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Best Ways to Relax After a Long Week at Work

Can't wait for the weekend after you’ve finished up a big project, had some tough decisions at work? If you find yourself hurtling through the week like there's no tomorrow, it looks like it's about time you took some time for yourself to learn how to relax after work.


Keep on scrolling to find out how you can destress after a long and busy week in the office.


  • Make time for yourself.


Schedule time for yourself. Make an appointment with yourself—literally. If it's on your calendar, you're more likely to do it, and it's an important commitment you shouldn't break or postpone. There are several ways to make time for yourself, depending on what your schedule looks like:


If you work a lot and have a big family, maybe this means getting up earlier or scheduling things that are important to you for after-work hours.


If you have kids, that could mean setting aside some time when they're napping or otherwise occupied with crafting supplies and other self-entertaining activities that will keep them busy while giving you the me-time you need.


If you're a student, you can use your study breaks as an opportunity to destress by playing video games, talking to friends, or hanging out in coffee shops.


  • Unplug


After a busy work week, it's essential to let yourself unwind. So make sure you set aside some time to relax, free of distractions.

Woman holding a mug while sitting on a couch

Try taking a few minutes to disconnect from technology—turn off your phone and leave it in another room. If you're feeling up to a challenge, try walking outside without your phone. It may not be easy at first, but it's worth it.


If turning your phone off causes you to worry, then why not try setting your phone to Do Not Disturb mode? It is probably the best way to disable all Android notifications. It prevents your phone from ringing or vibrating in response to calls and notifications when enabled. You can also tailor and schedule the Do Not Disturb mode to your preferences.


  • Make a plan.


Create a to-do list that prioritizes the most important tasks for you to accomplish in the coming week. It's easy to be overwhelmed by everything you have on your plate, but this step will help make it all manageable by laying out what needs to get done first, second, and last. Don't forget to include plenty of time for yourself!


Use that same priority system to create a loose schedule of how you want your days off to go. Even if they don't go as planned (and they probably won't), having goals can be an excellent motivator for taking full advantage of your time away from work or school.


  • Find a hobby


This can be difficult if you think that you're not good at it or don't have time for any interests or activities.

Woman painting in her art studio

Identify the things you enjoy doing and try to find a way to do more of those things. The key here is to find a hobby that you enjoy and that makes you happy. If you are not into sports, don't force yourself into it just because everyone else seems to be doing it. You will only end up feeling miserable if you force yourself into something that doesn't interest or excite you. Instead, try finding other ways to stay healthy, like hiking or drawing, instead of playing football on weekends!


  • Declutter your home for a clearer head.


Start by decluttering your home. You'll be amazed at how much more relaxing it is to spend time in a clean and uncluttered room than one filled with things you haven't used for months or years.


It's time to get rid of things you don't need anymore. If you choose to throw them out, give them to charity, or sell them at a garage sale, make sure they are no longer in your house! If you're having trouble letting go of these items because of their sentimental value, consider taking a photo of each item before getting rid of it as a reminder.


Once everything's gone, assess the remaining items. Do they give you joy? If not, let them go too! Your goal should only be to keep the few objects that genuinely matter to you—and there is nothing wrong with having an empty room either!


  • Don't check work email at home.


Work can have a way of slipping into your personal life if you don't make a deliberate effort to separate the two. One important thing to avoid is checking work email while you're supposed to be relaxing at home. 

Woman closing a laptop


You may feel like you're being productive by getting ahead on some tasks, but getting sucked into these messages throughout the evening can rob you of time that could be better spent focusing on recharging your batteries.​


Instead of checking work email at home, set a specific time during the day when you will respond to any emails you didn't get to earlier in the day before leaving for home. 


It should also be noted that not all emails need to be answered immediately, and many can probably wait 24 hours or more before needing a response. Some companies even have policies discouraging employees from sending emails outside of business hours.


  • Learn to say no.


One of the biggest mistakes I've made in the past is taking on too much all at once. When you say yes to everything, you can't give priority to any one thing and end up with a bunch of mediocre results instead of just one or two great ones. 


This can be especially hard if you're a people pleaser, but it's not just important for your own sake; saying no is respectful of others' time. So next time someone asks for your help, ask yourself: Am I able to take this on? Am I happy about doing this? If not, don't apologize for saying no.


The more you practice saying no, the easier it gets! 


Some good tips are to start small (if someone asks for something menial like a quick favor that isn't going to make a massive difference in the grand scheme of things) and then build up from there (if someone asks you for something big). Just do what feels right—you'll get better at being assertive over time!


Conclusion


With so many things on our plate, we often forget to devote some time to ourselves. It isn't just about spending time with yourself or taking a break—it's also about giving your mind a chance to rest and recover from all the work-related activities that might be causing you stress.


So how do you relax after a busy week? Start by making it a priority. Schedule blocks of relaxation time into your calendar like any other appointment, then stick to them as best you can. 


Don't feel guilty if you need to say no to commitments during this time, even if they're social engagements with friends or family members; it's not selfish to take time for yourself now and then! 


This way, relaxation becomes more than just an occasional indulgence; instead of being something that happens once in a while when all other obligations have been fulfilled (if ever), it will become part of your routine, which means better mental health overall!

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