How Do You Chill Out After A Long Day?

Janey's Way of Chilling Out

Because she’s had such a long day, what with her schedule of sleep, eat, walk and then sleep some more

Burning the midnight oil to meet deadlines, troubleshooting technical issues on websites, working on the blog all day … well, all these can contribute to a long day for me even though I’m working from home. One of the problems of working from home is the inability to “leave work” because it’s always there. Sometimes these long days just make me want to crawl into bed and wish I can sleep 24 hours straight on.

There are several things that I now do to chill out after a long day. These help me greatly in winding down my over-stimulated brain, which can go on and on even in my dreams if I don’t “turn it off”, which makes me even more on edge the next morning.

Screen-off time
There are days when I’d be tuckered out after a long day and the last thing I want to see is a screen. No computer, TV, no iPad and definitely no phone. In fact, I’ll mute my phone and ignore all notifications of messages until the next day. Out of all of the things I like to do when chilling out after a long day, screen-off time is the best. The only screen I’d see is my Kindle, but that’s not counted as a screen because I use an old version of Kindle which doesn’t have a backlight and resembles the look of a book. Even so, sometimes I can’t even be bothered with a Kindle; I’d take out my old books and magazines to read instead.

Read a book
This brings me to the second point, which is reading. I adore reading and it’s something I must do before bed. There are days when I’d be so tired by the time I get to bed that I can barely open my eyes and even then, I’d need to read at least a chapter before I totally zonk off. The funny thing is, I’d be holding the Kindle but my eyes have closed and I’ve dozed off!

Take a bath
Or in my case, take a hot shower as I don’t have a tub at home. It doesn’t matter how tired I am; a hot shower is a must, especially before I hit the sack. It invigorates me and I don’t feel so tired. It even helps me to sleep better. If I had a bathtub, I’d have a good soak instead. Sigh, to think I used to complain about the inconvenience of having a bathtub because it’s a pain to clean. What I’d give for a tub now!

Funny that I should add this in now because up to a few months ago, I’d say “are you crazy?“. Even when I don’t feel like running or working out at all, I’d go for a 5-minute run. It’s quick, it’s easy and it really clears the head. Five minutes is all it takes. After a day of brain stimulation, it’s time to get the heart pumping!

Walk the dog
On days when I really can’t be arsed to exercise at all, I’d take Janey for a long walk. There’s something about walking your dog that helps one relax. I’d listen to a podcast or audiobook while I walk Janey. When I’ve exhausted my brains out working, I’d take her out for a quick walk around the block to clear my head.

Chop veggies
This totally works! All that chopping during dinner prep is cathartic. I call it “chopping my troubles away”. πŸ˜›

I’d turn Spotify on to an 80s/90s music channel and dance my heart out. Why not, no one’s watching. It feels really good!

Light an aromatherapy candle
I’m a bit of a candle fiend and light one each night. There’s something about the flickering light of the candle that calms me down and the scent, particularly an aromatherapy one, really helps me chill too. On shitty days, I’d use the good stuff (e.g. a Dyptique candle). A particularly relaxing brand of candles is Woodwick, where they use wooden wicks that crackle when they burn, making them sound like a fireplace. The sound of a crackling candle is very relaxing.

Laugh in bed
Tim enjoys making me laugh and I love him to bits for it. We’d talk about the silliest things, do funny gestures and then we’d laugh till our sides hurt. Laughing in bed and before bed is one of the best things I look forward to after a long day.

What about you? How do you chill out after a long day at work?

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14 comments… add one
  1. Allison

    Wonderful ways to unwind! The one I find it most difficult to do is turn off the computer and not looks at my phone screen. The blue screens on both keep me awake but I can’t seem to put them away. I’m working on it. I exercise during the late afternoon or early evening. But it’s getting dark here much earlier to I’ll be shifting my exercise outdoors to earlier or heading down into the basement to the treadmill. I agree with you on reading. I read almost every night. My other thing to unwind is deep breathing. I make a triangle in my mind: breathe in for the count of 3, hold it for 3, and exhale for 3. It usually works for me πŸ™‚
    Allison recently posted..Natrol Biotin 5000 mcg, the Easy Way to Take BiotinMy Profile

    1. Tine

      There are apps on the phone that will gradually change your screen to a warmer tone to cut out all that blue tones the later in the day that you use your phone. I can’t remember the name of the one for the iPhone; the one for Android is called Twilight. Do give those sort of apps a go; they’ve helped my eyes adjust better and it doesn’t disrupt my sleep.

      Oh that’s an awesome idea; Tim taught me that too! That breathing, holding and exhaling for 3 counts. It works wonders!

  2. Adrienne

    After a Iong day, I chill out by cooking (I’m with you on the veggie chopping haha) and watching tv series. I’m trying to cut down on screen time so I’ve been either drawing (with a scented candle lighted up) or exercising instead – yoga mostly. If it’s a long frustrating day, I throw some kicks and punches on a sandbag :p

    How often do you have your screen off time?

    1. Tine

      My screen-off times are after 10pm. The only “screen” I have is my old Kindle. There’s no backlight to that Kindle and as it resembles the pages of a book, it doesn’t strain my eyes at all. I put my phone away, mute it and leave it face down so that the notification light doesn’t bother me either.

      Yoga is fantastic too. I do that when I’m not running. I wish I had a sandbag too. I know of days when I really feel like kicking and punching something! πŸ˜›

  3. Keen On Beauty

    Tine, thank you so much for the post. I needed it today… the days are so crazy, it seems I forgot that people chill out sometimes! πŸ˜€ No matter how many times I promise myself to work only till certain time, I often have problems to stop.
    You know, I like Woodwick candles too, their sound is so soothing and enjoyable πŸ™‚ This evening I’ll burn one and hopefully will cuddle up with a good book… Thanks again for a wonderful and inspiring post xx
    Keen On Beauty recently posted..Cult shampoos you cannot go wrong with?!My Profile

    1. Tine

      Aww my pleasure Olena! I know what you mean; sometimes I forget too, to a point where I literally had to force myself to let go because my brain wouldn’t stop buzzing and it was affecting my sleep.

      Woodwick candles are SO good. I love the sound of the crackle; it’s so soothing!

  4. Robert

    I cook. HAHAHAH. I know right? I’ve been obsessed with cooking lately. It’s starting to be a passion of mine, especially asian cuisines e.g. japanese. Been buying cooking books from amazon too, whew getting serious hahaha (p.s. I recommend a book called ‘Nanban’ and
    ‘Itsu: the cookbook’ for japanese cooking).
    Hmm.. I don’t know why but I often don’t light candles now.. I just umm…. I’d say I netflix (or watch something) and chill BUT people have taken that term and made it into something totally not related *sighs*.
    Robert recently posted..[thoughts] Animal Welfare in the World of CosmeticsMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Oooh thanks for the recommendation on Japanese cooking books! I’ve been looking for a good one. I stumbled upon one at a Japanese grocery store and I was thinking of getting it until I realised it was released in 2001 and it was too expensive to pay a lot of $$ for such an old book. πŸ˜› I’ll check those books asap!

      HAHAHAHAhA well there are other ways to chill but I’ll keep this G-rated for now. πŸ˜›

  5. MonicaP

    Er the spouse and I hit the bar for an adult beverage? Well that’s one way .. but mostly, I just try and get out of the house .. grab the dog and off we go πŸ™‚

    Your puppy is so cute ~ I love sleeping dogs. They look so peaceful.

    MonicaP recently posted..How to style a denim skirt (hint, anything goes!)My Profile

    1. Tine

      Hahaha see, the thing is, Tim and I aren’t fans of the bar scene and we prefer to stay in than go out at night. We’re terrible that way. πŸ˜›

      Aww thank you! I love seeing sleeping dogs too! This reminds me of a time when I was walking on a street, and this dog just curled up and slept, without a care of people walking past him!

  6. FireAngel / Ee Laine

    Make a drink, and have it. The process of MAKING the drink is actually therapeutic for me – and blocks out my mind from everything else.
    FireAngel / Ee Laine recently posted..Insta Weekly – Past 2 Weeks in SummaryMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I used to watch my housemate making cocktails and I can see how he finds it therapeutic too. As audience, I was mesmerised!

  7. Bee Chin

    Haha.. You and your chopping skills. You were so good and diligent with that even during uni days! Till today I still dislike food prep and doing dishes although I like/don’t mind cooking. Habits really establish since then πŸ™‚

    1. Tine

      Hahahaha I do so love chopping, don’t I? Still hate chopping onions though. The problem these days is that I watch Netflix WHILE I chop and there were a number of instances when I’ve sliced my fingers. Tsk tsk. πŸ˜›

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