5 steps system to help you relax and unwind after a busy day

relax after busy day

Do you find it difficult to relax and unwind after a busy day? Don’t worry I got you covered. I am not just sharing the typical advice on ways you can relax after a long day at work but the step you can use to build a routine that will make relaxing and de-stressing after work a natural habit rather than an effort


I was in the same place, I would find myself so stressed and tired after work that I used to find it difficult to relax, unwind and get out of the 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 and unwind after a busy day, 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

1. End work the right way

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

Keep a fixed time to end your work. 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. Establishing a disciple to wind up your work at a fixed time each day ensures you finish the work in the given time and also helps you have the much-needed personal time.

Before you end your work make sure you make a schedule of things to be done the next day and review the work done on the day. This gives your mind clarity and helps to not get stressed about the work that needs to be done.

I find this very helpful as often after work I would find myself lost in 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 it down.

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 getting back home, sipping a 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”.

This will 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 reduces 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.

3. Practice cutting off negative thoughts from work to in your mind

I am sure you have been here, I have been there. 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 ghosting you.

You don’t even realize it 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 pending work remind yourself of the schedule you have to take care of the work. 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

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, it is a place that is comfortable, crafted just with your liking that inspires 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 some 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.

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 for 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 to journal gratitude or express the same to your loved ones. It is a perfect way to wind down your day and feel relaxed.

A quick way to relax, unwind and destress after a busy day

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 American Psychological Association to manage stress.

1. Meditation

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 guided meditation or even yoga for your specific health needs.

2. Spend time with pets or plants

Sipping a tea 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 thought 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 of 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, 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 thought 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can start with the quick activities above, which will be of great help. The entire post gives detailed insight on building a system to help you relax and destress after a long busy day

Take a quick break of 10 min to do deep breathing or sip tea. Taking a break during a busy day will not only relax but is also recommended for increasing productivity

Check the activities suggested in the section “Quick way to relax, unwind and destress after a busy day”


  • With a stressful busy day at work, it becomes difficult to relax, destress and wind down at the end of the day. 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, making a calm environment, and expression of gratitude make relaxing and unwinding after work a natural habit rather than an effort.
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