After a full day, I find it hard to turn off my brain, relax, and fall asleep at night. This is especially challenging when another busy day is on the horizon or if the day runs long and there’s no possibility of getting in my preferred eight hours of sleep.
Working from home adds another layer of difficulty as I sometimes struggle to transition from my workspace and completely call it quits for the night. Fortunately, the solo life makes it easier to dictate what happens once I finally do.
If you’re looking for ways to unwind at the end of your workday, here’s a list of my go-to relaxation methods. This includes both conventional and unconventional methods that are easy to incorporate into your weeknight rhythms – whether you begin and end your workday at home or if you commute daily.
In no particular order:
- Enjoy the ride home in complete silence. If you can’t recall a single moment of silence from your entire day, I highly recommend beginning the shutdown process here.
- Sit in front of a window, put your feet up, and watch the sun set. Honestly, you don’t even need to see the sun. Just watching the daylight disappear is usually enough for me.
- If the weather is nice, take a stroll around your neighborhood park. Dusk is my absolute favorite time of day, so any excuse to be outdoors at that time is great — especially in the spring and summer months.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. If you need a little help, search for a guided breathing exercise online.
- Listen to music that allows your mind to wander to a place of peace and calm. If you’re into making playlists (like me!), create one specifically for relaxation and keep it on standby; or have someone else make it for you.
- Take a warm bath or shower; and while you’re at it, massage your neck and shoulders or any muscles that might feel tense or overworked. A few full-body stretches beforehand work as well.
- Put on some comfy clothes! Think loungewear sets or your favorite pajamas.
- Light a scented candle and let it burn for the duration of your nighttime routine, e.g., while you’re doing your skincare regimen or tidying up for the night.
- Crack open a good book and read a few chapters in a comfy chair.
- Listen to an audio book or a podcast while you’re prepping dinner.
- Drink a warm beverage such as an herbal tea or homemade honey lemon tea. If you want to take things up a notch, throw on your favorite mud mask while your tea is brewing.
- Write in a journal or notepad. If you need a little inspiration that doesn’t require too much brain power, simply write a list of things you’re grateful for. And for the doodlers out there, draw something in place of writing!
- If there’s a particular sermon series that you’re into at the moment, give it a listen and take time to pray through it afterwards. Or just pray period.
- Put away your cell phone for at least an hour or two before bedtime. Those emails and social media notifications will be there when you wake up the next day.
- Progressively dim the lights as you get closer to crawling in bed. That includes adjusting the brightness of your cell phone screen and turning off any bright overhead lights.
- If it’s been one of those bad days, turn on an old movie, wrap yourself up in your favorite blanket, and close your eyes until you’re just about ready to pass out . . . and if you do, it’s okay — you already know how the movie ends.
- If all else fails, find a space documentary that will lull you to sleep, or download a sleep app. Personally, I have more luck with space documentaries, but just before I’m completely knocked out, I turn on sleep sounds from the Calm app.
That’s all for today! If you have any sure-fire relaxation methods, share them with me in the comments.