How to Unwind in The Evening After Work
4 min read
Last Modified 22 July 2022 First Added 8 June 2015
Unwinding after work is a must for a good night’s sleep and we understand how difficult it can be. Picture this, you’ve finished another endless day with too much to do. After work, you threw dinner together and tried to do a few more things before crashing in front of the television. You feel mentally and physically worn out and long for a good night’s rest. But yet again, when you finally get to bed, you can’t sleep. Your mind races, and as the minute’s tick by on your clock, you feel increasingly anxious about your inability to unwind from work and fall asleep.
However, there’s no need to worry. With the help of Dr Susan Biali, we’ve put together some helpful tips on how to unwind after work, and how to unwind before bed. Let’s explore some relaxing techniques to help you feel calm:
A study suggests that there are plenty of positive effects of using a weighted blanket for those with insomnia. The findings from the study show that weighted blankets provide a ‘cocooning’ feeling for those laying underneath one. This is great because it aids relaxation. So, grab yourself a weighted blanket after a long day, then snuggle up with a good book and let those work worries drift away.
If you race and push through your day and then continue that pace into your evening, it will naturally be hard for your body and mind to calm down. Try to peacefully transition from your busy day into your evening. You can do this by staying away from your work and your computer after dinner. As time starts to pass into the evening, gradually turn your lights down low and engage in quiet activities that help you relax. This could mean reading a book, watching television, knitting, going for a walk, or cooking dinner.
Unwinding after work requires you to take a step back from your emails. Research shows that people who use e-readers, tablets, laptops, or smartphones right before bedtime take longer to fall asleep. They also don’t sleep as deeply, and feel less rested the next day due to the melatonin-suppressing effect of the blue light from screens.
Checking your emails in the evening is also particularly risky, as discovering a stressful email or being reminded of challenging work situations right before bed additionally stimulates stress, tension and preoccupying thoughts.
Setting aside time for relaxation after work will do wonders for your evening routine before bed. Whether that be half an hour set aside for a warm bath, or an evening stroll. Set this time aside to ensure that you can relax and reflect on the day. This will help you move away from work and into your personal time in the evening.
Your time for relaxing doesn’t have to be solo. If you find it most relaxing to chat with a friend on the phone over a (decaff) tea, call them up and get the kettle on.
Dr Susan Biali advices to “try counting backwards from one hundred, or recite something that you’ve memorised in your mind. I have some verses that I cycle through when necessary; it’s rare for me to repeat them more than once.”
She continues: “I struggled with insomnia as a child, and my mother taught me to progressively tense and relax all my muscles to help me fall asleep. Mindfulness meditations that focus on sensations in the body are also marvellous ways to get out of your head and relax. Try out one of the many meditation apps available to find a relaxation practice that works for you.” – Dr Susan Biali
Dr Susan Biali suggests: “If there is a specific problem or worry that is keeping you up, try writing about it in a journal before bedtime. Worries seem less daunting once you put them on the page, and you might even discover some solutions in doing so. If something is really bothering me, I find it soothing to write my worry out. This can really help when you’re looking to unwind from work in the evening.”