15 Best Ways to Unwind After Work (or Relax after a Long Day)

15 Best Ways to Unwind After Work (or Relax after a Long Day)

When you’ve had a long and tiring day at work, it is critical to take a break and seek a few quick steps to relax. But, do you find it difficult to unwind? Well, you are not alone. Even after calling it a day at work, you may continue to think about work constantly, or you might have some responsibilities at home that restrict you from relaxing. Continuing this can be taxing on your physical and mental health, eventually leading to severe consequences on your health.

Therefore, let’s discuss some best ways to unwind after work.

Why is it important to relax after a long day?

Well, for obvious reasons, it is important to unwind after work. Due to the ever-increasing work pressure, people seldom feel guilty of not being able to relax even on vacation. Hence, it is essential to understand the benefits of relaxing after work.

Here are a few reasons to relax after a long day:

  • Improves mental alertness: Managing both personal and professional life requires a lot of mental effort. This can diminish your thinking capacity and decision-making. Relaxing after work can restore your mind, improve your mental alertness and prepare you for the next day.
  • Reduces stress: Most of us face high-stress levels juggling multiple responsibilities. It is important to unwind after work so that you can de-stress and focus on your mental peace.
  • Better physical health: Relaxing after a long day at work can keep your physical health in place. It can also reduce negative thoughts and prevent the chances of any physical illness manifesting in your body after all that emotional and mental stress you take on.

How to unwind after work?

We have listed 15 simple ways to help your mind and body unwind and relax after a productive day at work.

1) Schedule your Downtime

It is useful to schedule in your downtime when you’ve had a tiring day. It should be a part of your daily routine and could be as long as just 5 or 10 minutes. You could set aside this time to just lie down and do nothing, or simply close your eyes and sit in peace wherever you are. When you get this downtime, you get a much-needed break for your body and brain. Your brain needs to think of nothing and needs to rest and rejuvenate your mental focus and productivity for the next day.

2) Take a Warm Shower

The best way to unwind from work after a tiring day is to wash off all your worries with a warm water shower. Warm water has a calming effect on your body and soul and relaxes your muscles. the heat helps to increase blood flow, loosen up tight muscles, and reduce tension in the body. This can help to relieve stress, reduce muscle pain, and promote relaxation. Additionally, the sensation of warm water running over your skin can be soothing and calming, helping to ease anxiety and promote a sense of well-being. Many people find that taking a warm shower before bed can help them to fall asleep more easily and sleep more deeply. Overall, while taking a warm shower may not be a cure-all for stress and anxiety, it can be a helpful tool for promoting relaxation and improving your overall well-being.

3) Get some Light Exercise

Work out to work off the stress. It may sound counterproductive to relaxation, but exercise releases endorphins, which help you clear your head. A light session of exercise after a tiring day keeps your body relaxed and stress-free. Try going out for a light walk, doing yoga, or practicing light stretching- all of these help in relaxing and rejuvenating your body. Moreover, a regular exercise practice helps in keeping your body physically active and recharges your mental productivity.

4) Practice Mindfulness

Practicing meditation for some time after a tiring day is a great way to channel your energy from stress to calm. Play some relaxing music, listen to meditation podcasts, open the windows to listen to nature's sounds, and enjoy the ambiance. Enjoy the soft sounds and minutes of silence, and rejuvenate your mind and soul. This will help you unwind from all your stress and worries, and improve your productivity for the next day. Meditation is also good for keeping your mind alert for the rest of the day.

5) Disconnect from Everything

No matter how much you try to unwind, it will be difficult if you are only thinking about your work, even after your workday is complete. After a tiring day at work, the first thing you should do is to disconnect yourself from everything related to work. Switch off your phone or laptop and spend time with yourself and your family. You may be in a position where deep thinking produces good results at work, however to get to that point, you’ll need a break, so you can energize your brain to think deeper. And instead of using the post-work day to think deep, utilize your mornings instead for deep thinking.

6) Step Outside for Fun

After working throughout the day, you need a change in your surroundings. Hence, it will help your body relax when you move outside. Sometimes referred to as 'ecotherapy,' spending time with nature can help you relax and reset your mental energy so that you can be more productive the next day. Breathing in the fresh air and staying in the greenery enables you to unwind and delete all your worries. Go for a relaxing walk to get a rocking chair to enjoy the outside setting. So, step outside and relax yourself.

7) Enjoy your favorite Company

After having a tiring day at work, you need to get back home and enjoy the company of your favorite person. Silence and solitude are not always the best ways to relax; sometimes, it can be enjoying your favorite company- be it your family, friends, or your pets. You might want to hug out all your worries and destress yourself. When enjoying their company, you will be able to shift your focus from stress to calmness and unwind from the hectic day.

8) Do what you Enjoy

After a long day at work and getting things done, you need to take some time out to enjoy what you like doing. It could be practicing your favorite hobby or listening to good music, or dancing your heart out. These fun activities will relax your mind and provide an excellent end to your day. You can seek some peace and calmness with some soothing music tunes and influence a positive mood. Or, watch your favorite Netflix show - choose a comedy to get yourself laughing, and promote a relaxed mind and attitude. This gives you a much needed break and helps to unwind from your tiring day.

9) Sleep Tight

There's no better way to unwind and relax yourself than getting a good sleep. When you get a quiet time to sleep, your brain cells are energized and help rejuvenate your mind. Avoid checking your phone or thinking about work when you are in bed to sleep. Moreover, good sleep also helps you overcome brain fog and anxiety, and helps retain your mental calmness. Use this time wisely to relax and prepare for the next day ahead.

10) Write journals

Starting a journal where you can pen down your thoughts can help you process them easily. It can also help in problem-solving issues that you face and helps you understand yourself. Further, it can assist in relieving the day’s stress and rejuvenate you for the next day.

11) Read

Escape from the tension of a long day at work by opening up a book of your choice. Reading can entertain you, and also reduce your stress levels. It will get your mind off any work-related tension and recharge you for the next day.

12) Practice a hobby

Think of anything outside work that makes you feel happy and schedule such activities after a long day at work. Consider painting, dancing or listening to music, to name a few, that can release negative energy and enhance your mood, thereby relaxing you after work.

13) Surround yourself with calming aromas

Calming aromas can affect your mood positively and make you feel relaxed. Use a diffuser with calming aromas or consider burning a candle with essential oils like lavender, vanilla, and lemongrass. These may help you enter a calming state of mind and unwind after a tiring day at work.

14) Listen to a podcast

This can be one of the best ways to unwind after work. Lie down, close your eyes and listen to a calming podcast to relax yourself. From motivational to thoughtful TED talks, there is a plethora of podcasts available to unwind from work and rejuvenate yourself. Further, listening to a podcast can also distract negative thoughts and aid in falling asleep, so that you can wake up fresh the next day.

15) Speak to a close friend

There’s nothing better than talking to a friend - someone who can listen to your thoughts, make your mood light, and leave you feeling uplifted. So pick up your phone and call your friend or anyone who can help you relax after a long day at work.

How long does it take to decompress after work?

Wondering how long it takes to decompress after work? Well, it is completely subjective and depends on multiple factors. If it is just a day’s work stress, you can get rid of it in little time. However, if it is long-term stress due to an ailment, it may take a few months to reduce that. Hence, the time taken to unwind after work varies from person to person and can range anywhere between a day to much longer. You’ll need to identify the cause of long term/chronic stress to ensure your body is with you for the long run.


Feeling tense and worn out after a tiring day at the workplace is common for everyone. Hence, it is essential to take some time out for yourself and practice the above-mentioned steps to unwind and relax after a long day at work. These strategies will help retain your productivity for the next day, so follow these tips to get the most out of your leisure time.

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