We all have those days—the ones where we can’t wait to get home after a long day at school or work. Where it feels like the clock has stopped and the day is dragging on and on. I know I have those days quite often, especially working a full time job and dealing with customers and other employees; needless to say it gets a bit tedious and tiring. Now that I have moved out of my parent’s house and am living with my boyfriend in a cozy 1 bedroom apartment, I have found there are a few more things I can and can’t do when it comes to unwinding after work.
Seeing as we share our space it’s difficult to make room for each other when we want our own time. I am planning on writing a more in depth blog post on this topic, but for now I have outlined a few of the things I’ve found work for me when I try to relax and compose myself after a tough day. Some of these may be obvious or trivial, but I think it’s always good to be reminded that something small can have a big effect on you mentally and emotionally.
This is a classic go-to for relaxation. There’s nothing more soothing for the soul than curling up on the couch with a cup of hot tea, being enveloped by its warmth and flavour. Fall is the best time for flavoured teas, especially at Davids where the options seem endless. My favourite of the season is Pom Cider—it’s a bit sweet and tart at the time and taste delicious both cold and hot.
PUT ON A FACE MASK
I’ve only ever thought of a face mask as a product meant to help your skin when it’s going through a problematic time. For most of my youth, that’s what I used my trusty Clinique face mask for. But as I’ve gotten older and dabbled in the beauty blogging world, I’ve learned that different face masks can do different things for you and your needs. The mask I’m currently using is Mask of Magnanimity from Lush and I specifically chose it so it could give my skin a boost and smooth out any bumps or dryness with the gentle peppermint and primrose seeds in it. But, of course, there are a plethora of other types and brands to go for. It all depends on what you want for your skin and psyche.
TAKE A HOT SHOWER
This is an obvious one, but again, sometimes we over look the little things. My favourite part after a long day of travelling back and forth on the subway is coming home and hopping into a hot shower right before bed. Not only does it clean you up, but it also steams your pores while getting you ready for bed. And if you opt for some extra hair and skin care while you’re in there, it’s like being at your own spa with only the sound of running water drowning out any bad vibes. These are the days when I try to do any shaving or hair care as a way of getting it done for the week and also just feeling more pampered and well groomed overall.
SIT IN SILENCE
In today’s fast-paced world of Netflix, Apple Music, Instagram and Youtube, it’s almost impossible to find a moment to just sit around in complete silence. This is probably the hardest one for me as well because there are so many things I want to do/watch/listen to that it sometimes feels like I’m being controlled by it all. This is why I think that a good way to de-stress after a day of constant work or school is to take some time and just hang out with yourself. It almost feels eerie not having anything on in the background while I potter around my apartment, but once I feel like I’ve calmed down and become more in-tune with myself then I can get back into writing or watching something. You could also do some deeper meditation, but I haven’t gotten to that level of discipline yet.
Another obvious one, but I always seem to forget it myself. Picking up a good book and escaping into another world is the easiest way to forget your annoying day and go on an adventure. While I was in university I was always reading something new that had me broadening my horizons when it came to genres, but as I’ve acclimated to a full-time job and its hours, it’s become much more difficult to take time to sit and read when I’ve been reading emails all day long. However, once I’ve read a chapter or even a few pages of a book I enjoy, then it’s like all my stress melts away and I’m invested in a different story than my own. I have also begun dabbling in using a kindle for my reading, which is another way to stay motivated to bring a book around with you throughout the day.
PUT ON AN ALBUM
I love music, but I rarely listen to an entire album all at once and I think that takes away some of the artistry that goes into making it. There’s something so enlightening about listening to a good album that has been created and compiled with thoughtfulness that makes me more motivated to work on my own art. The album I’ve been currently listening to on a loop is How to Be a Human Being by Glass Animals. I would highly recommend it if you’re searching for some chill out music with a cohesive theme throughout each song. I can also confidently say that Glass Animals was one of the best bands I’ve seen live and would definitely recommend doing that as well if you ever have the opportunity.
This one is tough, especially in the winter months. I love to run and up until July I had a big, powerful treadmill in my parent's basement that I could easily hop on every day after work. I didn’t have to worry about dressing appropriately for the weather or signing up for a gym membership. However, now that I live in an apartment and it’s freezing out, I can’t run anymore without investing in a gym membership and I already know I won’t be using it that much. So, my work out of the moment is strength training with a 15 pound kettle bell. I’ll be honest—I’m not the best at it, but practice is the only way I’m going to get better. Working out has always improved my mood drastically, especially if keeping to a routine, so I know that once I start finding what works for me then it will be an easy way to de-stress after work.
TAKE A QUICK NAP
This one is simple, but not always easy. After spending 8 hours of your day away from home there are a bunch of things you want to get done before the next day. This is usually the reason why I don’t take naps. It makes me feel like I’m wasting my day even though sometimes I desperately need one. The key is to have a power nap of about 30-45 minutes, that way you don’t waste too much of your evening and you aren’t too lethargic when you wake up again.
ORGANIZING YOUR HOME
I’m not going to lie; I can be a messy person. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by how messy I am and that's why I feel like taking some time after a long day to organize your home can help bring some peace of mind. The problem areas in my place are the pile of clothes that always seems to accumulate on top of my hamper and my nightstand that is full of notebooks that I definitely have not used up yet. After a busy day, coming home to a messy place can be exhausting in and of itself so I am planning to take some time this weekend to tidy up and create some extra space to actually live in.
PAINT YOUR NAILS
This is a go-to for me and something I've done for years. There's nothing better than applying a fresh coat of nail polish especially if you haven't pampered yourself at all during the week. It feels great to just sit and focus on something that'll make you feel better about yourself rather than stressing about the day or the work week ahead. If I could I would paint my nails every night, but unfortunately time isn't always on my side despite how much of a homebody I am.
What do you do to unwind?