relaxed position and breathing deeply relaxes your body and mind. There are many health benefits of doing meditation. You can try a guided meditation or even yoga for your specific health needs.

2. Spend time with pets or plants

Sipping tea while sitting around plants, watering and caring for them, or cuddling your pet and enjoying the affection from them after the whole day is a good break from all the rush you have been through at work. It makes the transition to personal life easy and organic.

3. Journal

Journaling thoughts is a great way to clear your head and relax your mind. It helps you put all your thoughts out of your head on paper. Your mind may have many thoughts running by the end of the day. Writing down your thoughts by journaling not just eases the load off your head but also makes you more aware of the way you spend time. It makes you intentional about the way you want to spend your time. Journaling need not be boring, there are many fun ways to journal your thoughts, and you can be creative and have fun with it.

4. Have a walk in nature

Walking in nature is a good change after spending the day at work and for most from spending hours in front of the computer. It helps in transition and the physical exercise of walking in nature pumps some happy hormones to light up your evening and make you relaxed.

5. Read a book

Reading is a very effective way to transition from work as while reading you would be less likely to drift your thought to work. Also, it’s best to keep learning each day so it’s a win-win.

6. Chat and laugh with your loved ones

For all of you who love to socialize, catching up with friends for a chat over a coffee or talking your heart out to loved ones and laughing your heart out loud is one of the best things to do. Sharing thoughts gives emotional comfort while laughter is the total stress buster and will help you relax.

7. Exercising

Exercising not only has many health benefits but can uplift your mood instantly. You need not have a gym to exercise, many of them can be done at home too

8. Listening to music and podcast

Listening to your favorite music or podcast is just the simplest form of activity that you can do. You can hear it while driving, cooking, or exercising. Music can lift your mood and make you relax. If you want to do something productive, a podcast will not disappoint you, it can be motivating and inspirational, so whatever you choose, for sure it will help you relax.

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5 ways to destress after work


After a stressful busy day at work, it gets difficult to relax and destress. However, ending the day at work with systematic planning, followed by an intentional transition from work time to personal time with a personalized evening routine, with activities you like, will make relaxing after work easier for you. Hope you put this to practice for a stress-free evening after work.

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